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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA MEN'S TOURNAMENT | FRIDAY DAILY
REPORT

Back Injury to Keep Arizona's Woods Sidelined After All

March 16, 2000|Associated Press

Arizona found out Wednesday what had been suspected: Center Loren Woods will sit out the NCAA tournament because of a back injury.

Arizona team physicians reviewed tests done Tuesday on Woods and decided the compression injury to a disk in his back has not healed.

"We'll continue to miss him as we have the last month, but these guys have played awfully well without him," Coach Lute Olson said. "It doesn't do you any good to talk about the people that aren't there. No way can you make a big issue of that because then you get into excuses and we're not into excuses."

The 7-foot-1 Woods hurt his back against Washington State on Feb. 12 and sat out the final six games of the regular season. He will make a full recovery, school officials said.

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Indiana Coach Bob Knight said he might have grabbed former player Neil Reed around the neck, but didn't recall choking him.

Reed accused Knight of choking him during practice three years ago. Reed transferred from Indiana at the end of that season, contending he was physically and mentally abused by Knight.

An interview with CNN/Sports Illustrated in which Reed repeated his charges was broadcast Tuesday.

"Maybe I grabbed Neil Reed by the shoulder, maybe I took him by the back of the neck, I don't know. I don't remember everything I've done in practice," Knight told Indianapolis television station WTHR.

The university investigated and rejected Reed's claims three years ago.

"I have used a lot of different things for motivational purposes. I've always tried to act that part of my coaching is to move you where you're supposed to be," Knight said. "We're not learning to play bridge. We're learning to play basketball."

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Erick Barkley and Lavor Postell will play for St. John's in the NCAA tournament this weekend in Tucson despite investigations into their eligibility.

"There is nothing pending right now in terms of their eligibility," a person close to the investigation told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Unless new accusations arise, St. John's, the second seed in the West Regional, will not have to play the tournament without two of its best players, the source said.

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Jimbo Tolbert isn't washing Auburn's uniforms this week. He's wearing one.

Tolbert will live the dream of just about every team manager when he suits up for the Tigers' game against Creighton today. Coach Cliff Ellis put the sophomore on the team's roster for the NCAA tournament after injuries and star Chris Porter's suspension left some extra room at the end of the bench.

"It's always been my dream to wear a Division I college uniform," he said.

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At Nevada Las Vegas, the euphoria of getting back into the NCAA tournament is being tempered by a new batch of NCAA charges that include allegations a booster paid several thousand dollars to Lamar Odom while he was enrolled in a summer class.

The NCAA has put the school on notice that it could face harsher sanctions under the so-called "repeat violator" rule if it is found guilty of the latest charges.

UNLV was told last week that it is the target of an official inquiry, and was given until May 10 to respond to the allegations. The charges will be reviewed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions when it meets June 16-18 in Lake Tahoe.

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