Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Shorts

Article excerpt

Miami's Sapp, Stewart Join Others In NFL Draft

In the hours after the major bowl games, the first wave of undergraduates declaring for the National Football League draft included two of college football's major award winners.

Just after Colorado won the Fiesta Bowl on Monday, Heisman Trophy-winning running back Rashaan Salaam said he would forgo his final year of eligibility and make himself available for the pros.

And on Tuesday, Miami defensive tackle Warren Sapp, winner of the Lombardi award, also headed for the NFL. In a joint news conference with Sapp, running back James Stewart said he also will leave Miami for the draft. Sapp is expected to go in the first round, with Stewart projected in the second or third round.

They joined Florida wide receiver Jack Jackson, Pitt running back Curtis Martin and Texas wide receiver Lovell Pinkney, who also declared for the draft.

***** FOOTBALL NFL Penalizes New Franchise

The National Football League has fined the Carolina Panthers $150,000 and stripped them of two draft choices for talking to Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dom Capers about their head coaching job. In addition, the Steelers were fined $50,000 and a moratorium was placed on signing Capers.

"The Panthers and other clubs will be able to discuss employment with Capers after the Steelers play their final postseason game," the league said in a statement. "But no club will be permitted to sign Capers to a contract for a period of five days following the Steelers' final game."

The draft choices will be the 61st and 191st overall in April's college draft - the extra picks the Panthers get after the second and sixth rounds.

- The Green Bay Packers re-signed running back Darrell Thompson for the third time this season, this time to replace LeShon Johnson, who has a knee injury, for Sunday's playoff game against Dallas.

- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was continuing the five-year rollover contract of coach Barry Switzer. The deal is set up to roll over every year, meaning the contract now has five more years to run.

The Cowboys were 12-4 in their first regular season under Switzer, who replaced Jimmy Johnson.

- John Smith was hired as coach at Utah State to replace Charlie Weatherbie, who took the Navy coaching job last week. Smith, 45, had a 53-21 record in six years at Idaho, with two Big Sky Conference championships.

***** HOCKEY NHL Talks Go 8 1/2 Hours

A third successive day of low-level discussions in the National Hockey League lockout lasted for about 8 1/2 hours Tuesday. The discussions will resume today, league spokesman Arthur Pincus said.

The latest round of talks began Sunday in Chicago, where NHL vice presidents Jeffrey Pash and Brian Burke met with union representatives Bob Riley and John McCambridge.

Still on the sidelines were Commissioner Gary Bettman, who has said Jan. 16 is the latest the league could resume playing and complete a 50-game schedule, and union chief Bob Goodenow.

"There's nothing scheduled with Bob and Gary getting involved," union spokesman Steve McAllister said. …

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