Carry a torch Defensive coordinator Lou Tepper...


Carry a torch Defensive coordinator Lou Tepper was named interim Illinois football coach yesterday after John Mackovic resigned as football coach and athletic director to become coach of the Texas Longhorns.

Illinois officials said a permanent replacement might be announced today.

Tepper, Mackovic's top assistant, took over the team yesterday as the Illini prepared to meet UCLA on Dec. 31 in the John Hancock Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

"I see us as being a strong passing team, but I also feel that I will have a stronger run bent than John," Tepper said.

Pro basketball

San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson, a Naval Academy alumnus, plans to marry longtime girlfriend Valerie Hoggatt on Monday.

* The NBA Players Association began legal proceedings against the NBA, claiming player salaries were lowered because of accounting practices that violated its collective bargaining agreement.

The union filed a complaint with Merrell E. Clark, a special master appointed by the U.S. District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise in Newark, N.J., charging that teams systematically underreported income. The NBA agreed in 1983 to give players 53 precent of the league's defined gross revenues in exchange for a salary cap.


New York bantamweight Junior Jones (21-0, 14 knockouts) captured the vacant United States Boxing Association title by stopping Dio Andujar (39-9-2, 16 knockouts) of Stockton, Calif., in the ninth round of a scheduled 12-round bout in Atlantic City, N.J.

Newark cruiserweight Al Cole preserved his No. 1 International Boxing Federation rating by stopping Governor Chavers in the sixth round.

* Tippy Larkin, who held the junior welterweight title and fought ,, 153 times in a 20-year career, died of kidney failure Tuesday in Passaic, N.J. He was 74.

Larkin (137-16-1) fought from 1935 to 1952 as a junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight.

* Former world-ranked Australian Lou Cafaro was hospitalized in satisfactory condition after being shot in both arms, police in Perth, Australia, said. Cafaro, 30, who this week had announced his retirement due to brain damage suffered in a seven-year career, was one of two men shot in an incident at an auto repair shop.


The First National Bank Tennis Festival, presented by The Baltimore Sun last month, raised $219,574, according to event chairman and co-founder Pam Shriver.

Approximately $115,000 will be used to fund cystic fibrosis research, $76,500 to further programs for the physically challenged at Children's Hospital and Center for Reconstructive Surgery and $28,280 to give area children a chance to play in the Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons Association. In six years, the event has raised more than $1 million.

* Stefan Edberg, the world's top-ranked player, injured his arm during practice and withdrew from next week's Colonial Mutual Classic exhibition tournament in Melbourne, Australia.

Edberg, who missed this week's Compaq Grand Slam Cup in Munich, Germany, with a knee injury, is expected to be out at least two weeks.


Surgeons removed bone chips from the right elbow of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, who will miss tonight's game against the Devils and tomorrow's with the Capitals.

* Goaltender Ron Hextall, who hasn't played the past six games because of a sore shoulder, is expected to test his shoulder Wednesday, coach Bill Dineen said. If Hextall can't play with the pain, he might have to undergo surgery.

* Brian Noonan had two goals and an assist and linemates Jeremy Roenick and Michel Goulet a goal and three assists apiece, as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated Team USA, 8-3, in a pre-Olympic exhibition game.


Defending champion Betsy King rallied from a three-hole deficit to beat Sally Little, 1-up, and advance to the second round of the LPGA World Match Play Championship in Princeville, Hawaii. Other first-round winners included Laura Davies, who beat Brandie Burton, 7 and 6, and Kris Tschetter, an alternate who scored a 3-and-2 upset of Meg Mallon, the tour's second-leading money winner.

College basketball

Defendants in the NCAA's suit against Nevada opposed an injunction to block a new state law the organization claims stalls its infractions case against Nevada-Las Vegas.

Motions filed by the attorney for Tim Grgurich, assistant UNLV basketball coach, and former academic adviser Shelly Fischer, maintained they would be "irreparably harmed" if the court grants the NCAA's request.

Legal pleadings filed on behalf of Gov. Bob Miller and former assistant coach Ronald Ganulin seek to have them dismissed from the suit entirely.

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled Dec. 19 before U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben.


The president pro tem of the Auburn University board of trustees sought to allay the perception that the panel has too much influence over personnel decisions in the athletic department.

Michael B. McCartney said in a statement that he would ask the trustees to remove themselves from the process of hiring coaches and athletic administrators.

McCartney's statement comes at a time when the school is in the early stages of a presidential search to replace James Martin, who is retiring at the end of April. The new president will have to deal with an athletic department that already has two sports -- basketball and tennis -- on probation. In addition, the football team is under NCAA investigation following highly publicized allegations of illegal benefits and payments by former player Eric Ramsey.

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