Originally created 05/05/04

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College Basketball

Ex-Utah coach joins ESPN as analyst

Former Utah coach Rick Majerus is joining ESPN as a college basketball analyst.

Majerus led the Utes for 15 seasons before leaving them in January because of heart problems.

His Utah teams made 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament, including an appearance in the 1998 national championship game.

Majerus, vacationing in Hawaii, said in a conference call Tuesday that he feels good and wanted to take the network job to stay close to the sport.

Pro Football

St. Louis, Bulger agree on new deal

Marc Bulger on Tuesday agreed to a four-year contract with the St. Louis Rams - a deal that could affect whether two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner will be released in June.

The Rams did not disclose terms of the deal with Bulger, who coach Mike Martz has said would enter the preseason as the team's starting quarterback.

l Neil O'Donnell won't be joining the New York Giants as a backup to top draft pick Eli Manning.

O'Donnell, a 14-year veteran who once started for the Jets, plans to retire rather than play another season. The Giants are seeking a veteran to help mentor Manning this year after they cut incumbent quarterback Kerry Collins, and O'Donnell was their first choice.

Tennis

Roddick suffers first-round upset

Andy Roddick's visit to Rome was a rough one, starting with a fire in his hotel and ending with a first-round upset in the Italian Open.

"It's tough to put it out of your mind. You know it's going to creep in," Roddick said after losing to Guillermo Canas in straight sets Tuesday.

The U.S. Open champion was beaten 7-6 (7), 6-1, wasting three set points in the tiebreaker, then putting up little resistance in the second set.

In contrast, top-ranked Roger Federer kept focused and eliminated Jonas Bjorkman 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Also advancing were last year's Italian champion, unseeded Felix Mantilla, No. 8 Nicolas Massu, No. 12 Jiri Novak, and No. 14 Martin Verkerk.

l In Berlin, Jennifer Capriati breezed into the third round of the German Open by beating wild-card entry Julia Schruff 6-3, 6-1.

Other seeded players winning included No. 5 Nadia Petrova, No. 9 Vera Zvonareva, No. 10 Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 13 Patty Schnyder.

But Meghann Shaugnessy knocked off No. 15 Jelena Dokic, 6-0, 6-3.

Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters and Amelie Mauresmo won't be in action until today.

l The United States defeated Russia 3-0 on Tuesday in round robin play at the Italia Cup in Turkey.

Augusta native Pete Peterson teamed up with Scott Shogreen to win their doubles match in the men's 35 international team tennis competition.

Golf

USC Aiken on top in Division II regional

Kris Shepherd of Evans fired 2-under-par 70 to shoot to the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the Division II Southeast Regional on Monday at Wilson Country Club in Wilson, N.C.

A Kennesaw State sophomore, Shepherd leads Columbus State's Wes Ker-Fox by a shot entering today's final round.

Scott Brown, James McGhee and Clint Smith each shot even-par as USC Aiken shot a team-best 1-over-par 289. The Pacers lead Kennesaw State by three and Armstrong Atlantic State by six.

l Clemson coach Larry Penley, whose men's golf team won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in April, was named the league's coach of the year Tuesday for the sixth time.

Penley also won the honor in 1987, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2003. The ACC championship victory was the team's second straight and eighth under Penley.

Also, Clemson golfers Gregg Jones, Matt Hendrix of Aiken, and Jack Ferguson were named to the ACC's all conference team.