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NFL Is Expected to Reject Sale of Redskins to Milstein

April 07, 1999| From Staff and Wire Reports

Two years after the death of Jack Kent Cooke, NFL owners appear ready to reject the proposed sale of the Washington Redskins, a decision that could leave the franchise in limbo for months and perhaps years.

Questions about Howard Milstein's finances, his contentious stewardship of the New York Islanders and a perceived high-handed lobbying approach have many owners leaning toward a veto of the $800-million bid, the most offered for a U.S. sports franchise.

Twenty-four of the 31 owners must approve the sale today at a special meeting in Atlanta arranged after Milstein requested a postponement last month in Phoenix.

One league source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that the group had no more than seven to 10 votes in Phoenix and is still "far short" of the three-fourths required.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers solved a big problem on the offensive line by signing left tackle Wayne Gandy to a four-year contract, only to develop another when right tackle Justin Strzelczyk re-injured his knee and had to undergo his second operation in less than a year.

Tennis

Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia squandered a chance at taking over the No. 1 ranking when he lost to Andrei Pavel of Romania, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, in the first round of the Estoril Open at Oeiras, Portugal.

Kafelnikov is ranked No. 3. To have overtaken No. 2 Carlos Moya and No. 1 Pete Sampras, he would have had to win in Portugal while Moya failed to reach the final of a tournament at Madras, India.

Sampras is taking the week off. Moya has yet to begin play in India.

Second-seeded Todd Martin, who teamed with Jim Courier in a weekend Davis Cup victory over Britain, defeated defending champion Alberto Berasategui of Spain, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).

Third-seeded Venus Williams had a 10-match winning streak ended when she lost to Sonya Jeyaseelan of Croatia, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), in the second round of the Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island, Fla. Jeyaseelan, a 140th-ranked qualifier, is the lowest-ranked player Williams has lost to since turning pro 4 1/2 years ago. . . . Michael Chang opened his bid for a fourth Salem Open title by defeating Daniel Vacek of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-4, at Hong Kong. . . . Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport, Chanda Rubin and Lisa Raymond were selected to play for the U.S. Fed Cup team against Croatia April 17-18 at Raleigh, N.C. The site was moved from Zagreb, Croatia, because of the NATO air strikes against Serbia.

Soccer

In a show of solidarity with Yugoslavs facing daily air strikes, a top Greek soccer team intends to play an exhibition game in Belgrade today. AEK Athens was to play Partizan in the Yugoslavian capital. The Serbs welcomed the initiative but reportedly failed to give the Greek team any safety guarantees. . . . Major League Soccer banned anabolic steroids and human growth hormone and expects to begin testing players by next season. . . . Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler faces a fine and a suspension after being charged with misconduct by the Football Assn. for his cocaine-snorting simulation. After scoring a goal against Everton on Saturday, Fowler got down on all fours and, pinching one nostril, put his nose to the white line in the penalty area. Everton fans had been heckling him with insinuations about drug use.

Miscellany

Jason Thomas, a redshirt freshman quarterback, has been granted a release from his USC scholarship and intends to transfer after the spring semester.

Thomas, an All-American at Compton Dominguez High, redshirted last season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle. A sore hamstring has slowed him during spring practice.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Los Angeles Olympics chief Peter Ueberroth have been picked for a panel to restructure the IOC in the wake of its worst scandal, Olympic sources said.

International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch chose Kissinger and Ueberroth among four Americans for IOC 2000, created to help clean up after the Salt Lake City bribery case, the sources said.

Three residents of Nagano, Japan, sued the IOC and Samaranch, demanding the return of nearly $7 million in taxpayer money used in the campaign to get last year's Winter Games. One of the plaintiffs, former assemblyman Kaoru Iwata, said the lawsuit is "the only way to impeach the injustice" since the IOC and Samaranch will not punish nine IOC members suspected by the Japanese Olympic Committee of violating IOC rules by receiving "excessive" entertainment.

The government has garnisheed the pension of former Detroit Tiger pitcher Denny McLain to give to a pension fund from which he was convicted of embezzling. McLain and Roger Smigiel, former co-owners of Chesaning's Peet Packing Co., were convicted in 1996 of stealing more than $2.5 million from the company's pension fund and then laundering the money. . . . Duke assistant Quin Snyder once again is considered the leading candidate to take over Missouri's basketball program after former New Jersey Net coach John Calipari withdrew from the running.

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