Buckeyes Accuse Vols Of Using Illegal Cleats

Posted: January 07, 1996

Ohio State football coach John Cooper says he can prove that some Tennessee players in the Citrus Bowl wore cleats that were too long.

NCAA rules limit the length of cleats to one-half inch, but Cooper told the Columbus Dispatch in a story published yesterday that some Volunteers used three-quarter-inch cleats. He said he has one of the shoes worn in the game by Volunteers wide receiver Joey Kent.

The penalty for use of illegal equipment or for not using mandated equipment is 5 yards. There is no punishment spelled out in the NCAA rule book for use of illegal equipment for an entire game.

Cooper said he had been reluctant to discuss the issue because he didn't want it to sound like he was making excuses for the Buckeyes' 20-14 loss.

He said he and his staff noticed the longer cleats during warmups. He called them to the officials' attention, ``but they didn't do anything about it,'' he said.

Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger said someone had gone into Tennessee's locker room after the game and taken Kent's cleats.

* All-America free safety Lawyer Milloy announced Friday that he was leaving Washington for the NFL. Milloy, 22, a junior, has 249 career tackles.

* Michigan lineman Jon Runyan has decided to skip his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft. The 6-foot-8, 300-pounder said he would notify the NFL tomorrow - two days before the deadline for underclassmen to declare their eligibility.

PRO FOOTBALL Giants quarterback Dave Brown will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this week, and is expected to need two to four months to recuperate.

Brown, who becomes a free agent this month, damaged cartilage in a game Oct. 29. He wore a brace on the knee for the rest of the season.

* Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Steve Crosby resigned after six years. Also, defensive coordinator Rich Venturi's position was being reviewed, a team official said.

* Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. issued a 12-page opinion Friday that rejected some challenges to the deal the Maryland Stadium Authority struck to lure the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore.

Curran also said the contract would remain binding even if an Ohio judge ordered the team to play the final three seasons of its lease in Cleveland.

* The Cowboys will face the Eagles today in Texas Stadium with the forecast for temperatures in the 30s after snowfall yesterday, and a slick field is a possibility.

But putting a dome over the open-air facility that houses the Cowboys would be unrealistic, according to the project's original architect, Warren Morey. Putting on a dome would require major reinforcement of the roof support system, Morey said.

BASEBALL Don Baylor, named National League manager of the year after leading the Colorado Rockies into the playoffs in their third season, yesterday agreed to a two-year extension through the 1998 season.

Terms were not disclosed, but sources said Baylor, who will earn $320,000 this season, would be paid $475,000 in 1997 and $500,000 in 1998.

TENNIS Top seed Thomas Muster suffered a stunning upset in the semifinals of the $635,000 Qatar Open tennis tournament in Doha, losing to Younes el Aynaoui of Morocco, 6-4, 6-4.

El Aynaoui will play Petr Korda of the Czech Republic in today's final. Korda defeated David Prinosil of Germany, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-3, in the other semifinal.

HOCKEY The New York Islanders stopped their efforts to trade suspended center Kirk Muller.

``The Islanders will not be held hostage to Kirk's whims,'' general manager Mike Milbury said. ``Unless and until Kirk Muller decides to provide the Islanders with unequivocal assurance that he will report to any team to which he might be traded, for the exact terms to which he is now legally bound, we will cease any attempt to move him.''

Muller is in Kingston, Ontario, working out with a junior team.

* Rangers defenseman Doug Lidster will be sidelined indefinitely because of fractured facial bones near his right cheekbone, an injury caused by a slap shot.

Lidster, a defenseman, was injured in the second period of New York's 4-4 tie with the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

PRO BASKETBALL Forward LaPhonso Ellis, who has missed all but six games over the past two seasons because of knee problems, was activated by the Denver Nuggets, who waived forward Reggie Slater.

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