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SPORTS TODAY

Ellis late for practice
after flare-up with Boeheim

Syracuse starting center LeRon Ellis was over an hour late for practice Wednesday after an on-court disagreement with coach Jim Boeheim at Tuesday night's ACC-Big East Challenge game.

With 8:03 left in Syracuse's 86-79 victory over North Carolina State Tuesday night, Boeheim removed Ellis from the lineup during the nationally televised game.

On Wednesday, Ellis had not shown up for the teams scheduled 3:30-5:30 p.m. practice until after 4:30 p.m., witnesses said.

Boeheim told Syracuse radio station WSYR during an interview Wednesday night that Ellis was late because he had to meet with two teachers.

"He practiced today, he practiced hard," Boeheim said.

"What happens during the heat of battle is something that happens and then it's over," he said.

During the game, Ellis walked off the court after Boeheim began yelling at the 6-foot-11 senior. Boeheim tried to grab him, but Ellis waved off the coach's attempt, then ran into the locker room.

$1.5 million in bonuses
in new 10-race series

The first American Racing Championship Series, a 10-race series for older horses, will begin Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., with the $500,000 Donn Handicap and culminate on Sept. 15 in the Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park.

The series offers $1.5 million in bonuses for horses earning points in the 10 races, all of which carry purses of $500,000 or more.

The series was the idea of Barry Weisbord, president of the Lexington, Ky.-based Matchmaker Racing Services, and is designed to spark interest in horse racing throughout the year.

The top five finishers in each of the series' races will gain points on a 10-7-5-3-1 basis, and the top four finishers will split the bonus money, with $750,000 going to the horse with the most points.

Bone scan reveals
Romero's broken ribs

When jockey Randy Romero was thrown from Go for Wand in the Breeders' Cup on Oct. 27, he sustained eight broken ribs and a broken shoulder, injuries that weren't diagnosed for three weeks, and he probably won't ride again until next year.

"The X-rays weren't showing anything, but I knew something was wrong because I kept telling the doctors that I couldn't breathe well," Romero said. Two sets of X-rays taken by different doctors were negative, and it wasn't until Romero took a bone scan last month that the fractures were discovered.

Go for Wand took her fatal spill in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, the third of seven Breeders' Cup races at Belmont Park that day. She was locked in a neck-and-neck duel with Bayakoa when she flipped over on the homestretch and shattered the bone in her right front ankle. She was humanely destroyed on the track.

Romero said he planned to ride at Gulfstream this winter, then go to Lexington, Ky., for the Keeneland meet, after which he will return to New York.

Patton, Owen share lead
in Johnnie Walker Classic

American Chris Patton and New Zealand veteran Simon Owen shot 4-under-par 67s today to share the first-round lead in the $870,000 Johnnie Walker Golf Classic at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

They held a one-stroke advantage over Canadians Richard Zokol and Jack Kay and Australians Peter O'Malley and Ken Dukes as the big names in the 100-man field floundered.

Ray Floyd had a 1-under-par 70, PGA Tour money-leader Greg Norman had a par-71 and Masters and British Open champion Nick Faldo finished birdie-birdie but struggled to a 72.

Purdue's search is over,
Colletto named grid coach

Jim Colletto, offensive coordinator at Ohio State, was named head football coach today at Purdue University.

Colletto succeeds Fred Akers, who resigned under pressure last week.

A nine-member search committee interviewed Colletto on Wednesday, and reported its recommendation to Purdue president Steven Beering.

Akers resigned after finishing his fourth season with the Boilermakers with a 2-9 record, the most losses in one season in Purdue history.

Colletto, 45, was an assistant at Purdue under former coach Leon Burtnett and has spent the past three years at Ohio State under head coach John Cooper.

Favor is first recipient
of Babe Zaharias award

Fourteen-time All-America selection Suzy Favor, a dominant force in women's NCAA track and field history, was named the first recipient of the Babe Zaharias Female Athlete of the Year Award.

Favor, who received the award on Wednesday, is a senior who competes in both indoor and outdoor track for the University of Wisconsin.

Runners-up were Leigh Ann Fetter of Louisville, a swimmer for the University of Texas; Carlette Guidry of Houston, a track and field star at Texas; and Vicki Huber of Bryn Mawr, Pa., a track a field star at Villanova.

The award pays tribute to the late Mildred "Babe" Zaharias, of Beaumont, Texas, considered the greatest female athlete of all time.

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