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Hatfield Apologizes for Anti-Gay Remarks

November 01, 2002|From Times Wire Services

Rice Coach Ken Hatfield has apologized for remarks attributed to him saying that he might consider removing a gay player from the team, comments that angered student groups and prompted a meeting with the school president.

In a story about gay athletes in the Nov. 1 issue of The Chronicle for Higher Education titled "The Loneliest Athlete," Hatfield asserts homosexuality conflicts with his religious beliefs.

The article says that while Hatfield "would not necessarily kick a player off the team for being gay, he probably would think hard about it."

Hatfield said the article never directly quoted him saying that, and that he was trying to convey he wasn't sure how he would deal with such a situation because he has never been through it.

The Chronicle for Higher Education, a newspaper for college administrators and faculty members, stands behind its story.

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Fresno State Athletic Director Scott Johnson issued an apology to the University of Hawaii because of a screwdriver thrown by a fan during the Warriors' victory last Friday at Bulldog Stadium.

After an investigation, which included a discussion with Hawaii Coach June Jones, Johnson said, "We believe that a screwdriver was thrown by one of our fans at the University of Hawaii team bench."

Jones said he was nearly struck in the head by the tool late in the game.

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Washington State Coach Mike Price characterized a fight between linebacker Ira Davis and cornerback Jason David as "an isolated event between two players" involving a misunderstanding over "a third party," and refused to say who that person was.

Davis was suspended indefinitely and David could be out eight weeks because of a broken cheekbone.

A reporter from the Spokane Spokesman-Review witnessed the fight. According to the paper, David was facing his locker when Davis threw a punch that caught David on the cheekbone.

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Ohio State freshman running back Maurice Clarett said he is getting hate e-mail from fans after his statement that he might challenge the NFL rule that prevents underclassmen from making themselves eligible for the draft.

"I still get e-mails that say, 'I hate you ... this, that and the other thing," Clarett said. "There's hate mail in my locker. That's the main thing -- like you're not loyal, you're not a Buckeye. But I can't control what other people think, write or say about me. So I don't really care about it too much."

Clarett, who left last week's game against Penn State after re-injuring his left shoulder, said he plans to play Saturday against Minnesota.

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Michigan State defensive end Greg Taplin has been suspended for Saturday's game against Michigan for violating team rules.... Florida State cornerback Stanford Samuels was suspended for Saturday's game against Wake Forest for violating team rules.... Maryland defensive tackle C.J. Feldheim has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will need season-ending reconstructive surgery.... South Carolina State running back Derek Watson will be reinstated to the team and is expected to play Saturday against Delaware State. Watson is at the center of a probe involving NCAA rules violations at South Carolina.... Tennessee Martin fired Coach Sam McCorkle and named defensive line coach Johnny Jernigan interim coach. The Division I-AA Skyhawks are 2-6.

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