NCAA sprint champ Gatlin forgos last 2 years to sign Nike contract

Posted: September 06, 2002

Justin Gatlin, who won six NCAA sprint titles as a freshman and sophomore at Tennessee, ended his collegiate career by signing a professional contract.

In a rare move by a collegiate track athlete, Gatlin, of Pensacola, Fla., signed a sponsorship contract with Nike over the weekend, which voided his 2 years of remaining eligibility at Tennessee. The school announced Gatlin's decision yesterday.

Gatlin, who was recruited as a hurdler out of high school, helped the Volunteers win the 2001 NCAA outdoor championship with victories in the 100 meters and 200 meters and led the team to the 2002 NCAA indoor title. In the spring, he was undefeated in every sprint race he entered.

Hockey

* Montreal goalie Jose Theodore became the highest-paid player in Canadiens history, signing a 3-year, $16.5 million contract. Theodore won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player and the Vezina as the top goalie last season.

* Pierre-Marc Bouchard, the Canadian major junior player of the year last season, was suspended for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens' first seven regular-season games for crosschecking an opponent in the face on Aug. 27. Bouchard was selected eighth overall by the Minnesota Wild in the June draft.

Golf

* New Zealand's Grant Waite shot a 64 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Canadian Open in Markham, Ontario.

* Sweden's Robert Karlsson shot a 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the European Masters in Switzerland.

Sport Stops

* Winston Cup star Tony Stewart held off Kevin Harvick to win the Virginia Is For Lovers 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in Richmond, Va.

* Sky Jack, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup in July, will have a third operation to remove knee bone chips next week and will be out several months.

* British skier Alain Baxter went before an arbitration panel in a bid to win back the Olympic bronze medal he lost after a positive drug test at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The Court of Arbitration for Sport began a 2-day hearing in London. *

|
|
|
|
|