Originally created 02/19/03

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Football

Committee alters rule on returns

The NCAA Football Rules Committee has eliminated the 2-yard "halo" rule on kick returns.

Returners still must be given an unimpeded opportunity to catch the kick. The penalty for failing to do that or for contacting a player who has signaled for a fair catch will be 15 yards.

"Officials will be instructed to enforce these rules strictly and give receivers, who are often in the most defenseless position on the field, the protection they deserve," said committee chair Donnie Duncan, senior associate commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.

"The 2-yard restricted area provided a sense of false security for the kick receiver," Duncan added. "Eliminating it will not reduce the safety of kick receivers, but will clarify what they are to expect."

Also, backs who are positioned outside the normal tackle position are now prohibited from blocking below the waist near the line of scrimmage. The committee also voted to start the game clock on kickoffs when the ball is touched instead of when it is kicked.

  • North Augusta tailback Martise Quiller will sign a scholarship today with Hinds (Miss.) Junior College at the school auditorium.
  • Taking over for former standout Reggie Merriweather this season, Quiller rushed for 1,427 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets and helped lead North Augusta to an 8-4 record.

    Quiller is the eighth North Augusta senior this year to sign a scholarship.

    Boxing

    Whitfield loses in Titan Games

    The United States' Team II was rewarded with a silver trophy and a second place finish at the Titan Games in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Augusta native Rayonta Whitfield (light flyweight, 106 pounds) fought Mexico's Raul Castaneda to start Tuesday's second round. The two exchange swings and Castaneda led 36-24 after three rounds. Whitfield's comeback fell short as he lost 49-35.

    Overall, Team II won three of seven bouts against Mexico.

    Tennis

    Seles advances in Dubai Open

    Monica Seles defeated Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday night in the second round of the Dubai Open in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    Seles, seeded fourth, was knocked out in the second round of the Qatar Open last week. She did not have any aces against Schiavone.

    Fifth-seeded Anastasia Myskina beat qualifier Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. Myskina, coming off a victory in last week's Qatar Open, had no trouble against the 16-year-old sister of ATP star Marat Safin.

    Also advancing were former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez, Patty Schnyder, Tamarine Tanasurgarn, Iroda Tulyaganova, Petra Mandula, Eleni Daniliidou and Anca Barna.

  • Tim Henman was beaten in his first match since shoulder surgery in November, losing to Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the ABN Amro tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • Ljubicic, who led the Croatia to victory over the United States earlier this month in the first round of the Davis Cup, will face Max Mirnyi in the second round.

    Top-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Richard Krajicek also advanced to the next round.

  • Former top-10 player and two-time Memphis champion Mark Philippoussis was ousted by Taylor Dent from the first round of the Kroger St. Jude tournament.
  • Philippoussis, slowed by a succession of knee injuries since 1999, was beaten 7-6 (15), 6-1, at The Racquet Club.

    Top-seeded Andy Roddick, an Australian Open semifinalist and the world's sixth-ranked player, and No. 2 seed Paradorn Srichaphan, one of the ATP Tour's fastest-rising players, had late matches Tuesday night.