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Nebraska’s Osborne Says No to Scouts

From Staff and Wire Reports

Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne has told the NFL he will not allow scouts on campus this season for a “combination of things,” including the drafting and release of former lineman Christian Peter by the New England Patriots.

“We will continue to make film available to the pro scouts as well as injury information and any other relevant information that goes into the professional draft,” Osborne said Tuesday in a statement.

But since most “personnel decisions” are based on film evaluations of players, Osborne said, the scouts will not be allowed to watch practice during two separate weeks, as they had before this season.

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has received a letter from Osborne outlining the ban and other issues, league spokesman Greg Aiello said. He could not speculate on what the response might be.

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The usually reserved Osborne was outspoken about the Patriots’ handling of Peter, a former team captain who helped Nebraska win two national titles.

“The manner in which the Christian Peter situation was handled was certainly a contributing factor, but we have been moving in this direction for some time because of a combination of things,” Osborne said.

Three days after drafting the tackle in the fifth round, the Patriots said Peter’s behavior--his criminal record and other allegations of criminal behavior--was not “acceptable conduct” and released their rights to him. The team singled out violence against women as a top concern.

Peter pleaded guilty in May 1994 to third-degree assault of a former Miss Nebraska. He served 18 months probation, which expired in January.

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Six weeks before the NFL draft, Peter was accused of grabbing a woman by the throat at a Kearney bar.

Peter, 6-foot-3 and 304 pounds, also is named, along with the university, in a federal sex discrimination suit filed by a woman who claims he raped her in 1991. The woman did not report the incident for two years.

The Patriots said they didn’t know the extent of Peter’s problems when they drafted him April 21. Peter, who lost an estimated salary of $2 million, said he kept no secrets from the team, which also had access to NFL evaluations and media reports.

Fred Taylor, a top running back for Florida who allegedly took part in a scheme to steal and sell textbooks, reportedly could be suspended for as many as four games, including the Gators’ showdown with Tennessee.

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The Florida Times-Union, citing an unidentified source, said Tuesday the student judicial affairs committee met last week and suspended him through September.

Hockey

The Kings signed free-agent left wing Brent Grieve to a one year contract. Grieve, 27, had been with the Chicago Blackhawks organization and was loaned to the Kings’ International Hockey League affiliate, the Phoenix Roadrunners, for the final 13 games of last season. His contract is a two-way agreement with the Kings and Roadrunners.

College Basketball

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Six basketball players, including Marcus Camby, are receiving payments to settle invasion-of-privacy complaints against the University of Massachusetts.

The settlement was announced jointly Tuesday by the university and a Washington, D.C., lawyer for the players. Massachusetts spokesperson Kay Scanlan and the player’s lawyer, Daniel Segal, refused to say how much money the players are receiving.

As part of the settlement, the university said it “regrets” the leaking of the players’ grades to the media.

The players’ complaints stem from newspaper reports in October 1994 that several players on the team were in academic trouble.

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Tennis

Thomas Muster, playing on a surface he loves but in a match he wanted no part of, lost in doubles at the $435,000 Generali Open in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

Not even a clay court and a home crowd was enough to inspire Muster, who teamed with Clemens Trimmel and lost to fellow Austrians Georg Blumauer and Gerald Mandl, 2-6, 7-6, (7-4), 7-6 (7-5).

Muster, the top-seeded singles player in this event, opens today against Emilio Sanchez of Spain.

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A written declaration by Steffi Graf’s father about his part in a tax evasion case won’t be enough to get him out of jail, a prosecutor says.

Mannheim prosecutor Peter Wechsung also said Tuesday that because of secrecy laws on tax information, he could not reveal details in the two-page document received by his office from Peter Graf.

Boxing

Madison Square Garden vice president John Cirillo said Tuesday the venue has improved its security after a riot marred the fight between Riddick Bowe and Andrew Golota, and vowed such an incident will never happen again.

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The riot on July 11 spilled from the ring to the stands, injuring 14 and raising many questions about the security measures employed by the Garden for boxing.

“We said at the time after the despicable incident that we were not going to allow a few thugs to jeopardize our commitment to boxing,” Cirillo said.

The Garden’s next event is Aug. 20 when Buster Mathis Jr. fights Lou Savarese in a nationally televised heavyweight bout.

The Garden’s most recent boxing event, in which Goleta was disqualified, ended in a riot in the main 20,000-seat arena. The Mathis Jr.-Savarese fight will be in the arena’s adjoining 5,100-seat theater.

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Southland

Andrea Gaston, a two-time California State Amateur champion, has been name associate head coach of USC’s women’s golf team.


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