SPORTS DIGEST

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Pro football

Carter a winner of Ed Block honor

Cornerback Dale Carter was named the Ravens' winner of the Ed Block Courage Award, which goes to a representative from each team who has displayed courage or sportsmanship, often overcoming injuries or tragedies to return to competition. In an unprecedented move, the Saints' honor will go to the team's coaches, players and staff, who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. This year's banquet will be March 7 at Martin's West. The award is named for Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts.

Vikings -- Daunte Culpepper, Bryant McKinnie and Fred Smoot have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the team's bawdy boating party. A court clerk said an attorney for Smoot entered a plea Tuesday and that pleas for Culpepper and McKinnie were entered last month.

Skeleton

U.S. coach Nardiello not allowed to travel

Suspended U.S. coach Tim Nardiello will not be allowed to travel with the team for World Cup races in Germany while sexual harassment allegations against him are investigated. Nardiello's lawyer said yesterday that his client's quest to be immediately reinstated is headed to court. The U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation's board of directors met by telephone last night and voted against a motion - brought by the federation's president, Jim Shea Sr. - that would have allowed Nardiello to travel with the team today. The motion was overwhelmingly defeated by the board, despite recent pleas from several top American sliders to reinstate Nardiello in time for both the remainder of the World Cup season and next month's Turin Olympics.

Tennis

Agassi won't play in Australian Open

Four-time champion Andre Agassi pulled out of the Australian Open because of a lingering ankle injury. Agassi, 35, sprained his left ankle playing racquetball Oct. 12 and aggravated the injury in the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup.

Women -- Martina Hingis won her third straight match since returning from a three-year retirement, beating Nuria Llagostera Vives, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0, in the Australian hardcourt quarterfinals on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Et cetera

Sheik Maktoum dead; co-founded Godolphin

Sheik Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai who bought, raced and bred thoroughbreds, died at a hotel on Australia's Gold Coast, police said. He was 62. Dubai authorities wouldn't give the cause of death. Maktoum and his brother, Sheik Hamdan, founded Dubai- and British-based Godolphin Racing Inc., one of the world's most successful stables, and created the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race that carries a $6 million purse.

College basketball -- A former Baylor University player who pleaded guilty last year to murder in the shooting of his teammate is seeking permission to appeal his 35-year prison sentence. Carlton Dotson, 23, of Dorchester County pleaded guilty in June in the 2003 death of Patrick Dennehy.

Colleges -- Oklahoma will meet with NCAA officials in April regarding an investigation into the men's basketball and gymnastics programs.

Women's soccer -- Players on the U.S. team could earn $200,000 each in years they win the Olympics or World Cup under a labor contract finalized yesterday.

Auto racing -- Two-time Daytona 500 champion Bill Elliott will enter the race this year in a car fielded by MB2 Motorsports.

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