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COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : ACROSS THE NATION : Texas El Paso Drops to 1-6, Fires Coach

<i> Associated Press</i>

David Lee, his team coming off a fifth straight loss, was fired Sunday as coach at Texas El Paso and replaced by defensive coordinator Charlie Bailey.

The Miners dropped to 1-6 after a 45-29 defeat Saturday night by Utah. Their record last year was 1-10.

“It was a very difficult decision, the most difficult decision I’ve made since I’ve been at UTEP,” Athletic Director John Thompson said.

Thompson said Lee will be assigned to another job in the athletic department, but Lee has given no indication if he’ll accept. Lee has about 2 1/2 years left on his contract, which the school would have to buy out if he refuses the new assignment.

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Lee could not be reached for comment Sunday night.

Lee had a record of 11-41-1 in five seasons at UTEP, his best year coming in 1991 at 4-7-1.

Bailey’s contract will run for three years beyond this season at about $100,000 a year.

He had a 12-20-2 record in three seasons as head coach at Memphis State. His best year was 1988, his last at the school, when the Tigers finished 6-5.

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He was suspended by the NCAA after that season for not cooperating during an investigation into alleged improprieties at the school.

Two years ago, Bailey joined UTEP as defensive coordinator, but left for the Orlando Thunder of the now-defunct World League. He returned to coach the defense this season.

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Freshman Ron Powlus, bidding to start at quarterback for Notre Dame before breaking his right collarbone in a preseason scrimmage Aug. 28, refractured his collarbone while throwing in practice Sunday and will be out for the season.

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He had been cleared to resume non-contact workouts.

X-rays at St. Joseph’s Medical Center indicated the break occurred in the exact same place as the original injury. No surgery will be required.

Powlus of Berwick, Pa., could be redshirted, making him eligible to play the next four seasons.

Senior quarterback Kevin McDougal has led the Irish (7-0) to a No. 2 ranking. Junior quarterback Paul Failla has played in each game.

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Stanford Coach Bill Walsh said his team was going to settle for a 24-24 tie with Arizona when quarterback Steve Stenstrom fumbled in the final minute, allowing kicker Steve McLaughlin to kick a game-winning field goal for Arizona as time ran out late Saturday night.

Stenstrom said he was supposed to roll out, look for a primary receiver, then run if nobody was open. But reserve defensive end Akil Jackson separated the ball from Stenstrom and cornerback Spencer Wray recovered at the Stanford seven with 40 seconds remaining. It was the Cardinal’s seventh turnover of the game and Stenstrom second lost fumble.

Walsh said the play had been designed as a run, with Stenstrom to go outside and pick up what he could.

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“We were going for the tie,” Walsh said. “He didn’t expect the pressure to get there that fast and didn’t protect the ball.”

Stanford was pinned deep in its own territory with 1:04 left after McLaughlin, also the team’s punter, rolled out right and punted rugby-style 55 yards.

Moments later came his 27-yard, game-winning field goal.


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