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Irvine Needn’t Fret, Carlesimo Didn’t Want Celtic Job, Either

They say it never hurts to ask even if the reply is embarrassing.

UC Irvine Athletic Director Tom Ford went through an intermediary to find out if Seton Hall Coach P.J. Carlesimo would be interested in the Irvine basketball coaching job, which was vacated when Bill Mulligan resigned.

“After I stopped laughing, I wanted to know if they (Irvine) were joining the Pac-10 or something,” said Seton Hall Athletic Director Larry Keating. “P.J. wouldn’t talk to Dave Gavitt and the Boston Celtics. Why is he going to talk to Irvine?”

Oh well, nothing ventured . . .

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Trivia question: What was UCLA’s NCAA tournament record under John Wooden from 1950 through 1963?

Short stuff: Chi Chi Rodriguez recalls that he was only 9 when he got a job as a caddie at a golf course in Puerto Rico.

“I was so small that I started as a tee marker,” Rodriguez joked. “If a guy had an unplayable lie, he’d drop me two club lengths. If you lost a ball, they’d kick you in the butt and fire you. I never lost one.”

Short cut: Arizona State Coach Bill Frieder, an admitted workaholic, complains that there are not enough hours in the day to devote to basketball.

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So, to save time, he recently got a haircut while holding his weekly news conference.

His barber needed only 15 minutes to get the job done and then Frieder responded by messing up the final combing. “I don’t like parts,” he said.

World class: Sprinter Merlene Ottey says people are often confused as to where she comes from. No wonder.

Ottey was born in Jamaica, went to college in Nebraska, trains in Italy and runs for a Spanish club.

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Add sprinters: USC freshmen Inger Miller and Melanna Gray have proper bloodlines. Miller is the daughter of Lennox Miller, a former NCAA 100-meter champion at USC, and Gray is the daughter of Mel Gray, a former all-pro wide receiver with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Timber!It was noted in this column that Oregon beat Ohio State, 46-33, for the first NCAA basketball championship in 1939.

The team was called the “Tall Firs” because of the unusual size of its front line at the time. Urgel (Slim) Wintermute was 6-feet-9 and John Dick and Laddie Gale were 6-5.

The championship game was played at Patten Gymnasium on the campus of Northwestern University and drew a “crowd” of 5,500. Crowds were even smaller for the regional games and the tournament had a deficit of $2,531.

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Trivia answer: 3-9. Four of those losses were in consolation games. Starting in 1964, Wooden’s Bruins won 10 NCAA titles in 12 years.

Quotebook: Donovan (Razor) Ruddock, who fights Mike Tyson Monday night, wasn’t worried about his image when he said: “If I’m for real, I’m for real. If I’m not, so what?”


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