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SPORTS TODAY

UPI names Beth Daniel Female Athlete of the Year

A few months before her 32nd birthday, and three years after she had won her last tournament, Beth Daniel was struck down with mononucleosis.

For the woman who once had been touted as golf's next superstar, it was a time for serious reflection and soul-searching, a time to determine if she still wanted a future in the game she loved.

During her 13 weeks of recuperation that summer of 1988, Daniel went home and considered her situation. To her mind, she returned to the LPGA Tour a more competent competitor.

It wasn't until August 1989 that Daniel won again, capturing the Greater Washington Open. She then won three of her next seven tournaments, and has lost seldom since then.

In 1990, Daniel won seven tournaments, including her first major, the Mazda LPGA Championship; led the LPGA money list with a record $863,578, was Player of the Year and won the Vare Trophy with a scoring average of 70.54.

As a result, Daniel was chosen by United Press International as its Female Athlete of the Year.

"This year definitely fulfilled a lot of dreams and even went beyond that," said Daniel, 34. "It was by far my best year on tour. I had a lot of great things happen to me and it has been a fabulous year. The last three years, I've played really well. Even though I didn't win when I came back in 1988, I played extremely good golf and carried confidence from that."

Farr has recurrence, will undergo chemotherapy

Heather Farr, who tried to make a comeback on the LPGA Tour this year after breast cancer surgery in 1989, has had a recurrence of the disease and will undergo chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

"My breast cancer has returned inside the bone," Farr, 25, said. "There is a spot in the back of my skull and a spot in a back vertebrae."

The former Arizona State standout was coming off her most successful year on the LPGA Tour when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 1989 and underwent a mastectomy.

After a series of chemotherapy treatments, Farr received a clean bill of health last summer and was looking forward to rejoining the tour.

But Farr said she had to stop golfing in November because of a pain in her back and now finds even common chores are becoming difficult.

"I was trying to go back out on tour by the end of January and then my back started hurting," Farr said. "We just happened to do a bone scan, and luckily, because God knows how long it could have gone (without being detected)."

Gathers' mother claims son was given money

The mother of Hank Gathers, the basketball player who died of a heart defect during a Loyola Marymount game last March, claims her son was given money by a team booster.

Lucille Gathers stated in a deposition taken recently that booster Albert Gersten gave money to Hank Gathers while he was on a basketball scholarship at the school, the Los Angeles Times reported.

She said in the deposition, taken in connection with a wrongful death suit filed against Loyola and 13 other defendants, that she was given $2,000 and gifts by her son and that he told her the cash and the money for the gifts came from Gersten.

Gersten denied giving Hank Gathers money.

Sporting News tabs Ryan as its Man of the Year

Nolan Ryan, 43, who pitched his record sixth no-hitter in 1990 and won his 300th game, was chosen as the Sporting News Man of the Year.

Ryan led the American League with 232 strikeouts last season and also pitched his record-tying 12th one-hitter. He got his 300th victory July 31 as Texas beat Milwaukee.

Ryan is 302-272 lifetime with a record 5,308 strikeouts.

Elsewhere, Kevin McReynolds and the New York Mets have agreed to a contract extension that will keep McReynolds in New York for at least three more years and make him another of baseball's $3 million players.

The extension takes effect in 1992 and is worth $10 million, with a Mets' option for a fourth year at $3.6 million. McReynolds was given a $1.25 million signing bonus and will earn $3 million in 1992, $3.25 million in '93 and $2.5 million in '94.

McReynolds, 31, will earn $2.1 million next season in the third year of a $5.5 million deal.

In Detroit, former Tigers pitcher Hank Aguirre said today he has a group of investors willing to buy the Detroit Tigers, but a club spokesman said the American League club is not for sale. Aquirre held a news conference today but refused to reveal names of his other investors or detail any offer for the club, owned by Domino's Pizza Inc. owner Tom Monaghan.

CAGE CALENDAR

Niagara University, a winner of two straight away from home, will play the sixth game of a 10-game road trip at 7:30 tonight (1440), facing Robert Morris in a non-conference game at Coraopolis, Pa.

The Eagles (3-5), who beat St. Bonaventure and then St. Peter's (N.J.) in their last two starts, will have LaSalle High School graduate E-Lon-E McCracken starting his second game at forward.

Robert Morris (3-6), making its home-court debut, also is coming off two big wins -- at Dayton and Duquesne.

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