Ward Signs Five-Year Deal With Knicks

From Staff and Wire Reports

Charlie Ward, not taken in the NFL draft despite winning the Heisman Trophy and a national championship at Florida State, signed a five-year guaranteed contract with the New York Knicks, who took him in the first round of the NBA draft.

"It's all a business, and if they didn't want me to be here, they wouldn't have signed me," Ward said, referring to the fact that the Knicks have three other point guards.

Ward joins Greg Anthony, Doc Rivers and Derek Harper in vying for time as the Knicks' point guard.

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Bobby Hurley testified in Sacramento County Superior Court that he remembers only "bits and pieces" of the collision that almost killed him last December. Hurley, the first-round draft choice of the Sacramento Kings last year, blamed the other motorist for the crash. Hurley said he saw no traffic when he pulled onto a dark road near Arco Arena after a basketball game last Dec. 12.

Daniel Wieland's station wagon was traveling at about 55 m.p.h. when Hurley's four-wheel drive vehicle turned into Wieland's path, attorneys said.

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Mark Eaton, the 7-4 center of the Utah Jazz who has been struggling with a degenerative back ailment, announced his retirement, ending an 11-year NBA career. . . . Jalen Rose, a first-round pick of the Denver Nuggets, is expected to sign after taking a physical. The former Michigan star said he agreed in principle to a six-year, $10.2-million contract. . . . The Philadelphia 76ers have hired World B. Free as strength and conditioning coach.

Baseball

Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter was hospitalized in serious but stable condition in Durham, N.C. Slaughter, 78, was admitted to Duke University Medical Center Tuesday evening. "I know he is on a stroke unit, but I can't say definitively that he had a stroke," a hospital spokeswoman said.

Slaughter, an outfielder, spent most of his 19-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He had a .300 average with 169 home runs.

Vince Piazza, father of Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, and another businessmen who sued baseball after being forced out of a group trying to buy the San Francisco Giants, settled the case out of court. The settlement was not announced but sources said it was about $10 million.

Dodger second baseman Delino DeShields had surgery to remove a bone spur from his left foot. . . . Manager Davey Johnson, who made the Cincinnati Reds a winner again but couldn't win favor with owner Marge Schott, has been given permission to speak to the Baltimore Orioles about their managing vacancy.

Soccer

Major League Soccer, a U.S. league that hopes to make its debut in April, will probably have to proceed without the American Professional Soccer League. "Our ownership is not interested in any single-entity proposition," APSL Commissioner Richard Groff said. MLS chairman Alan Rothenberg sent a memo to Groff last week suggesting the APSL be part of the MLS venture. Groff said he expects the APSL owners to respond no later than Monday.

Defending champion AC Milan, hoping to tie Real Madrid's record of six Champions Cup triumphs, rebounded from its upset loss to Ajax Amsterdam by overpowering Casino Salzburg, 3-0.

Miscellany

A woman who was hit in the nose by a hockey puck at a game five years ago is suing Pittsburgh Penguin star Mario Lemieux and the Penguins for unspecified damages. Witnesses described seeing the puck Lemieux hit during a timeout soar over the plexiglass wall and strike Patricia Ward, 33, of Swissvale, Pa., as she was watching the Penguins play the New York Rangers on Jan. 14, 1989.

The NCAA Presidents Commission, hoping to avoid a second showdown with the Black Coaches Assn., voted to let schools in some cases choose between their own freshmen eligibility requirements and the NCAA's.

Given full authority to set their own test score standards, schools could, in theory, do away with those requirements altogether for a few athletes who don't qualify to compete as freshmen. They still couldn't compete, but they could get scholarship aid and practice.

Names in the News

Race car driver Page Jones of Torrance remained unconscious for the third day since suffering a skull fracture in a racing accident last Sunday in Ohio. However, doctors at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, where Jones is in the intensive care unit, said that he does not have a broken shoulder or collarbone, as reported earlier.

Goalie Dominik Hasek agreed to a three-year, $8-million contract with the Buffalo Sabres. . . . Ken Turner, an Ohio State assistant basketball coach who suffered a heart attack while jogging last week, died. He was 48.

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