Benitez Comes Out Of Coma

Posted: October 16, 1996

Former boxing champion Wilfred Benitez regained consciousness yesterday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after nearly losing his seven-year battle with an inflammation of the brain.

``The first words he said to me were, `God is good,' '' said his mother, Clara Benitez.

She said her 38-year-old son was being treated in the hospital's general medicine wing and doctors had to give him strong sedatives to calm him.

Wilfred Benitez was taken to an area emergency room Friday after his mother found him passed out in bed in their home. He was later transferred to nearby University Hospital in San Juan for special treatment.

Benitez, who won three world titles, is afflicted with post-traumatic encephalitis, a common condition among boxers.

COLLEGES * A Pac-10 Conference investigation found no NCAA rules violations in the sale of a car owned by UCLA basketball coach Jim Harrick to the sister of a top recruit, two newspapers reported. However, the Los Angeles Daily News said Harrick might be reprimanded by athletic director Peter Dalis for failing to report the sale that occurred just two days after Baron Davis verbally committed to play for the Bruins.

* Purdue basketball coach Gene Keady denies claims made by a former player on the women's team that one of his former players, Luther Clay, received $5,000 to return to the team and other players were given cars.

* Sedrick Shaw, Iowa's all-time leading rusher, has bruised ribs and might not play Saturday at Penn State, said Iowa coach Hayden Fry.

* Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer said he has instructed assistant coach Rodney Garner to discontinue contact with Auburn players. Garner, an Auburn assistant from 1990 to '95 who joined Tennessee's staff this season, has drawn the ire of Auburn fans and coaches by remaining in touch with some of the players he recruited for the Tigers.

PHILLY FILE * Noreen P. Kemether has sued the PIAA and the Del Val Athletic Association, accusing them of preventing women from officiating boys' and varsity basketball games. The Del Val is an association of eight private and public schools in Delaware County.

HORSE RACING * Skip Away became ineligible to race Cigar in the $4 million Breeders' $480,000 supplemental fee.

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