Archive for Friday, July 9, 2004

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July 9, 2004

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Armstrong to skip Athens

Chartres, France -- Lance Armstrong is skipping the Athens Olympics, saying he needs to spend more time with his children.

Armstrong, at right above, is bidding for a record sixth straight Tour de France title, but had planned to ride for the United States next month at the Summer Games.

"I've thought a lot about this, and the answer is I shouldn't even say 'probably not.' I should say 'no,"' Armstrong said Thursday.

Armstrong was 13th in the road race at the 2000 Sydney Games and won a bronze medal in the time trial -- his first medal in three Olympics.

The Texan said he spent two months away from his children in the spring and another three months apart before the Tour de France, cycling's three-week showcase.

Armstrong has three children: Luke and twins Isabelle and Grace, with his former wife, Kristin. He finished 24th in Thursday's fifth stage and dropped to sixth overall -- 9 minutes, 35 seconds off Frenchman Thomas Voeckler's pace.

College basketball

Brand supports NABC

Indianapolis -- NCAA president Myles Brand will back a new proposal that would give college basketball players a fifth season of eligibility.

One day after the National Association of Basketball Coaches unanimously approved the measure, Brand responded by calling it an "outstanding package."

Coaches plan to submit a revised proposal to the NCAA, which must debate the measure and approve the recommendations, a process that likely will take at least a year.

Brand believes the extra year of eligibility will help place a greater emphasis on education and improve lagging graduation rates.

Another part of the package calls for coaches to meet regularly with players about their classwork and future plans. If the NCAA passes the plan, coaches also would be able to make more phone calls to recruits. Other measures in the proposal include more stringent penalties for schools committing secondary infractions and greater enforcement of NCAA rules.

WNBA

Dixon suffers concussion

Los Angeles Sparks guard Tamecka Dixon was held out of Wednesday's 73-71 WNBA victory over San Antonio after suffering a concussion five days earlier.

Dixon, a seventh-year pro out of Kansas University, collided with San Antonio's Margo Dydek during an 87-80 overtime victory Friday.

Dixon, a part-time starter for the two-time defending WNBA champions, is averaging 8.1 points and 3.1 assists per game.

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