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FOCUS OF A-ROD Florida State sanctioned by the NCAA

March 07, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

Florida State may have to forfeit some of Coach Bobby Bowden's 382 wins and will be on probation for the next four years as part of its punishment for a widespread academic cheating scandal.

The Seminoles will have to give up two scholarships this recruiting season and one the following year. Other sports will lose scholarships and have victories -- including three NCAA national championships in track and field -- threatened.

The NCAA said 61 Florida State athletes cheated on an online test from the fall of 2006 through summer 2007 or received improper help from staffers who provided them with answers to the exam and typed papers for them.

The NCAA said the school must vacate all wins in contests in which athletes involved in the cheating participated. That could involve up to 14 football victories.

Florida State President T.K. Wetherell said the university would consider appealing any efforts to strip it of wins or titles.

"We did not allow anyone who we knew was ineligible to compete," Wetherell said in a statement from the school. "Our position throughout the inquiry was that as soon as we knew of a problem, they didn't play."

The 79-year-old Bowden, who has stated he wanted to reach 400 wins before calling it a career, was not available to comment on the report.

The men's basketball program will lose one scholarship for two years and the women's program will be down two for two years. Other programs were hit with fractional reductions.

The cheating took place in football, baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's track and field and men's golf.

WINTER SPORTS

Davis sets 1,500 record

Shani Davis became the first speedskater to go 1,500 meters in less than 1 minute 42 seconds, finishing with a time of 1:41.80 in a World Cup meet at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns.

It was the fifth world record of Davis' career and the fourth time he set a mark in the 1,500, the distance he won an Olympic silver medal at three years ago.

Lindsey Vonn finished eighth in a giant slalom won by Kathrin Zettel in Ofterschwang, Germany, and is poised to become the first American woman to capture two overall titles, much less in consecutive years.

Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada earned his first victory in a World Cup downhill, edging Michael Walchhofer of Austria by 0.31 seconds in Kvitfjell, Norway.

TENNIS

U.S. tied with Switzerland

Andy Roddick beat Marco Chiudinelli, 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (5), in Birmingham, Ala., to tie the U.S.' first-round Davis Cup match with Switzerland at one apiece after James Blake's four-set loss to Stanislas Wawrinka put the U.S. in an early hole on the indoor hard court.

PRO FOOTBALL

Sean Jones signs with Eagles

Safety Sean Jones signed a one-year, free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, helping fill the void created by Brian Dawkins' departure. The Cleveland Browns, Jones' former team, signed safety Mike Adams.

The Minnesota Vikings signed linebacker and special teams standout Heath Farwell to a three-year, $7.75-million contract. . . . The Cincinnati Bengals have signed quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan to back up injured quarterback Carson Palmer. . . . The Hawaii Tourism Authority board voted 9-1 to accept the NFL's offer to bring the Pro Bowl back to the islands in 2011 and 2012. Next year's game will be in Miami.

MOTOR RACING

Martin wins NASCAR pole

Mark Martin claimed the top spot at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., making him the second-oldest pole winner in NASCAR Cup history. The 50-year-old Martin turned a lap of 187.045 mph for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500, earning his 42nd career pole but first since May 5, 2001, at Richmond, Va.

ETC.

U.S. wins at Algarve Cup

A late goal from substitute Natasha Kai gave the U.S. women's soccer team a 1-0 win over Iceland and sent the defending champion into the final of the Algarve Cup. The winner of the Germany-Sweden game Monday will play the U.S. for the title on Wednesday.

Cycling's world governing body banned German rider Stefan Schumacher for two years after he tested positive for a banned drug at the 2008 Tour de France.

Colleen Howe, the wife of hockey great Gordie Howe and one of the first female sports agents, died Friday. She was 76.

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