Originally created 07/10/02

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Auto racing

Unser Jr. charged with domestic battery

Al Unser Jr. was arrested Tuesday on charges he hit a woman in the face before leaving her on the side of a highway in the middle of the night.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was released from the Marion County jail after posting a $30,000 bond on preliminary misdemeanor charges of domestic battery and domestic violence. He avoided reporters when he left.

The woman, Jena L. Soto, was found standing next to a guardrail on Interstate 465 in Indianapolis at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. She told police she was Unser's girlfriend of four years.

Soto was driving the car because Unser was drunk, she said. She told police she hit Unser first to stop him from trying to shift the gears, and that Unser responded by hitting her in the face.

The 40-year-old Unser was arrested at his motor home on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield. A hearing is scheduled for July 19, sheriff's Col. Scott Minier said.

The preliminary charges against Unser are each punishable by up to a year in jail. The Marion County prosecutor's office will determine whether to file formal charges after police submit the case for review.

College Football

Grades sideline Bulldogs recruit

Georgia recruit Reshard Dudley won't play for the Bulldogs this year after failing to reach minimum NCAA academic requirements.

Dudley, a running back from Marianna, Fla., said he will attend Butler Community College in Kansas for two football seasons. He rushed for 307 yards in only three games as a high school senior before breaking his ankle.

Georgia signed two other running backs in February: Tyson Browning of Watkinsville and Michael Cooper of Sylvania.

Academics

Student-athletes make honor roll

Peach Belt Conference commissioner Marvin Vanover announced Tuesday that 662 student-athletes were named to the annual Presidential Honor Roll.

The athletes, which represent 12 member schools, is the highest number in the history of the conference award, surpassing the 647 honored last year.

The University of North Florida set a conference mark with 106 on the list. USC Aiken was next with 75 followed by UNC Pemroke (64), Francis Marion (63), and Lander (62). Georgia College & State University and USC Spartanburg each had 52, Armstrong Atlantic State and Columbus State had 46 apiece, Kennesaw State had 38, Augusta State had 35 and Clayton State added 23 to the list.

ESPY Awards

Four passengers selected for award

Four passengers who lost their lives on Flight 93 during the Sept. 11 attacks, will be honored with the ESPY's Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick all had sports backgrounds, and will be recognized tonight at the ESPY Awards.

Actor Dennis Franz will present the award to each of the families, while actor Tom Hanks did the voiceover for a video tribute that will be shown during the ceremony at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.

Beamer played baseball and basketball at Wheaton College. Bingham was a two-time college rugby champion at California. Burnett was a star high school quarterback in Bloomington, Minn. Glick was a national collegiate judo champion in 1993 at Rochester.

All four were aboard the airliner, bound from Newark to San Francisco, that crashed in rural western Pennsylvania. Many have speculated that the passengers, including Beamer, Bingham, Burnett and Glick, kept the hijackers from plunging the jet into a populated target.

Previous winners of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award include Jim Valvano, Howard Cosell, Muhammad Ali and Dean Smith.