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THE INSIDE TRACK | NEWSWIRE

John Kent Cooke Steps Up as Possible Redskin Buyer

April 08, 1999| From Staff and Wire Reports

John Kent Cooke, president of the Washington Redskins, said Wednesday that his $680-million bid was still on the table after a New York real estate developer withdrew his $800-million offer for the NFL team.

The withdrawal of the bid by a group led by Howard Milstein and Maryland businessman Daniel Snyder--which was a record for a North American sports franchise--has reignited the search for a new owner.

"While I have no comment on the withdrawal by Mr. Milstein and his partners, I have always stated publicly that I want the team to stay in the Cooke family control and today I have notified the executors of my father's estate that my offer is still on the table," Cooke said in a statement.

Earlier, a group headed by Milstein, part-owner of the New York Islanders, and Snyder withdrew their $800-million offer after the NFL owners cited concerns with the financing.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers released offensive lineman Will Wolford, a day after signing free-agent tackle Wayne Gandy to a four-year, $14-million contract. . . . The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent wide receiver Leslie Shepherd, who last season caught 43 passes for 712 yards and eight touchdowns for the Redskins.

Tennis

Top-seeded Carlos Moya of Spain, trying to regain the world's No. 1 ranking, survived a scare in defeating Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, in his first match in the Gold Flake Open at Madras, India. Moya is in position to again overtake Pete Sampras in the rankings and can do that by reaching the final. Sampras is taking the week off. . . . Third-seeded Andre Agassi breezed to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Gianluca Pozzi of Italy in the opening round of the Salem Open at Hong Kong. Top-seeded Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands moved into the second round with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Takao Suzuki of Japan.

Mary Pierce opened defense of her title in the Bausch & Lomb Championships with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Catalina Cristea at Amelia Island, Fla. . . . Ninth-seeded Anna Kournikova defeated Jennifer Capriati, 6-3, 6-3. . . . Unseeded Rita Kuti Kis of Hungary upset top-seeded Anke Huber of Germany, 7-6 (11-9), 6-1, in the second round of the Estoril Open at Oeiras, Portugal.

Next year's Fed Cup, the premier team event in women's tennis, will feature a 13-nation World Group, with 12 teams competing in a round-robin stage for three semifinal spots and the defending champion earning an automatic berth in the final four. The round-robin phase will take place over one week. The finals will be staged in another week at a venue selected by the defending champion.

High School Sports

Three San Francisco area high school baseball players were arrested and their coach fired for a poolside hazing incident that allegedly turned into a sexual assault during a road trip, police said. A fourth player will be arrested for investigation of sexual battery, police said.

In addition, the suspects face conspiracy and aggravated assault charges.

All four teens, students at Wallenburg High School, have been suspended pending a school district investigation. The rest of the high school's baseball season was canceled.

The alleged incident occurred in late March or early April when a group of seniors threw fully clothed younger players into a San Diego hotel swimming pool. The hazing then degenerated into sexual battery, according to police.

Miscellany

Duke assistant Quin Snyder, 32, was hired to succeed Norm Stewart as Missouri's basketball coach. Snyder received a five-year contract and inherits a team that went 20-9 last season.

Schea Cotton, a former Southern California high school basketball star who played for Long Beach City College last season, has signed a letter of intent to play at Alabama. . . . Point guard Khalid El-Amin will return for his junior season at Connecticut.

Last week's college hockey championships at the Arrowhead Pond--won by the University of Maine--were such a success in terms of popularity and profitability that the NCAA wants Anaheim to bid for another Frozen Four.

Todd Timmer hit for the cycle, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs as Marietta set four NCAA Division III records with a 48-0 shutout of LaRoche College at Marietta, Ohio.

Former Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable is returning to matside, this time as a coach for the U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team. Gable, a 1972 Olympic gold medalist, will share head coach duties with John Smith of Stillwater, Okla., and Greg Strobel of Bethlehem, Pa. . . . Tennessee linebacker Chris Ramseur withdrew from school for personal reasons, Coach Phillip Fulmer said. . . . H. Donald Loucks, who coached Florida State's first men's basketball team in 1947, died of heart failure. He was 84.

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