New spring league suspends operationsJust 2 1/2...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

New spring league suspends operations

Just 2 1/2 weeks before opening day, the Professional Spring Football League has suspended operations because of a money crunch, commissioner Rex Lardner said yesterday.

Lardner said officials from the new 10-team league, which includes the Washington Marauders, need about $1 million by Monday. Meetings with potential investors are planned for the next three days.

He said that if the league cannot start this season, it may begin in 1993.

* Deion Sanders says he will reveal tomorrow which of his two Atlanta sports -- baseball or football -- he will make a full-time career. Sanders will indicate his choice by suiting up with one team or the other in his Prime Time Shootout, a charity basketball game in Atlanta pitting baseball players against football players.

* San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. has been accused by a female acquaintance of assaulting her at his

suburban home in Menlo Park, Calif., police said. Menlo Park police are investigating the allegation, but no charges have been filed.

Tennis

Second seed Martina Navratilova beat Pam Shriver of Lutherville, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), in the Virginia Slims of Chicago quarterfinals. "I wasn't as consistent as I'd like," said Navratilova, who is trying for an unprecedented 158th triumph in a singles tournament. "It's difficult playing her. We know each other's game so well. When her serves are going in, she doesn't give you many balls you can smack. I started trying to outthink her." Navratilova, who got 19 points on passing shots and made 74 percent of her first serves, is 38-3 against Shriver.

* Jim Courier, the world's top-ranked player, and Stefan Edberg, seeking to regain the No. 1 spot, scored straight-set victories and advanced to the Donnay Indoor Championship quarterfinals Brussels, Belgium. Courier defeated Henri Leconte of France, 6-4, 7-5, and Edberg beat Jan Siemerink of the Netherlands, 7-5, 6-2.

* Jimmy Connors surprised Michael Stich, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, eliminating the world's No. 3 player from the Federal Express International in Memphis, Tenn. Connors, a four-time winner at Memphis, will play in the quarterfinals against Aaron Krickstein, who eliminated Todd Woodbridge, 6-2, 6-2. The Netherlands' Paul Haarhuis, the No. 13 seed, eliminated No. 3 seed David Wheaton, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, and No. 14 seed MaliVai Washington pushed No. 4 Michael Chang from the field with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) win.

Sailing

With strategist John Bertrand at the helm, Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes defeated Bill Koch's Defiant by 55 seconds for the first time in five tries. Stars & Stripes trailed Defiant by as much as 1 minute, 1 second, then fought back for a victory in the fifth race of Round 2 of the America's Cup defender trials off San Diego.

College football

Don McCauley, who starred at North Carolina before spending 11 years as a running back with the Baltimore Colts, will be honored as the Distinguished Football Alumnus at the Atlantic Coast Conference's 39th awards banquet tonight at 7:30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Virginia's George Welsh will receive the ACC Coach of the Year award, and Maryland's Mark Duffner will be honored along with the rest of the league's coaches.

Bowling

Bruce Hamilton of Seattle grabbed the fourth-round lead in the Professional Bowlers Association $200,000 True Value Open in Peoria, Ill., with 5,894 pins. Pete Weber of Florissant, Mo., is second with 5,890. Danny Wiseman of Parkville is 14th with 5,655.

Pro basketball

The NBA All-Star Game, featuring Magic Johnson's one-game return, got the highest NBA All-Star ratings in 20 years, NBC said. The game got a 12.8 rating and a 26 share, the best showing since 1972's game got a 13.3 rating and a 28 share. A rating measures the percentage of all television households watching a program. A share measures the percentage among homes where television is in use.

* Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird, sidelined with an inflamed back joint more than a month ago, said he plans to return at the end of the month. "I wanted to play last week, but they kept telling me if I rushed back, I was going to have the same problem," Bird said.

* Reggie Williams (Dunbar) did not start the Denver Nuggets' game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night because his wife was in an automobile accident. He arrived at McNichols Arena just 10 minutes before game time. Williams scored only two points in the first half, but he added 22 in the second half after a visit with his wife in the arena hallway.

Boxing

Bep van Klaveren, nicknamed "The Dutch Windmill," died Wednesday in Rotterdam, Netherlands, at 84. Van Klaveren was the only Dutch boxer to win an Olympic gold medal, placing first in the featherweight division at the 1928 Games. He held the European light and middleweight titles during the 1930s.

College wrestling

Navy (11-3) is ranked No. 16 nationally in the latest Amateur Wrestling News poll. Junior Nick Melfi, who has won his past five bouts at 134 pounds, is the highest-ranked Midshipman, at thirteenth.

College swimming

Mark Haynes of Towson State won the 200 individual medley, and Maryland Baltimore County swimmers broke five school records at the East Coast Conference championships in Buffalo, N.Y. Towson and UMBC are 2-3 in the team standings for both men's and women's programs.

Baseball

A group of black business, labor and church leaders is urging commissioner Fay Vincent to reject the proposed sale of the Seattle Mariners to a Japanese-led group. The purchased would be 60 percent-financed by Hiroshi Yamauchi, president of Nintendo Co. Ltd. of Kyoto. The Seattle Core Group opposes the deal because it says Nintendo of America Inc., which has its headquarters in suburban Redmond, Wash., discriminates against minorities.

* Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets threw from a mound in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the first time since shoulder surgery last September and experienced no pain. Gooden had surgery Sept. 7 to repair a small cartilage tear, remove loose fragments and repair a partial tear of the right rotator cuff.

* Detroit Tigers owner Thomas Monaghan is discussing a possible sale to Edsel Ford II, baseball officials said. However, the officials said they did not know how far talks had progressed. Ford is the president of Ford Motor Credit Co., a subsidiary of Ford Motor Co., which was founded by Henry Ford, his great grandfather. WJBK-TV and WDIV-TV reported Monaghan, chairman of Domino's Pizza Inc., is nearing completion of a deal to sell the team.

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