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Vecchione Cleared for Stopping Tyson Bout

From Staff and Wire Reports

Vinny Vecchione will get the $179,820 due him from Peter McNeeley’s 89-second fight with Mike Tyson, despite what a state boxing official called Vecchione’s “strange and unexpected” action that stopped the fight.

Nevada boxing commissioners agreed Monday to release Vecchione’s cut of McNeeley’s purse, saying they could find no evidence the trainer did anything illegal in jumping into the ring to stop the fight with McNeeley still on his feet and seemingly able to go on.

The commissioners decided against holding a formal hearing.

“There has not been one shred of any reliable or verifiable evidence at this time to substantiate any of the rumors,” said James Nave, the commission’s chairman. “The people who checked it out could give us no proof otherwise. We had to follow advice of our attorneys.”

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Commissioners, though, made it clear they were unhappy with Vecchione, and said he would not be able to work a corner in the state again without appearing before the commission to explain his actions.

Vecchione hailed the commission’s decision to release his money, saying again that he was simply trying to protect his fighter.

“I didn’t mean to get anybody mad or upset,” Vecchione said from his home in Braintree, Mass. “I made a decision and I went with it.”

Boxing regulators held up Vecchione’s purse immediately following the fight Aug. 19. McNeeley had been knocked down twice but still appeared willing to fight when Vecchione climbed into the ring.

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Vecchione said the fight would have ended soon enough anyway, given that Tyson had half a round remaining to get the third knockdown that would have forced an end to the bout.

Jurisprudence

The attorney for Laker forward Elden Campbell told a Simi Valley judge that his client intended to plead no contest to one count of drunken driving on Thursday.

Campbell, 27, had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge and his misdemeanor trial was scheduled to start Monday when attorney George Eskin told Municipal Judge Bruce A. Clark of Campbell’s change of heart.

Campbell was arrested July 7 after his 1994 Mercedes-Benz flipped while traveling east on California 118 at 75 m.p.h., police said. Neither Campbell nor his passenger was injured seriously.

College Sports

Walter Byers, the NCAA’s founding father, says the ruling body of college sports long ago lost the power to stamp out cheating.

“Our efforts, sincere though they might have been, were overrun by the pervasive influence of big money, national publicity and entertainment excitement,” Byers writes in a new book called “Unsportsmanlike Conduct--Exploiting College Athletes.”

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“Playing cops and robbers in the world of college athletics can be hazardous to your health. Too often, the cops are blamed for the persistent crime rate. I learned and relearned this lesson many times.”

Byers, who stepped down in 1987 after 36 years as the NCAA’s first executive director, shocked his old colleagues last year by declaring that the time had come to pay revenue-producing athletes.

Miscellany

Takayuki Shimizu drove in four runs, and two Japanese pitchers allowed only one hit as Japan trounced the United States, 15-0, in the baseball tournament at the World University Games in Fukuoka, Japan.

Florida State, which had a 53-13 record and finished fifth in the College World Series, is representing the United States.

Despite the defeat, the American team advanced with Japan to the tournament’s final four. Japan is 3-0 and the Americans 2-1.

Also at the World University Games, American swimmers won three races and broke two records, boosting the United States into a tie with Japan for the lead in gold medals with 15.

Tobie Smith cut 21 seconds off the games record in the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle, winning in 16 minutes 20.58 seconds. Teammate Julie Millis was second in 16:34.01.

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The Americans broke another games record in the women’s 400-meter medley relay, winning in 4:10.49. Japan was second in 4:11.55. Tom Wilkens of Stanford took the lead from Japan’s Jo Yoshimi on the third length--the breaststroke portion--and won the men’s 200 individual medley in 2:02.96, with Yoshimi second in 2:03.40. Jason Lancaster of Michigan, the 100 butterfly gold medalist, was third in 2:03.64 and--less than an hour later--took another bronze in the 200-meter backstroke.

Auto Racing

The new Indy Racing League will schedule its season over parts of two calendar years in order to end its championship competition annually with the Indianapolis 500.

The IRL, the creation of Speedway president Tony George, will make its debut Jan. 27 with the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The only other races during its inaugural season will be the Phoenix 200 on March 24 and the Indianapolis 500 on May 26.

The 1996-97 season will begin Aug. 18 with the New England 200 at Loudon, N.H. The only other race scheduled is the Las Vegas 200 on Sept. 15, 1996.

Hockey

Individual game tickets for King exhibition and regular-season games will go on sale Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Forum box office and Ticketmaster outlets. Random priority numbers will be distributed at the Forum only, beginning at 9 a.m., and fans will be permitted in the lot no earlier than 8. Each person may then purchase a maximum of six tickets per game.

Roller Hockey

The Eastern Conference champion Montreal Roadrunners will play the Western Conference champion San Jose Rhinos tonight at San Jose in the first game of the two-game Roller Hockey International championship series. The second game is Friday at Montreal. If the series is tied after that, a 12-minute mini-game will determine the champion.


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