Originally created 08/19/00

Teen soccer player handed lifetime ban



A 15-year-old boy who punched a referee in the face has been banned from soccer for life, London newspapers reported Friday.

Goalkeeper Nick Taylor was banned from playing competitive soccer anywhere in the world after hitting referee Terry Lowrie twice in the face at the end of a South Ceredigion Junior Football League match in west Wales.

"A clean-up is essential for the future of the game," said Malcolm Eaton, secretary of the Central Wales Football Association disciplinary panel, which imposed the ban. "Top players might be able to get away with illegal play but we will not allow it at this level.

"There is no doubt that young players are taking their cue from the prima donnas ... they see on TV every week," Lowrie told the Daily Telegraph. "They think that just because these professionals seem to get away with foul play they can do the same."

GOLF:

Wren Fowler of Thomson, Ga., finished sixth in the Independent Insurance Agent Junior Classic in Alpharetta, Ga., with a 4-under 284 for the 72-hole tournament. Fowler had a 68-70-73-73 -- 284 week.

Martin Catalioto of Ramsey, N.J., set a record low score for the tournament with a 15-under 273 (69-66-68-74) performance. Nicholas Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., was runner-up at 275.

Whitney Wade, 15, of Glasgow, Ky., birdied the 18th hole to cap a three-stroke victory (288) in the girls division. Erica Blasberg of Corona, Calif., was runner-up at 291.

BOXING:

World Boxing Organization featherweight champion Prince Naseem Hamed (34-0, 30 KOs) puts his title at risk tonight in Mashantucket, Conn., against the WBO's No. 7 contender, Augie Sanchez (26-1, 23 KOs).

The undercard features "Irish" Micky Ward (35-9, 26 KOs) of Lowell, Mass., against Antonio Diaz (32-2, 22 KOs) of Coachella, Calif. The HBO broadcast starts at 9:30 p.m., with the main event expected to begin by 10:45 p.m.

BASKETBALL:

Lee Nailon, a second-round pick in the 1999 draft, agreed to a contract with the Charlotte Hornets. Terms of the deal were not released Friday, but Nailon is expected to receive $316,969, the NBA's minimum for rookies. It is not clear how much of the deal is guaranteed.

Nailon, a 6-foot-9 forward from Texas Christian, was originally drafted by Charlotte with the 43rd overall pick. He didn't make the Hornets' roster.

Brendan Malone is leaving the New York Knicks to become an assistant coach for one of their biggest rivals, the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers also hired Jim Stack, a former executive with the Chicago Bulls, as an assistant to new head coach Isiah Thomas.

Malone, who spent the past four seasons as an assistant to Jeff Van Gundy with the New York Knicks, has a strong relationship with Thomas that dates back more than a decade.

HORSE RACING:

Red Bullet, who has run only once since he won the Preakness May 20, will skip the $1 million Travers on Aug. 26 at Saratoga.

"I think it would be a mistake to run the horse right now, when he's not ready" trainer Joe Orseno said Friday of the colt, who in only his fifth start upset Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus in the Preakness. Red Bullet did not start in the Derby.

After being held out of the Belmont Stakes, Red Bullet finished third in the Dwyer on July 9 at Belmont Park.

He was supposed to start in the Haskell Invitational Aug. 6 at Monmouth, but he didn't because of a viral infection. Orseno said Red Bullet is still feeling the effects of the infection.

TENNIS:

Martina Navratilova is coming back to the U.S. Open after a five-year absence. She will play women's doubles and mixed doubles in the final Grand Slam event of the season.

The Hall of Famer has 13 U.S Open titles -- four in singles, nine in doubles and two in mixed doubles. This year, Navratilova will play doubles with Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and mixed doubles with Rick Leach.

The Open runs from Aug. 28-Sept. 10.