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Kentucky is No. 1; UCLA Ranked 4th

From Staff and Wire Reports

Kentucky was voted No. 1 in the preseason college basketball poll for the first time Monday, and defending national champion UCLA was ranked fourth, receiving two first-place votes.

Big conferences again dominated the top 25, with three Big East teams in the top six.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Nov. 16, 1995 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday November 16, 1995 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 7 Sports Desk 1 inches; 14 words Type of Material: Correction
Golf--The name of the late golf club designer, Stan Thompson, was misspelled in Tuesday’s editions.

The Wildcats, who reached the round of eight in last year’s NCAA tournament and have three starters back, got 34 first-place votes and 1,550 points in voting by sportswriters and broadcasters.

Kansas was only two points behind after receiving 24 No. 1 votes, followed by Villanova. Georgetown and Connecticut were raked fifth an sixth, respectively.

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Baseball

The Angels and Dodgers have expressed interest in Yankee free agent third baseman Randy Velarde, according to his agent, and he lists the teams among the four he would like to play for in 1996.

All-Star second baseman Craig Biggio became available to negotiate with other teams after declining a $20-million, four-year offer from the Houston Astros.

Randy Levine, new labor negotiator for the baseball owners, said he is putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive bargaining proposal that he hopes to present to the players’ union Wednesday or Thursday in New York.

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Despite the strike, baseball payrolls rose by nearly $24 million in 1995 to $923 million. But because more players were on the disabled list, the average salary declined by 5.5% to $1,089,621, according to figures distributed to general managers.

The New York Yankees had the highest payroll at $58.1 million, followed by Baltimore at $48.7 million. Cincinnati was third at $47.4 million, and the World Series champion Atlanta Braves were fourth at $46.4 million.

Jurisprudence

U.S. District Judge Lawrence McKenna allowed the jury in the insurance-fraud trial of boxing promoter Don King to begin deliberations after lawyers finished closing arguments.

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Tennis

Brenda Schultz-McCarthy and Gabriela Sabatini qualified for the eight-team doubles competition at the season-ending WTA Tour Championships in New York.

The duo defeated the French pair of Nathalie Tauziat and Julie Halard, 6-4, 6-4, in a unique qualifying match.

Auto Racing

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Finnish driver Mika Hakkinen was moved from the intensive care unit at Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia and doctors said he was making progress after suffering serious head injuries last week.

There were fears for Hakkinen’s life when he crashed during Friday’s qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix.

Miscellany

About 125 people, most from communities near Dodger Stadium, attended a public hearing in City Council Chambers that addressed an NFL stadium in Chavez Ravine as well as in other sites in the Los Angeles area. About 30 people from the Elysian Park area voiced opposition to a football stadium on Dodger Stadium property, saying the construction as well as the increased traffic would affect their lives considerably.

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Tommy Hawkins, the Dodgers’ vice president of communications, said the Dodgers will not proceed until they get results from a feasibility study, which is based in part on the reaction of surrounding communities and businesses.

Hawkins also said the Dodgers considered building a stadium only after Football L.A.--a group formed to bring professional football to Los Angeles--assured them the NFL found existing stadiums in the area unacceptable.

Names in the News

The Ice Dogs traded defenseman Steve Bancroft to the Chicago Wolves for defenseman Greg Smyth.

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The UCLA women’s basketball team signed four high school recruits, Maylana Martin of Perris, Melanie Pearson of Irvine Woodbridge, Carly Funicello of Mission Hills Alemany and Marie Philman of Huntington Beach Edison.

The UCLA men’s soccer team will play host to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday at 1.

Csaba Elthes, a five-time coach of the U.S. Olympic fencing team, died of a stroke at 83.

A memorial service will be held Thursday at Religious Science Church of the Desert in Palm Desert for golf club designer Stan Thomas, 83, who died at his home in Oceanside.

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