Tennessee’s Manning Wins Sullivan as Top Amateur

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Peyton Manning failed to win the Heisman Trophy, but won the Sullivan Award.

The Tennessee quarterback Wednesday became only the fourth football player in 68 years honored as the nation’s top amateur athlete.

The announcement in Orlando, Fla., by the Amateur Athletic Union confirmed reports he had won.

The other football players to win the Sullivan were Florida State’s Charlie Ward (1993) and Army’s Arnold Tucker (1946) and Doc Blanchard (1945).

Manning will accept the Sullivan Award on Feb. 25 during halftime of the Tennessee-Florida basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn.


Kelly Skipper, a former Fresno State assistant coach, was hired by UCLA as running backs coach, Coach Bob Toledo announced. Skipper has spent the last seven years coaching running backs and return specialists for the Bulldogs. He replaces Skip Peete, who resigned to become running backs coach of the Oakland Raiders.


Rob Johnson, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ backup quarterback from USC, is expected to be traded to the Buffalo Bills before the weekend.

Sources told the Associated Press the Bills are willing to surrender their first- and fourth-round picks in the upcoming draft for Johnson, whose value rose considerably after he played well in place of injured Mark Brunell last season. Johnson was a fourth-round pick in 1995.


Continuing a long standoff, the Washington Redskins once again designated defensive lineman Sean Gilbert as their franchise player.

The team exercised its option on Gilbert, who sat out all last season after he and the Redskins were unable to agree on a contract, two days before he would have become an unrestricted free agent.

Others designated as franchise players were cornerback Ryan McNeil of St. Louis, and defensive lineman Dan Wilkinson of Cincinnati.


Defensive tackle Eric Swann agreed to a five-year, $25-million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, making him one of the highest-paid linemen in the NFL. . . . Kippy Brown, the Miami Dolphins’ running backs coach the last two seasons, has been promoted to offensive coordinator.


With both players late in arriving and having little time to practice, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Goran Ivanisevic made quick exits from the $1-million Dubai Open in the United Arab Emirates. Kafelnikov, seeded third, lost 6-2, 6-1 to Hicham Arazi. Ivanisevic, seeded eighth, was beaten by Carlos Moya, 6-3, 6-3.

Andre Agassi, ranked No. 71, defeated 12th-ranked and third-seeded Gustavo Kuerten 6-3, 6-1 in a second-round match of the Sybase Open at San Jose. Also, Vince Spadea upset fourth-seeded Mark Philippoussis of Australia, 6-4, 6-3 in the first-round.


The Dodgers reached agreements on contracts for the upcoming season with infielders Juan Castro and Tripp Cromer and catchers Henry Blanco and Angel Pena, according to Dodger executives.

Moving the Minnesota Twins out of state might be illegal, Minnesota Atty. Gen. Hubert Humphrey III says in court papers that could be a blueprint for an antitrust lawsuit against baseball.

Humphrey says the Twins might have violated state and federal antitrust laws.

On Tuesday, Humphrey also filed papers in U.S. District Court asking that three federal lawsuits filed last month by baseball executives to block Humphrey’s investigation be consolidated and moved to state court.

Reliever Ricky Bottalico got a five-fold salary increase from the Philadelphia Phillies, agreeing to a one-year, $2.2-million contract.


Doug MacLean, fired earlier this season as coach of the Florida Panthers, was hired as general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets, an NHL expansion team in Columbus, Ohio, that is scheduled to begin play in 2000.

Utah State running back Demario Brown has been sentenced to two years’ probation for assaulting another student in Logan, Utah, last summer. First District Judge Burton Harris ordered Brown to either maintain full-time employment or stay in school for the duration of the probation, and he must also have no contact with Rod Kuhnhenn, the victim.

Nwankwo Kanu, the Nigerian whose promising soccer career was threatened by congenital heart disease, made his Italian League debut at Florence, Italy, for Internazionale of Milan.

Pat Knight, son of Indiana Coach Bob Knight, has been hired as coach of the Columbus Cagerz, who begin play in the United States Basketball League this summer.