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He Owned the Old Track, So He’s Going to Buy a New One

The artificial track at Robertson Stadium, home of the University of Houston, was installed in 1979, shortly before the arrival of Carl Lewis.

Eleven years and six Olympic gold medals later, Lewis, who still trains at his alma mater, is donating a new track and other improvements to the facility as well as endowing an athletic scholarship in his name.

Said Tom Tellez, Houston coach: “The track wore out before Carl did. I happened to mention to Carl we’re going to have to raise money for a new track. He said, ‘I’ll take care of it.’ ”

Add track: Lewis would not reveal the specific amount of his donation, but the Associated Press reported it as “several hundred thousand dollars.”

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Said Lewis: “I don’t want to say how much that is because then people will think I’m rich.”

Trivia time: Carl and Carol Lewis have the best combined brother-sister long jump marks in history, with 28 feet 10 1/4 inches and 23 feet 1 1/4 inches, respectively, a total of 51-11 1/2. Which brother and sister are second on the list?

So there: USC doesn’t play Penn State until Sept. 15, but here’s an addendum to this week’s Sports Illustrated cover story on Trojan quarterback Todd Marinovich.

Jim Donoghue, who coached Penn State quarterback Tony Sacca at Delran (Pa.) High School, told Ray Parillo of the Philadelphia Inquirer: "(Penn State Coach) Joe Paterno said he wouldn’t trade Tony for Todd Marinovich any day of the week. And I agree. Tony’s a better athlete.”

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Mapping a career: Tuesday’s Morning Briefing included an item on Pete Najarian, who was cut Monday by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers--the ninth time he’d been cut in a three-year NFL career.

Dan McDonough, director of health promotion at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, once played with three teams in three leagues during the course of nine days.

In 1974, McDonough, a rookie free-agent linebacker from Missouri, signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, was cut and joined the Houston Texans of the World Football League. Three days after his first game with the Texans, the WFL went bankrupt. McDonough was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League, with whom he played for two years. His career ended in 1977 after two years with the British Columbia Lions.

Weighty decision: When Hurricane (W. Va.) High School opens its football season tonight against Nitro, Pat Ball will start at quarterback. On defense, Ball, 5-feet-5 and 135 pounds, will start at nose tackle.

Said Hurricane Coach Gary Eggleton, whose team has only 35 players: “I know it’s a bad situation. Usually you put your quarterback at safety and hope to protect him. But I felt we were so thin at that position, we had to go with him.”

Fightin’ words: World heavyweight champion Buster Douglas recently told Wallace Matthews of Newsday: “I got to get (George) Foreman before it’s too late. I can’t leave him out there too much longer. In the beginning, he was just, like, robotic. Now, George is looking good, putting punches together, throwing combinations. He’s not the brute no more. He’s a much looser character. I got to get him before he totally realizes he’s coming around. I got to nip this thing in the bud.”

Trivia answer: Al Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, with 25-6 3/4 and 24-5 1/2, respectively, for a total of 50-0 1/4.

Quotebook: Minnesota Viking Coach Jerry Burns, on his varied offense: “Damn, we run from about everything. We’ve got I backs, split backs, single backs, a four-wide receiver offense, a no-huddle offense. We’ve got everything but the damn single wing. And I might put that in.”

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