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One More Hurdle for Nehemiah

One more roadblock remains for Renaldo Nehemiah and other professional football players trying to regain their track and field status, The Athletics Congress said in Indianapolis.

Ollan Cassell, executive director of TAC, the governing body for the sport in the United States, said that a three-man panel of the International Amateur Athletic Federation, the world sanctioning group for track and field, had turned over to the IAAF Council its conclusions on the matter of IAAF Rule 53(v).

The rule states that the IAAF Council can declare eligible an athlete who competes as a professional in one sport, providing that the practice of that sport is of no direct help for any track and field event.

The arbitration panel--Lauri Tarasti of Finland, Richard Ashenheim of Jamaica and A.B. Diouf of Senegal--concluded June 25 that football does not aid a track and field athlete.

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The arbitration’s findings will now go before the IAAF Council at its meetings in Athens, Greece, July 12-14.

Nehemiah, a wide receiver with the San Francisco 49ers, set a still-standing world record of 12.93 seconds in the 110-meter high hurdles in 1981. Later that year, he signed with the 49ers.

He was then declared ineligible for track, but in November 1982, TAC reinstated him for competition in the United States. The IAAF rejected that decision, however, and in 1983, it rejected another appeal for Nehemiah’s reinstatement.

Among former track and field standouts now in the NFL are Michael Carter, Willie Gault, Mark Duper, Ron Brown, Anthony Hancock, Lam Jones, James Lofton, Jeff Stover, Greg Bell, Dokie Williams, Mel Lattany, Perry Williams and Phil Epps.

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The Illinois House of Representatives rejected a measure that would have allowed the Chicago Cubs to play as many as 18 regular-season night games, as well as postseason contests, at Wrigley Field.

The measure is still alive, but supporters said if it’s not approved by tonight, it will die. After midnight Sunday, a bill needs extra votes to pass, and supporters acknowledge that they don’t have the votes.

Quarterback Doug Flutie will not play for the New Jersey Generals in their opening USFL playoff game against the Baltimore Stars Monday night, Coach Walt Michaels said.

Flutie has been sidelined since June 1 with a broken collarbone. Ron Reeves took over at quarterback and will start Monday night.

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Indiana University beat Japan, 72-59, to advance to the final today against the Soviet Union in the annual Kirin Cup basketball tournament at Tokyo.

The Soviets defeated the Netherlands, 129-58.

Indiana struggled as Steve Alford went 1 for 9 and five players fouled out. Leading, 51-46, with 7:48 left, the Hoosiers got a lift from sophomores Kreigh Smith, Joe Hillman and Brian Sloan, and pulled away to a comfortable lead.

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Kurt Brown, a power-hitting catcher from Glendora High School, has been signed by the Chicago White Sox and will report to their rookie team in Sarasota, Fla. Brown, a 6-2 200-pounder, was the White Sox’s No. 1 selection in the recent free agent draft.


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