Published: Saturday, January 15, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 10:39 p.m.

Connecticut coaches get contract extension

  • STORRS, Conn. - National championship coaches Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma agreed to contract extensions at Connecticut on Friday.
    Calhoun, who led the men to a second NCAA title last year, accepted a six-year deal worth $9.1 million. In his 19th year at UConn, Calhoun ranks eighth in career wins among active NCAA coaches with 689.
    Auriemma, in his 20th year with the women's program, signed on for five more years worth $4.85 million. He's led the Huskies to five NCAA titles, including the last three.
    Calhoun has amassed 441 wins at Connecticut, and his teams have a 32-9 record in the NCAA tournament.
    ''I am very happy that the university is allowing me the opportunity to do what I hope to do, and that is end my career here at UConn, whenever that time may be,'' Calhoun said.

    6-team WHA comeback planned for next fall

  • TORONTO - The World Hockey Association is planning a comeback, aiming to start a new pro league in the fall with at least six teams.
    The WHA, which operated from 1972-79, is being revived by businessman Ricky Smith. The organization said Smith and unidentified partners are ''in discussions with potential franchise owners.''
    Smith said he has been contacted by players during the NHL lockout, which began four months ago with no resolution in sight.
    ''This is a long-term proposition for all of us and the product needs to stand on its own two feet regardless of what happens with the NHL labor dispute,'' Smith said.
    Smith, who acquired rights to the league's name in October, said NHL great Bobby Hull is an adviser. Hull's jump from the NHL in the 1970s gave the original WHA credibility.

    Steinbrenner helps send school band to D.C.

  • TAMPA - New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner gave a high school marching band the financial boost it needed to get to next week's presidential inaugural parade, donating $37,000 to help with travel expenses.
    Steinbrenner, who lives in Tampa, offered the Gaither High School band the difference between what students and parents had raised and the estimated $90,000 they needed for the trip to Washington.
    Students have had trouble raising money since learning last month they will be the lone Florida representatives in the Jan. 20 parade. The band has five charter buses taking 165 student performers and instruments, as well as 70 chaperones.

    Miller loses ground in World Cup standings

  • WENGEN, Switzerland - American Bode Miller forgot the lessons he learned long ago, and it cost him.
    Skiing with uncharacteristic caution in the slalom leg of Friday's super-combined race, Miller ended up straddling a gate, a mistake that allowed main rival Benjamin Raich to cut into his lead in the overall standings.
    ''I took no risk,'' Miller said. ''I was skiing incredibly slow. It's a lesson I learned as a kid. You have to be happy with the way you are skiing, not just want to make it to the finish. You don't ski your best that way.''
    Raich posted the fastest time in the slalom leg, then maintained his lead in the downhill run to win in 2 minutes, 28.37 seconds, for his second World Cup win this season and 15th of his career. Miller straddled a double gate midway down his slalom run and didn't earn any points, leaving him at 988 in the overall standings, 198 ahead of Raich.
    ''The fact that I'm less than 200 points behind Bode doesn't mean it's easier for me now,'' said Raich, a technical specialist who seriously began competing in speed events only last season. ''Potentially, Bode can win in every race. But it doesn't matter. I won't give up and I'll fight until the end.''
    Miller's U.S. teammate, Daron Rahlves, will not compete in Saturday's downhill, the classic Lauberhorn race, the longest on the World Cup circuit. He is still in pain following Tuesday's crash in a giant slalom in Adelboden. Miller will race Saturday though ineligible for the super-combined title.

    Grizzlies' Mike Miller put on injured list

  • MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Grizzlies placed starting guard Mike Miller on the injured list Friday and activated guard Andre Emmett.
    Miller, a former Florida Gator, suffered a concussion at practice Thursday.
    Through 36 games, Miller is averaging 11.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
    Emmett was placed on the injured list Nov. 1 with a sore left knee and has not played in a game this season.
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