Originally created 11/27/01

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Auto Racing

Harvick picked as rookie of year

Kevin Harvick, thrust into the late Dale Earnhardt's ride after the seven-time Winston Cup champion was killed in the season-opening Daytona 500, was selected NASCAR rookie of the year on Monday.

Harvick, 25, beat out Kurt Busch for the award by 66 points. He won two races this season, had six top-five finished and 16 top 10s while winning more than $3 million.

He finished the year in ninth place in the final point standings, becoming the only driver to ever crack the top 10 despite not competing in the full schedule. Harvick raced in only 35 events, not participating in the Daytona 500.

Harvick, who had planned to run in only the Busch series this year before Earnhardt's death, also won the championship in that series.

Baseball

Omaha Royals hire Dent as manager

Former New York Yankees manager Bucky Dent was hired Monday to manage Triple-A Omaha, the top farm club for the Kansas City Royals. Dent managed the Yankees at the end of the 1989 season and early in 1990. He spent the last seven years as the Texas Rangers' dugout coach and infield instructor.

Dent, the former Yankees shortstop whose three-run homer beat Boston in a one-game playoff for the AL pennant in 1978, replaces John Mizerock, who was promoted to Kansas City's bullpen coach.

The Royals also announced Monday that Rick Mahler will return as pitching coach and Kevin Long has been hired as hitting coach.

College Basketball

Mindy Allee, a 5-foot-5 point guard from Clayton, Wis., has signed a letter of intent to attend USC Aiken, said coach Phil Stern.

Allee averaged 20 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds a game as a junior last season.

Stern's Lady Pacers are 4-1 this season and begin Peach Belt Conference play Wednesday at UNC Pembroke. USC Aiken had a 22-7 record in 2000-01.

Hockey

Thrashers send Stefan to AHL

Patrik Stefan, the first player drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers when they became an NHL expansion team in 1999, was reassigned on Monday to Chicago of the American Hockey League.

Stefan has had injury problems throughout his career. He was limited to only five games with Atlanta after breaking a cheekbone on Oct. 6 at Boston and a hyper-extending an elbow at Los Angeles on Nov. 3.

He has one goal this season, giving him 57 points (16 goals, 41 assists) in 143 career games with the Thrashers.

Golf

Tiger spurs Skins ratings

Tiger Woods' appearance in the Skins Game spurred a 96 percent boost in ABC television ratings on Saturday and a 62 percent jump on Sunday compared to last year's numbers.

Woods played the Thanksgiving weekend event for the first time since 1997 as part of a television deal to appear in four Skins Games over five years.

But Woods was shut out of the money, while Greg Norman, making his first Skins appearance since 1998, took home $1 million.

ABC said Saturday's rating was 4.5 with a 9 share, compared to 2.3 and 6 last year. On Sunday, the rating was 4.2 with an 8 share, compared to 2.6-5 in 20000.