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Tagliabue Allows Chmura to Resume Playing Career

March 24, 2001|From Staff and Wire Reports

Mark Chmura, the former Green Bay Packer tight end acquitted on sexual assault charges, can sign an NFL contract and resume his career, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue ruled Friday.

Tagliabue decided punishment wasn't warranted but said Chmura should be evaluated under the league's substance abuse policy.

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In other Packer news, more than 90% of season-ticket holders have chosen to keep their tickets despite a steep user fee of $1,400 per ticket to help finance the $295-million renovation and expansion of Lambeau Field. Nose tackle Gilbert Brown re-signed with Green Bay.

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Simeon Rice, one of the NFL's best pass rushers over the past five seasons, signed a five-year, $34-million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that reportedly calls for a $1-million salary next season and no signing bonus. . . . St. Louis nixed a trade in which they would have acquired linebacker Jeff Gooch from Tampa Bay for a fifth-round pick in next month's draft because Gooch failed his physical, the Buccaneers said. . . . Offensive lineman Ross Verba agreed to a reported four-year, $16-million contract with the Cleveland Browns. . . . The Minnesota Vikings signed wide receiver Jake Reed to a one-year contract worth $600,000 plus incentives. Reed spent last season with New Orleans.

Tennis

Third-seeded Venus Williams moved well and beat Miriam Oremans, 6-2, 6-0, in the first round of the Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne, Fla. Williams, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens and won the tournament in 1998 and 1999, was cheered by the fans. On the men's side, second-seeded Marat Safin of Russia lost to Juan Balcells of Spain, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Andy Roddick, 18, defeated 1998 champion Marcelo Rios of Chile, 6-4, 6-1.

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Martina Hingis must testify in court next month during the trial of a man accused of stalking her, the Miami-Dade state attorney's office said. Dubravko Rajcevic, 45, goes on trial April 2.

Miscellany

USC freshman Klete Keller won the 200-yard freestyle with a pool-record time of 1:34.43 to claim his second title in two days at the NCAA Division I swimming and diving championships at College Station, Texas.

Struggling Mark Martin won the pole for Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway with a lap of 126.303 mph in his Ford. . . . Kevin Harvick set a track record in Busch Grand National qualifying for the Cheez-It 250 at Bristol. Harvick won the pole for today's race with a lap of 125.264 mph.

Mike Dunn made the fastest pass in NHRA history when he went 331.61 mph in his top fuel dragster during qualifying at the O'Reilly Nationals at Baytown, Texas. The quarter-mile run eclipsed Tony Schumacher's 1999 speed of 330.23.

Clarence "Bones" Adams unanimously outpointed late replacement Ivan Alvarez to retain the World Boxing Assn. super-bantamweight title at Owensboro, Ky.

Former Brigham Young defensive lineman Brent Pollock has pleaded not guilty to drug, alcohol and shoplifting charges. Pollock and freshman running back Marcus Whalen, 19, were arrested at a Provo, Utah, convenience store in February after they allegedly were spotted shoplifting a six-pack of beer and a sandwich. . . . Ohio State defensive back Derek Ross was sentenced to 30 days in jail for giving a false name to a trooper who stopped him for speeding.

Ralph Barahona's goal midway through the third period was the difference in the Ice Dogs' 4-2 victory over the Tacoma Sabercats at Long Beach Arena.

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