Originally created 02/28/01


An autopsy on Florida State linebacker Devaughn Darling, 18, was inconclusive and investigators say it may be weeks before the medical examiner knows the cause of death.

"We must now rely on the lab results and various tests," Florida State University Maj. Jack Handley said following Tuesday's autopsy. "They could not find anything visually that could possibly alert them to the cause of death."

Handley said it would be four to six weeks before the medical examiner would receive the lab results.

The university said a memorial service for Darling, who collapsed and died after an off-season workout Monday, will be Thursday in Tallahassee, Fla. The family is finalizing funeral plans for Saturday in Houston.


Columbia television station WIS reports that Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Henry Taylor has been charged with drug trafficking after Richland County Sheriff's deputies discovered 37 pounds of marijuana at his home Monday.

Taylor, 25, played high school football at Barnwell before a four-year career at the University of South Carolina. Although he signed as a free agent with the San Diego Chargers and Detroit Lions in 1998, he saw no action until last season with the Falcons. He played in five games and was credited with four tackles.

NBC insists it is sticking with the XFL despite a ratings free-fall in which the football league came uncomfortably close to a dubious milestone last week.

The fourth game of the XFL season, played on Saturday, had a 2.6 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. After 13.9 million people watched the XFL's debut on Feb. 3, NBC's audience has steadily declined to 3.9 million people on Saturday.

Scott Sassa, president of NBC West Coast, said NBC is committed to showing the XFL in prime-time for the rest of its two-year contract.


A private graveside service was held in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Tuesday for Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, who died Feb. 18 at age 69.

Mathews was the only player to play for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. He also managed the Atlanta Braves from 1972-74.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978, Mathews hit 512 home runs, eighth on the career list. He and Hank Aaron combined to hit 863 homers from 1954-66, the highest total for teammates in major league history, four more than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.


Former Butler High school standout Jeff Bolton, who is averaging 16.5 points a game for the College of Charleston this season, , suffered a broken nose during a practice session last Friday.

Bolton will wear a mask to protect his nose when the Cougars (22-6) play in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference tournament on Friday. Charleston won the league's South Division title with a 12-4 record.


The MCG Sports Medicine Men's team, comprised of Byron Davis II, Rob Pruitt, Joey Tobias, Jimmy Rogers and Scott Hawks, recently won its fifth consecutive tournament, the Midlands Massacre in Columbia.


The crew chief for three-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon was fined $25,000 by NASCAR on Tuesday for fielding a car that failed to meet minimum height requirements in the Dura Lube 400.

Crew chief Robbie Loomis was fined after an inspection following Monday's race at Rockingham, N.C., found Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet "to be under the specified height requirement after the completion of time trials or the race."

Gordon finished third in the rain-delayed race, won by Steve Park.

Also Tuesday, the crew chief of Kenny Wallace's No. 27 Pontiac, Barry Dodson, was fined $1,000 by NASCAR for using equipment that failed to conform to the rules.


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