Ex-player may sue Penn State

Posted: October 18, 2005

Jennifer Harris, a former Penn State women's basketball player, vowed to sue if the school does not retract recent remarks by coach Rene Portland.

Portland said in a statement last week that Harris had a poor attitude and work ethic and did not meet team performance standards on or off the court.

A lawyer for Harris called the statement "retaliatory" and gave the university until tomorrow to retract it or face a lawsuit.

"Despite Ms. Harris' high performance, Coach Portland accused Harris of being a lesbian, harassed Harris for the way she looked and dressed, and eventually terminated her from the team because of her race, gender and perceived sexual orientation," lawyer Karen Doering of the National Center for Lesbian Rights said in a statement.

Harris transferred to James Madison in the spring. She is not a lesbian, but was perceived as one by Portland, the center has said.

Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon said the school has no plans to stifle Portland.

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A Virginia high school football player considered one of the nation's top wide receivers said he will play at Penn State.

Chris Bell, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior at Granby High, chose Penn State over Florida, Louisiana State and Virginia. He is ranked as the nation's seventh-best senior wide receiver by rivals.com, an online college sports information and recruiting service.

Miami, which has the nation's top-ranked defense, fired defensive-line coach Greg Mark, a former star lineman at Pennsauken High.

Mark, 38, was one of four former Hurricanes on the coaching staff.

Southern Illinois football coach Jerry Kill remained hospitalized in Carbondale, Ill., two days after suffering a seizure in the closing seconds of his team's loss. Kill, 44, has a medical condition that occasionally manifests itself with seizures.

Boxing

Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe filed for bankruptcy protection while he tries to revive his career, listing more than $4.1 million in claims against him.

Auto racing

Rookie Danica Patrick, whose crash with Jaques Lazier late in Sunday's Toyota Indy 400 in California relegated her to an 18th-place finish, struck Lazier in the face while the two rode to the infield care center in the back of an IRL safety team vehicle, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.

The two returned to verbal sparring after the SUV driver intervened. "My son hits harder than she does," said Lazier, whose son Kayden is 4.

Gymnastics

Olympic silver medalist Jason Gatson is the only Olympian among the six men chosen to represent the United States in the World Gymnastics Championships next month in Melbourne, Australia.

Also making the team were national champion Todd Thornton, Sean Golden, Justin Spring, Kevin Tan and Yewki Tomita.

Noteworthy

Cat Osterman, an Athens gold medalist and national softball player of the year at Texas, was named sportswoman of the year in the team category by the Women's Sports Foundation.

Paralympic gold-medal swimmer Erin Popovich won in the individual category.

A month after he began work at a local tennis school, former tennis star Roscoe Tanner was arrested in Knox County, Tenn., on a fugitive warrant from Florida for failing to meet probation requirements.

Tanner was sentenced to 10 years' probation in November 2003 in Florida for bouncing a $35,595 check he used to buy a 32-foot boat in 2000.

In 2004, he was arrested in Orange County, Calif., on a warrant from New Jersey for charges of failing to pay more than $80,000 in child support for a daughter he fathered with a former Somerset County, N.J., woman. He was sentenced to a year of probation.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup will be moved up a month in 2007 and will again be played in the United States.

The 12-nation soccer tournament will run from June 6 to 24.

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