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Archive for Thursday, April 1, 2004

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April 1, 2004

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BASEBALL

Bush to visit Busch

St. Louis -- President Bush will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday when the St. Louis Cardinals open the season at Busch Stadium against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The president announced his plans Wednesday during remarks to members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"One of the traditions, of course, is for the president to throw out the opening pitch for baseball. I'm going to do so for the Cards," Bush said.

His audience laughed as Bush continued, "I was talking to Phil Niekro coming in. My arm is a little sore. I was getting suggestions on how to throw a knuckler."

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Hornung remarks 'insulting'

Detroit -- Football great Paul Hornung said in a radio interview that his alma mater, Notre Dame, needed to lower its academic standards to "get the black athlete."

"As far as Notre Dame is concerned, we're going to have to ease it up a little bit," Hornung told Detroit's WXYT-AM in an interview before the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame banquet Tuesday.

Notre Dame spokesman Matthew Storin called Hornung an illustrious alumnus, but objected to his comments.

"We strongly disagree with the thesis of his remarks," Storin said in a statement. "They are generally insensitive and specifically insulting to our past and current African-American student-athletes."

MEMORIAL

Rockne site dedicated

Matfield Green -- For years, travelers who stopped along the Kansas Turnpike were told only that coaching legend Knute Rockne and seven others died in a plane crash near here March 31, 1931. Now, they can get a deeper look into how Rockne lived -- and died.

Seventy-three years to the day after Rockne's death, his family members were among more than 100 people who gathered Wednesday to dedicate a new memorial at the turnpike's Matfield Green Service Area.

A bronze memorial plaque was dedicated in 1965, also at the service area. It was removed in 2003, when the area was renovated. The new memorial, located in the area's foyer, features photographs -- including a life-size cutout of Rockne in his Notre Dame uniform -- and excerpts from his speeches, both in print and on audio.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Lucas a Wooden candidate

Los Angeles -- Connecticut's Emeka Okafor, Duke's Chris Duhon and Oklahoma State's John Lucas are among 10 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award as the nation's top college basketball player.

The five finalists will be announced this weekend, with the winner determined in voting by more than 1,000 members of the media and college basketball experts.

The other candidates announced Wednesday: Josh Childress of Stanford, Andre Emmett of Texas Tech, Ryan Gomes of Providence, Devin Harris of Wisconsin, Jameer Nelson of Saint Joseph's, Lawrence Roberts of Mississippi State and Blake Stepp of Gonzaga.

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