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Surgery shelves Vaughn for season

Mo Vaughn of the Anaheim Angeles probably will sit out the 2001 season while recuperating from surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his left arm.

"Due to the nature and complexity of the surgery, the rehabilitation involved and all the elements required toward a full recovery, we are not anticipating Mo's return in 2001," Angels general manager Bill Stoneman said following Tuesday's 2 1/2 -hour operation.

Vaughn, who hit .272 with 36 homers and 117 RBIs last year, signed an $80 million, six-year contract with the Angels in November 1998.

Vikings' Smith quitting football

Robert Smith, who led the NFC in rushing with the Minnesota Vikings last season, is retiring after a career marked by a series of injuries.

His agent, Neil Cornrich, said Smith has decided to "embark on another aspect of his professional life."

"I think he has many opportunities," Cornrich said. "He hasn't narrowed the field down. Whatever he eventually chooses, I think he will excel."

Among the choices could be medical school. Smith was pre-med at Ohio State and has suggested at times that he might go that route.

Smith, who will turn 29 next month, played only one full 16-game season during his career and had his third knee operation last week.

In other NFL news:

Tennessee hired former Kansas City coach Gunther Cunningham as assistant head coach and linebackers coach. The Titans promoted linebackers coach Jim Schwartz to defensive coordinator last week, after Gregg Williams was hired by the Buffalo Bills as head coach.

Bill Bradley followed Ted Cottrell to the New York Jets and will serve them as defensive backs coach, the same position he held with the Buffalo Bills. The Jets also hired Rubin Carter as defensive line coach.

NFL teams are not allowed to sign Mark Chmura until the former Green Bay tight end has a hearing with commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Blizzard fizzles under Cleveland's Crunch

Long-time Buffalo nemesis Hector Marinaro was limited to one assist, but the Cleveland Crunch didn't need much production from their National Professional Soccer League all-star Tuesday.

With leading scorer Doug Miller sidelined due to a knee injury, the Blizzard was shut out in the second half as Cleveland (12-12) walked away with a 12-6 victory. The Crunch widened its lead over last-place Buffalo (10-15) to 2 1/2 games for the American Conference's final playoff berth.

Playing before a School Day crowd of 8,674, the Crunch took a 4-0 lead after 56 seconds of play on goals by Brian Hinkey and Chad James -- with an assist from Marinaro -- before Buffalo rallied on goals by Andrew Crawford and Chris Handsor. Handsor scored again at 5:34 of the second to give the Blizzard a 6-4 lead, but Cleveland scored the last eight points.

The Blizzard faces the Baltimore Blast 2:05 p.m. Saturday

U.S. gets bad bounce at world championships

Hannes Trinkl beat fellow Austrian Hermann Maier to win the gold medal in the men's downhill Wednesday, the showcase race of the World Championships at St. Anton, Austria.

American star Daron Rahlves, upset winner last week in the super-G, was fifth. Rahlves was the fastest in the upper half, but he veered off the line in a wide curve and then nearly lost a ski.

If he had fallen, he would have joined his compatriots who on Tuesday slammed into the ground and soared into the safety nets.

The biggest casualty during the men's combined was Bode Miller, who is now out of the championships. Tumbling out of the downhill section Casey Puckett.

On a course made even tougher because of soft snow and deep ruts, Norway's Kjetil-Andre Aamodt captured his third straight title in the men's combined.

Miller, in fourth place after the slalom leg, hit a rut midway down the choppy course and was pounded into the snow. Miller was to fly home today for treatment on his left knee in Vail, Colo.

Earlier, Puckett lost control after hitting a rut, flying through the air, legs split wide, before being catapulted into the safety netting.

Mickelson battles food poisoning

Phil Mickelson had to go to the emergency room because of food poisoning, days before he is to defend his title this week in the Buick Invitational in San Diego.

He checked into a hospital at 11:30 a.m. Monday and was discharged at 7 p.m. He has withdrawn from today's pro-am.

"Phil is hopeful to completely recover in time to play in this week's Buick Invitational but is day-to-day, as per his doctor's orders," said his manager, Steve Loy of Gaylord Sports Management.

Around and about

Kentucky football coach Hal Mumme resigned following months of investigation into possible NCAA violations. Mumme was replaced by Guy Morriss, who was given a one-year contract.

Bobby Bowden's youngest son, Jeff Bowden, was hired as Florida State's offensive coordinator.

The Buffalo Bandits have switched the date of their final home game to March 25 at 3 p.m. at HSBC Arena against the Rochester Knighthawks. The game was originally scheduled for March 23.

The XFL's national rating for all markets for its debut game Saturday was 9.5, more than twice as high as the network's usual number for the time slot. UPN's first telecast Sunday got a 3.1 national rating, down from a 4.2 preliminary overnight rating.

Basketball tonight

Senior center Peter Van Paassen is probable for St. Bonaventure's Atlantic 10 Conference game against Duquesne at 7:30 tonight at the Reilly Center. On Saturday, the Bonnies (13-7 overall, 4-4 in the conference) played without Van Paassen, who has tendinitis in his right ankle, and recorded an 80-76 OT win at La Salle.

Duquesne (7-15, 1-8) leads the series, 45-41, but the Bonnies won last season, 71-62.

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