Utah Jazz Re-signs Griffith To A Long-term Contract

Posted: August 12, 1986

Free-agent guard Darrell Griffith, who missed last season with a stress fracture in his foot, yesterday signed a long-term contract that will keep him with the Utah Jazz of the NBA.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, although Griffith said the figure ''has a lot of doughnuts at the end."

There had been speculation last week that the 76ers were pursuing Griffith, 28, after the Jazz attempted to sign Julius Erving, who also is a free agent.

However, Sixers general manager John Nash said the team never "seriously" pursued Griffith because it was more interested in Los Angeles Clippers free- agent guard Derek Smith, who later signed an offer sheet with the Sacramento Kings.

Griffith, a former NBA Rookie of the Year, missed last season after injuring his left foot during a pickup game in his home town of Louisville, Ky., just before Utah opened its exhibition season.

Griffith was an unsigned free agent when he went down with the injury. Team officials said then that they had been close to signing the 6-foot-4 guard, who averaged 21 points per game in his first five NBA seasons, all with Utah.

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A member of the grand jury that has investigated the death of Maryland basketball star Len Bias said yesterday that "the team as a whole looks pretty clean" in terms of drug use.

The juror, who asked not to be identified, said that reports of drug use by University of Maryland athletes had been blown out of proportion. The comments came after the grand jury spent the entire day listening to testimony from six of Bias' teammates.

Arthur A. Marshall Jr., the Prince George's County prosecutor handling the Bias case, said earlier that he would ask the grand jury to probe reports of

drug use by athletes as well as the poor academic performance of some members of the Maryland football and basketball teams.

Center James Bailey, who played the last two seasons with the New York Knicks, was signed by the New Jersey Nets to an undisclosed contract yesterday.

HOCKEY

New York Rangers defenseman Barry Beck will issue a statement today calling for the NHL team to trade him, according to a published report.

The New York Times reported that an unidentified source close to Beck told them the Rangers' captain would ask for a trade because of differences with coach Ted Sator and his staff. Beck, 29, missed 55 games last season because of a recurring injury to his left shoulder.

HORSE RACING

A strained ligament in the left foreleg has sidelined John Henry and could force the legendary horse back into retirement, according to a spokesman for Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, Calif.

John Henry, attempting a comeback at age 11, has won $6.5 million in his career, more than any other horse. The horse was placed in retirement after his final race in October 1984 but began training for a comeback this year.

TRACK AND FIELD

Olympic champion Edwin Moses of the United States effortlessly won his 115th straight 400-meter hurdles race in a Grand Prix meet in Budapest, Hungary.

Moses beat a strong international field in 47.76 seconds, his second-best time of 1986. Earlier this year, he was clocked in 47.66. Moses, who set the world mark of 47.02 in 1983, began his winning streak Aug. 26, 1977.

Hristo Markov of Bulgaria broke the European record in the triple jump with a leap of 58 feet, 4 3/4 inches, the best in the world this year. The meet, the 11th in the 16-date Grand Prix series, was hit by withdrawals, including Briton Steve Cram, Americans Carl Lewis and Evelyn Ashford and Canadian Ben Johnson.

TENNIS

John McEnroe and Peter Fleming, playing together again for the first time in a year, won the doubles title at the $315,000 Volvo International in Stratton Mountain, Vt. McEnroe and Fleming defeated Paul Annacone and South Africa's Christo Van Rensburg, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, to complete the rain-plagued tournament.

Italians Simone Colombo and Claudio Panatta downed Argentine opponents with little trouble to advance to the second round of a $100,000 Grand Prix tournament in St. Vincent, Italy.

Panatta, the No. 7 seed, came back after an hour-long rain interruption to string together four straight games for a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Franco Davin. Colombo, the No. 8 seed, blitzed Jesus Colas, 6-0, 6-0, on the clay court at the Saint Vincent hotel-casino complex.

Top-seeded Greg Failla, a University of California sophomore, began his quest for the boys' International Grass Court Championship of the United States Tennis Association with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Gunnar Salumaa of Huntington, N.Y., at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.

Failla, beaten in a fifth-set 7-5 tie-breaker at the U.S. Junior Hard Court final, surmounted strong opposition in winning the first set from 5-4 after Salumaa had narrowed a 5-2 gap. The 50-minute match ended with Failla making a five-game run from 1-all in the second set. It was Failla's first experience with a grass surface.

Second-seeded Francisco Montana, a Wimbledon junior quarterfinalist from Miami, won nine straight games from 3-4 for a 6-4, 6-0 triumph over John Connolly of Saratoga, Calif.

Top-seeded Cinda Gurney of Palos Verdes, Calif., was compelled to withdraw

from the girls' championship because of blistered feet and a lame shoulder sustained in last week's U.S. 18-and-under clay court championships in very hot weather at Memphis, Tenn. Her sister, Melissa, won the International Girls' title here in 1984.

HIGH SCHOOLS

Bob Surette, who coached Delran High School to the NJSIAA state soccer championship in 1983, has resigned from his position there to become senior assistant coach at Widener College. He will remain as Delran as a teacher.

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