Originally created 04/09/03

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Softball

Lady Pacers games get rescheduled

USC Aiken's doubleheader with No. 2 Georgia College & State University was postponed on Tuesday because of bad weather.

The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday. The Lady Pacers will play USC Spartanburg at 4 p.m. today at home.

WNBA

Stern says season is in jeopardy

NBA commissioner David Stern told WNBA players Tuesday that unless they settle their contract dispute by April 18, the 2003 season for the women's league will not be played.

"We want to get a deal and work with the players," said Stern, announcing at the same time that his league had voted an additional $12 million to subsidize its women's affiliate. "But if that's not to be, it's not to be. We'll know in the next 10 days if there will be a WNBA season."

Calls by The Associated Press to the NBA players' association, which represents the women as well as the men, were not immediately returned.

The contract with WNBA players expired Sept. 15 and negotiations have gone nowhere.

The WNBA rookie minimum salary is $30,000 and the veterans' minimum is $40,000 for the four-month season that begins with training camp in late April.

While the league says the average salary is $60,000, the union says it is closer to $46,000, excluding benefits. Top players reportedly earn a base salary of $79,500.

NBA

New Orleans a part of realignment

The New Orleans Hornets will move to the NBA's Western Conference by the 2004-05 season at the latest.

The league's owners approved the shift Tuesday, which will allow an expansion team in Charlotte to be in the Eastern Conference when it begins play in 2004. The Hornets left Charlotte after last season and moved to New Orleans.

Deputy commissioner Russ Granik said the Hornets have the option to switch to the West next season. The team will have to let the league know before the schedule is drawn up.

The Hornets' conference change will mean that two Western Conference teams will be east of the Mississippi - the Memphis Grizzlies and the Hornets, who play in an arena about a mile from the river.

TV

Title contest gets very low ratings

With attention on the war, NCAA tournament TV ratings were the lowest since CBS be-gan airing the event in 1982.

The championship game's numbers also were the worst for the network, with Syra-cuse's 81-78 victory over Kan-sas on Monday night getting a 12.6 preliminary national rat-ing.

That's 16 percent lower than the 15.0 final national rating in 2002.

Tennis

El Aynaoui starts defense of title

Younes El Aynaoui opened defense of his title at the Grand Prix Hassan II tourna-ment by beating Albert Montanes 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 Tuesday.

Three seeded players lost Tuesday. Second-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu was beaten by Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-2, 6-4, third-seeded Arnaud Clement fell to Fernando Meligeni 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 and fifth-seeded Olivier Rochus lost to qualifier Fed-erico Browne 7-6 (4), 6-3.