Originally created 01/01/00

Overtime: Penn State loses star to NFL draft



Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington said Friday he is giving up his senior year as expected and making himself eligible for the NFL draft.

Draft experts predict that Arrington will be among the top picks in the draft, with his teammate Courtney Brown and Florida State's Peter Warrick.

"I just think there's nothing left for me to prove at the college level," Arrington said. "I had a state title in high school and I would have loved to have had a national championship in college, but at this point I think it's time for me."

The 6-foot-3, 233-pound linebacker wows coaches and scouts, opponents and fans with spectacular plays, quickness and range -- so much so that some have called him the second coming of Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor.

BASKETBALL:

USC Aiken opens the Peach Belt Athletic Conference portion of its schedule on Sunday against visiting Francis Marion University's men's and women's teams.

Both games are part of Aramark Family Day, with each fan (with paid admission) receiving a free hot dog and Coca-Cola courtesy of Aramark.

The Lady Pacers (8-2) face the 15th-ranked Lady Patriots at 2 p.m., while the Pacers (8-1) take on the Patriots at 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, Augusta State plays host to USC Spartanburg on Monday. The women's game is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m., and the men's at 7:30 p.m.

BOXING:

A retired boxer says he was offered $30,000, the biggest purse of his career, to throw a fight to Roberto Duran when the legendary fighter was years past his prime.

Sanderline Williams said associates of Duran made the offer in a restaurant near Cleveland in the early 1990s, The Miami Herald reported in Friday's editions. The fight never took place.

Williams, a former super middleweight who fought for U.S. and North American titles, was once Duran's sparring partner.

Williams said he was told Duran had no knowledge of the proposed fix. He refused to identify the men who asked him to throw the fight.

Williams' former manager, John Giachetti, said his fighter was offered $30,000 to meet Duran in the early 1990s, but the fight fell through. Giachetti said former Duran promoter Mike Acri proposed the fight but never asked Williams to throw it.

HOCKEY:

Katie King had two goals and two assists late Thursday to lead the United States women's hockey team to a 12-0 victory over Russia.

The United States (3-0) plays Sweden on Friday in its final round-robin game of the Christmas Tournament for national teams. The championship match is Sunday.

U.S. goaltender Laurie Belliveau made 11 saves for the shutout. Irina Votintseva stopped 44 shots for Russia.

The United States came from behind for a 1-1 tie against Canada Friday in Pool A at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.

Jeff Taffe of Minnesota scored with seven minutes remaining on assists by Brett Nowak of Harvard and Ron Hainsey of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

The American team, which includes 10 National Hockey League draftees, fell behind when Erik Chouinard scored for Canada early in the second period.

The tie gave Canada second place in the group and it will face Switzerland in the quarterfinals starting Saturday. The United States will face Sweden.

Forward Gino Odjick of the New York Islanders was suspended by the NHL on Friday, pending a hearing, for actions against defenseman Darius Kasparaitis in Thursday night game at Pittsburgh.

Odjick received a major penalty and game misconduct at 11:28 of the third period in a game the Penguins won 9-3.

As a result of the suspension, Odjick will sit out Sunday's game against Philadelphia. No date has been set for the hearing.

BASEBALL:

Sherry Davis, the first woman public address announcer in major league baseball, will not be asked to return next season after seven years on the job with the San Francisco Giants.

Davis said she was told in November it was possible she might not be asked back, but hoped the team would change its mind.

But with the move to a new stadium next season, the team simply wanted a change, one official said.

"We know what Sherry can do," said Tom McDonald, senior vice president in the team's marketing department. "We listened to her for 81 games a year. We wanted someone with a richer voice quality, a more dynamic presence."

He said the team would name Davis' replacement next week.

"As we move into Pacific Bell Park, we were getting significant feedback from our fan base that they were dissatisfied with the announcing."