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Alabama’s Cotton Withdraws From Classes, Loses Scholarship

From Staff and Wire Reports

Sophomore Schea Cotton, Alabama’s leading scorer, has withdrawn from classes and will not have his scholarship renewed, Coach Mark Gottfried said Tuesday.

Cotton’s plans were uncertain, Gottfried said in a statement.

Cotton said last week he was concerned about his father, James, who has prostate cancer.

He said then he was considering several options, including making himself available for the NBA draft.

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Cotton was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

Cotton, who turns 22 in May, averaged 15.5 points and 4.6 rebounds a game this season. He was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection by the Associated Press.

He signed with UCLA in 1997 and North Carolina State in 1998, but played last season at Long Beach City College because the NCAA invalidated his SAT scores.

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Injured center Loren Woods, his playing status still a mystery, will accompany No. 4 Arizona to Salt Lake City, where the top-seeded Wildcats begin NCAA tournament play against Jackson State.

Woods, out since Feb. 19 because of a compressed disk in his back, is considered doubtful for this weekend’s two games. Speculation ranges from Woods returning for the second weekend of the tournament to being out for the rest of the season.

Coach Lute Olson said Tuesday it looks doubtful that the 7-foot-1 post man will be able to play in the NCAA West subregional.

“We feel the chances are very slim, but until the door is slammed you keep hope,” Olson said. “I think everybody would like to get out of the position of not knowing.”

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As the NCAA works out last-minute logistics for the Final Four, at least one detail appears certain: Reporters from Internet sites won’t be reporting from the sideline.

Tournament organizers are denying media credentials to all Web reporters seeking access to the Division I men’s tournament.

“There’s just a finite amount of seats and space, and there’s no legitimate way to distinguish between legitimate and non-legitimate Web sites,” said Jim Marchiony, media director for the championship game, which will be held at the RCA Dome.

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Web sites affiliated with other media outlets, such as the TV networks, should be able to use information gathered by reporters from their partner companies, Marchiony said.

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Connecticut, No. 1 in the women’s rankings, is No. 1 in All-Americans as well.

Connecticut’s Shea Ralph and Svetlana Abrosimova became the third pair of teammates to make the first team in The Associated Press All-America selections.

Tennessee had the leading vote-getter for the third straight year, this time Tamika Catchings.

The versatile trio was joined on the first team by Georgia’s Kelly Miller, who finished second in the voting by a national media panel, and Notre Dame’s Ruth Riley.

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UCLA senior forward Maylana Martin was selected to the Pacific 10 Conference All-Academic women’s second team after compiling a 3.10 grade-point average in sociology.

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* WOMEN’S NCAA, NIT SCHEDULES, PAGE 9


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