Published: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 12:02 a.m.

Texas' Tucker academically ineligible

  • AUSTIN - Sophomore forward P.J. Tucker, the leading scorer and rebounder for No. 15 Texas, is academically ineligible and will miss the rest of the season, the school announced Thursday.
    Tucker, averaging 13.7 points and eight rebounds a game, will stay in school and be allowed to practice but is not eligible for competition.
    Texas (14-3) plays at No. 18 Oklahoma (14-2) on Saturday.
    ''I'm really disappointed that I'm going to have to miss the remainder of the season,'' Tucker said. ''I feel like I've let a lot of people down, including myself. I'll spend the spring and summer focusing on my academics so that I can return to the team next fall.''
    A team spokesman also said starting freshman center LaMarcus Aldridge remains out indefinitely with a hip injury. He missed Texas' win over No. 5 Oklahoma State on Monday night.
    University officials have refused to comment on details of Tucker's academic problems, citing federal privacy laws that protect student records. Tucker acknowledged that he did not earn enough credit hours to stay eligible.
    NCAA rules require a player to pass six credit hours of course work in the first semester. Texas' spring semester started Tuesday.
    ''I feel for P.J. right now,'' Texas coach Rick Barnes said. ''We hope he can learn a huge lesson from this and come back as a stronger and more mature person. There's no question that his loss will affect our team.
    ''He feels responsible for it. A prized possession has been taken away from him,'' Barnes said.

    French police probe Armstrong allegations

  • ANNECY, France - French authorities have opened a preliminary inquiry into doping allegations made against six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in a book published last summer.
    Judicial officials confirmed the probe Thursday but declined to give details, describing the case as confidential.
    Philippe Trouyet, commissioner of the judicial police in Annecy, said Thursday that the investigation had been compromised by revelations in the media, and added that it would likely soon be dropped.
    Prosecutor Philippe Drouet was not available for comment. Calls Thursday by The Associated Press to Armstrong's press officer, Jogi Muller, were not immediately returned.
    The investigation centers on a magistrate's interview with Armstrong's former British assistant, Emma O'Reilly.
    Shortly before last year's Tour de France, O'Reilly made allegations in a book ''LA Confidential, The Secrets of Lance Armstrong.'' She claimed that Armstrong sent her on long road trips to pick up pills and dispose of used syringes.
    According to Thursday's edition of Le Parisien newspaper, O'Reilly flew in from Liverpool, England, in July to confirm to French magistrates what she'd told authors David Walsh and Pierre Ballester in the book.
    Le Parisien also said narcotics police questioned O'Reilly and other witnesses close to Armstrong.
    Armstrong is suing Walsh and Ballester for defamation and is asking $2.6 million in damages.

    Teen dies during preseason workouts

  • TAMPA - A 17-year-old high school baseball player collapsed and died after completing a mile run while preparing for the season, authorities said.
    Matthew Miulli, a junior at Alonso High School, collapsed Wednesday during preseason workouts and was rushed to Town and Country Hospital, where he died, said Mark Hart, Hillsborough County school district spokesman.
    ''The players had just completed a mile run on a track in the football stadium,'' Hart said. ''He sat down on the bleacher seats and said he could not participate in the drill anymore, and collapsed.''
    The cause of death was not known, said Debbie Carter, spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. She said Miulli had a ''pre-existing medical condition,'' which may have contributed to his death.
    Hospital administrator Karyn Lorenzetti said Miulli had been without a pulse for some time when he arrived.
    About 100 student-athletes were practicing sports when Miulli collapsed, and roughly 30 of them followed the ambulance to the hospital. Grief counselors were set to visit the school Thursday.
    Coach Landy Faedo, who had performed CPR to try to save Miulli, remained at the school and met with his team. He did not want to comment.
    ''He's doing his best to tend to his players,'' Hart said.
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