From Staff and Wire Reports

Tom Hicks, who owns the Dallas Stars of the NHL, said he has agreed to buy the Texas Rangers from the group headed by Texas Gov. George W. Bush in a deal valued at $250 million.

If approved by other baseball owners, a process expected to take six to 12 months, the price would be the second-highest for a baseball team. Fox Sports, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., is awaiting approval on its purchase of the Dodgers from Peter O’Malley, a deal worth an estimated $311 million.


The Dodgers signed outfielder Thomas Howard, who batted .247 with three home runs and 22 RBIs in 107 games with Houston, to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. . . . Left-hander Omar Daal, acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the expansion draft Nov. 18, agreed to a one-year contract worth $575,000. . . . Junichi Iwasaki became the first Japanese player to join the Cincinnati Reds, agreeing to a minor league contract. Iwasaki, an 18-year-old left-hander, will report after he graduates from high school March 1. . . . Outfielder Glenallen Hill, who batted .261 in 128 games with San Francisco last season, has signed a minor league contract with Seattle. . . . Joe McIlvaine, fired as general manager of the New York Mets last summer, has been hired by the Minnesota Twins to serve as special assistant to General Manager Terry Ryan. . . . Four days after hitting a tree while speeding in his Ferrari, Toronto Blue Jay catcher Benito Santiago was released from a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after treatment for severe injuries. Santiago, 32, was admitted Sunday with a fractured back vertebra, blunt head trauma and cuts to his head and face.


College Football

Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, who helped lead Michigan to a share of the national championship, will announce Friday that he will forgo his senior season to turn pro, the Detroit News reported today.

Ahman Green wanted to leave Nebraska with a national title more than he wanted a Heisman campaign next fall, so the junior running back made himself available for the NFL draft.

Washington quarterback Brock Huard, a third-year sophomore, said he will remain for at least one more season with the Huskies. . . . Offensive tackle Mo Collins ended his career at Florida by announcing he would skip his senior season and make himself available for the NFL draft. . . . Texas running back Ricky Williams and Marshall receiver Randy Moss are expected to announce their decisions regarding the NFL draft today.

Michigan’s Lloyd Carr was selected Division I-A coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Assn. Also honored were Villanova’s Andy Talley for Division I-AA, Northern Colorado’s Joe Glenn for Division II and Mount Union’s Larry Kehres for Division III. . . . Lenny Rodriguez, defensive coordinator at junior college national champion Mt. San Antonio, has been named linebacker coach at New Mexico.


Monica Seles, a four-time winner of the Australian Open, withdrew from the season’s first Grand Slam event because of “personal reasons.” The Australian Open begins Jan. 19 in Melbourne.

Seles, who has struggled with injuries since returning to the tour in July 1995, also said she will pass up the warm-up tournament in Sydney, beginning on Monday. Seles’ father is seriously ill.


Tim Henman of Britain and Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia reached the quarterfinals of the $1-million Qatar Open at Doha in contrasting fashion. Henman defeated Frenchman Guillaume Raoux in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4; Ivanisevic had to rally to beat Switzerland’s Marc Rosset, 6-7 (7-4), 7-5, 7-5.

Andre Agassi lost the first set, 6-4, and was trailing, 3-2, in the second when rain forced suspension of his match against Armenia’s Sargis Sargsian at the Australian Men’s Hardcourt championships at Adelaide. After play resumed, Agassi recovered to win the second set, 6-3, then finished off Sargsian, 6-3, in the third.

In another match, French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil defeated Denmark’s Kenneth Carlsen, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.

In the Australian Women’s Hardcourt championships at Gold Coast, top-seeded Brenda Schultz-McCarthy of the Netherlands beat American Corina Morariu, 6-4, 6-2. Second-seeded Ruxandra Dragomir of Romania also advanced, beating Poland’s Magdalena Grzybowska, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter of Australia fought back from a 4-1 deficit in the third set to beat Carlos Moya as Australia defeated Spain, 2-1, in the Hopman Cup mixed-team tournament at Perth. In other another Hopman match, South Africa rallied to beat Germany, 2-1, in the second round as Wayne Ferreira and Amanda Coetzer defeated Tommy Haas and Anke Huber, 6-2, 6-2, in mixed doubles.


An Illinois deputy sheriff and his father pleaded not guilty to charges they paid Arizona State basketball players Stevin Smith and Isaac Burton to shave points in four 1994 games.


Joseph Mangiamele, 35, and his father Dominic Mangiamele, 61, entered their pleas in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

Jose Canseco pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge and was sentenced to one year of probation as part of a deal with prosecutors in Miami.

The 33-year-old free-agent outfielder was arrested in November and charged with misdemeanor battery for hitting his wife, Jessica, 24.

Ohio State freshman wide receiver Ken-Yon Rambo pleaded guilty to a charge of failure to disperse in Columbus and was fined the maximum $100.

Rambo had been charged with drug abuse, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after a fight outside a downtown restaurant Sept. 28.

Hines Ward, Georgia’s All-Southeastern Conference wide receiver, was arrested by university police at Tuesday night’s Georgia-Kentucky basketball game and charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass after he failed to follow an officer’s orders that he clear an area near a handicapped-seating section.



Iowa wrestling Coach Dan Gable will undergo surgery today to have his right hip replaced. Gable, who is on a one-year leave of absence from his coaching job, will have his hip replaced by Dr. Larry Marsh, who last January replaced Gable’s left hip.

UC San Diego announced that assistant athletic director Marilyn Hill will retire, effective Feb. 1.