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USC reviews recruiting practice


A common recruiting tool used by Southern California's top-ranked football program is under review by the school for possible NCAA violations, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The investigation centers on visits by USC recruits to Papadakis Taverna, a Greek restaurant in San Pedro, Calif., owned by former USC linebacker John Papadakis. Papadakis is a central part of the restaurant's standard entertainment, which includes Greek belly dancers, traditional Greek dances, and the customary breaking of plates. Athletic prospects, the stories reveal, are subject to impassioned speeches by Papadakis, who as a former player is considered a ''representative of athletics interests" by the NCAA and is prohibited from speaking to recruits about the Trojans. The eatery is 25 miles from the USC campus and prices for entrees are as high as $59.95. The combination of distance and expense appear to go beyond the NCAA stipulation that a recruit's meals should reflect those comparable to normal college life. Tim Tessalone, USC sports information director, said the Trojans' compliance department was informed last Tuesday of the possible violations.


Cowboys' Glenn cited by police

Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn was cited for public intoxication late Friday, according to Dallas Police. An off-duty officer caught Glenn urinating behind a fast-food restaurant, officer Jamie Kimbrough said. Glenn was handcuffed but not taken to jail because he was with a sober adult, which is standard procedure, Kimbrough said. The former Patriot leads Cowboys receivers with 1,092 yards and seven touchdowns.


Stars will host stars in 2007 revival

The NHL has awarded the 2007 All-Star Game to the Dallas Stars. The date of the game, which will be played at American Airlines Center, will be announced Jan. 23. The league hasn't held an All-Star Game since 2004. The 2005 game was wiped out by the league's lockout, and this season's game was dropped so players can participate in the Winter Olympics . . . New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro, who sprained his left knee during Friday night's 4-3 loss at Ottawa, is listed as day-to-day . . . Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Craig Ramsay, 54, is scheduled for prostate surgery Friday in Tampa and will be away from the team for at least two weeks.


A record long track skate for Hedrick

Chad Hedrick punctuated the final day of the US long track championships by setting a world record in the 10,000 meters at Kearns, Utah. His time of 12 minutes 55.11 seconds bettered the old mark by nearly three seconds. Earlier in the week, Hedrick had predicted he would lower the record of 12:57.92 set by Carl Verheijen of the Netherlands at a World Cup meet in December. Hedrick has qualified for the Olympics in the 1,000, 1,500, 5,000, and 10,000. He also is expected to compete in team pursuit, a new event. Joey Cheek won the men's 1,000 in 1:07.29 -- 26-hundredths of a second off Shani Davis's world record. Jennifer Rodriguez won the women's 1,000 in 1:14.42. Three-time Olympic medalist Chris Witty was second at 1:16.17.

Skeleton coach placed on leave

With less than a week until the US skeleton team begins its final round of preparations for the Turin Olympics, national coach Tim Nardiello was placed on administrative leave amid allegations that he has sexually harassed at least two female sliders. The decision on whether Nardiello will coach the team rests with a three-person grievance committee formed by the US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. The committee will open its hearing tomorrow, and could make a recommendation by week's end. Olympic gold medalist Tristan Gale and longtime slider Felicia Canfield claim Nardiello has made sexual advances and explicit comments toward female racers during his tenure as coach. Nardiello did not return calls seeking comment. Reigning World Cup overall champion Noelle Pikus-Pace, said she was outraged by the allegations and the suspension. ''These people cannot make the team, so they are trying to destroy this man's life," Pikus-Pace told the Associated Press. ''I want him there more than anything because he's gotten me to where I am." . . . Ice dancing champion Tanith Belbin can celebrate the new year as an American. Belbin was sworn in at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Detroit, one day after President Bush signed an appropriations bill speeding up the naturalization process. Belbin is eligible to participate in the Olympics, where she and partner Ben Agosto will be favorites to win the United States' first ice dance medal since 1986. Born in Canada, the 21-year-old has lived in the Detroit area since 1998 . . . Vincent Vittoz of France and Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic won World Cup cross-country skiing races in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Vittoz finished the men's 15-kilometer event in 38:03.0 seconds. Neumannova, who earned her 15th career World Cup victory, finished in 27:57.1.


Canada upends US juniors

Cam Barker, Dustin Boyd, and Kyle Chipchura scored goals to help Canada secure a bye into the semifinals with a 3-2 victory over the United States in the World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver. Canada (4-0) needed only a tie in the final round-robin game to win Group A. The Americans, who finished second in the group, advance to the playoff round. The US (2-1-1) pulled goalie Cory Schneider with less than a minute to go in an attempt to score the winner, but Chipchura scored into an empty net with 33 seconds left. Chris Bourque had a power-play goal for the Americans in the first period . . . England striker Michael Owen will be sidelined up to 10 weeks after breaking his foot while playing for Newcastle at Tottenham . . . Harry ''Flash" Clarke, a halfback on the Chicago Bears' 1940, '41, and '43 championship teams, has died. He was 89 and had Alzheimer's disease. He died yesterday at a nursing home in Morgantown, W.Va., his son, Scott Clarke, said. Clarke scored two touchdowns in the 1940 championship game as the Bears romped past the Washington Redskins, 73-0.

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