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Weber Says He Is the Next Illinois Basketball Coach

From Staff and Wire Reports

Bruce Weber, who led Southern Illinois to NCAA tournament appearances the last two seasons, confirmed Tuesday night he will be the next men’s basketball coach at Illinois.

“Yes,” Weber responded when asked by a reporter if he was taking the Illinois job. He declined to say anything more as he closed the door to his home in rural Carbondale, Ill.

Weber, 46, told the Southern Illinois players of his decision Tuesday night.

Kent Brown, sports information director at Illinois, would neither confirm nor deny the hiring and said that no news conference had been scheduled.

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Weber will replace Bill Self, who left 10 days ago to become coach at Kansas.

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Jan van Breda Kolff, fired St. Bonaventure men’s basketball coach, began fighting to restore his reputation, accusing the school of having kept him in the dark about a player’s eligibility problems.

Speaking in New York, the former coach also insisted he had tried to dissuade his players from boycotting their final two games, a decision that brought widespread ridicule to the team and the school.

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Van Breda Kolff, who coached at Pepperdine before taking the St. Bonaventure job, held a similar gathering later in Buffalo, about 70 miles north of Olean, where St. Bonaventure is located.

Van Breda Kolff said St. Bonaventure had wrongfully fired him. He also said there were seven school officials above him who knew months earlier that center Jamil Terrell was academically ineligible, but that he didn’t find out until it was too late.

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Texas sophomore All-American point guard T.J. Ford plans to make himself available for the NBA draft, Houston TV station KRIV reported.

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Maryalyce Jeremiah signed a three-year contract to return as women’s basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton, where she coached from 1985-86 to 1991-92. She had been working at the school as a senior associate athletic director.

Jeremiah had a record of 112-93 at Fullerton and guided the Titans to the NCAA tournament in 1989 and 1991.

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Iowa State men’s basketball players went to the university president and athletic director, urging them to keep embattled Coach Larry Eustachy.

The players said Eustachy apologized by telephone for any embarrassment he had caused them from the publication of photographs in the Des Moines Register on Monday that show him partying with college students in Missouri.

Football

Georgia receiver Terrence Edwards signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons on Monday, after backing out of a deal he had agreed to with Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Whitney Lewis, a receiver and running back from Ventura St. Bonaventure High, has received a qualifying score on the Scholastic Assessment Test and will enroll at USC in the fall, his mother said.

Lewis signed a letter of intent with the Trojans and was considered one of the nation’s top recruits. However, he was one of several players who had not achieved qualifying scores on assessment tests.

University of Miami quarterback Derrick Crudup Jr. backpedaled from his allegation that race played a role in the decision to give Brock Berlin the starting job for next season.

Crudup, who is black, his father, Coach Larry Coker and quarterback coach Dan Werner issued a joint statement saying they had resolved the matter. The statement said Crudup plans to stay at Miami.

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Tennis

The Wimbledon prize money gap will continue at this year’s tournament, which runs from June 23 to July 6.

The men’s winner will receive $914,250 and the women’s champion will get $850,650. Lleyton Hewitt received $834,750 for winning the men’s title last year and Serena Williams earned $772,740 for winning the women’s title.

Total prize money for the grass-court tournament is going up 6.2% to $14.9 million. Overall prize money for both sexes is up 6.8% to $7.4 million for men, $6.3 million for women.

Jurisprudence

A son of Florida State football Coach Bobby Bowden pleaded guilty in Birmingham, Ala., to swindling $10 million from investors, including his father, in a scam that involved selling unregistered securities. Prosecutors will recommend probation for Steve Bowden.

Nine-time Olympic track gold medalist Carl Lewis was charged with misdemeanor drunk driving in connection with a crash on the Harbor Freeway on April 21. His arraignment was set for July 2 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

A policeman accused of interfering with the investigation of a shooting death in the New Jersey home of former NBA player Jayson Williams wants a judge to dismiss the charges.

Eric Allena was indicted in August on official misconduct and charges of tampering with witnesses in the shooting of Costas Christofi on Feb. 14, 2002.

Williams, 35, is accused of recklessly handling the shotgun that killed Christofi. He could face nearly 55 years in prison.

Miscellany

UCLA has received an at-large bid for the NCAA women’s water polo championships May 10-11 at UC San Diego. The Bruins will play Loyola Marymount in their first game.

The United States lost its third consecutive game in the hockey World Championships, this time to Russia, 3-2, at Turku, Finland. The U.S. did not win a game in its preliminary group and will play in the relegation round for the first time since 1998.

Passings

Samson Kitur, a bronze medalist for Kenya in the 400 meters at the 1992 Olympics, died Friday in Nairobi of an unspecified illness. He was 36.

T.J. Simers has the day off.


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