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Flutie signs CFL contract with British Columbia Lions

Doug Flutie signed a contract with the British Columbia Lions, capping a whirlwind weekend courtship between the 1984 Heisman Trophy winner and the CFL team.

"I'm very excited and happy," Flutie said during a news conference. "I'm here to stay. I'm not going home after all."

Lions president Joe Kapp spent the day with Flutie, ironing out details of a player contract and a separate business deal with team owner Murray Pezim. The team was sure enough Flutie would eventually sign that coach Lary Kuharich had already given the 27-year-old quarterback a playbook. Flutie might be able to play as early as Thursday's exhibition game against Edmonton.

British Columbia has four quarterbacks in camp, including rookie Major Harris of West Virginia, who was third in last year's Heisman voting.

Elsewhere in football, The NFL Players Association filed suit in U.S. District Court charging that the NFL, the league management council and NFL Properties Inc. have violated antitrust laws by offering licensing money directly to players instead of negotiating agreements with the union.

Since the spring, NFL Properties has sought to reach licensing agreements directly with the players instead of through the NFLPA.

The "recent course of illegal activities threatens to create disbelief among players and licensees that NLFLPA is no longer a credible or reliable source of group player licenses," the suit said.

NFL announcing teams are shuffled by CBS

With the exception of perennial kingpins Pat Summerall and John Madden, CBS Monday announced new NFL announcing teams for next season.

Dick Stockton will join the newest member, Merlin Olsen. Last year, Stockton did play-by-play with Dan Fouts, who next fall will join Verne Lundquist. The latter's partner last season, Terry Bradshaw, is being moved to "NFL Today," the studio show. Irv Cross will leave "NFL Today" to become an analyst for Tim Ryan. James Brown and Randy Cross will form another duo.

There will be two new play-by-play men. Brad Nessler, the Vikings radio man, will join Dan Jiggetts, and Jim Henderson, radio voice of the Saints, will team with Hank Stram.

Three CBS announcers from last season did not make the cut -- Ken Stabler, Steve Zabriskie and Tim Brant.

Campanella hospitalized with respiratory difficulties

Hall of Famer Roy Campanella has been hospitalized since late last week because of respiratory difficulties, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced Monday.

The former Brooklyn Dodgers catcher, who is partially paralyzed from a 1958 automobile accident, will be undergoing a series of tests at Los Angeles' Northridge Hospital Medical Center, the club said.

Campanella, 68, spent the first three months of this year at the hospital because of complications from diabetes. He was released just before Opening Day.

Campanella, who began his career with Brooklyn in 1946, serves as a catching instructor during spring training. He has made numerous appearances for the Dodgers as a member of the club's community relations team.

Martin has slim lead in NASCAR point standings

Mark Martin led a tight NASCAR Winston Cup points battle after Sunday's 400 mile race at Michigan International Speedway, the 14th race of the $21 million, 29-event season.

The Batesville, Ark., native, who led the standings for the first time in his National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing career just two weeks ago, held a 94-point edge over second-place Morgan Shepherd, 2,091-1,997.

Geoff Bodine of Chemung, N.Y., was 107 points behind in third place with 1,984. Rusty Wallace of St. Louis, the defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion, was fourth with 1,975, and three-time champion Dale Earnhardt was fifth with 1,973.

Earnhardt won Sunday's 400-mile race at the two-mile speedway, his fourth victory of the season, ending a streak of four consecutive races with mechanical problems.

Oregon fans are Grateful for athletic fundraiser

The University of Oregon athletic department, on the lookout for ways to avoid sinking further into the red than the $1.3 million deficit it currently faces, last weekend did what any clear-headed group with an empty stadium would do. It staged a Grateful Dead concert.

"We made more than $200,000," Sports Information Director Steve Hellyer said. The athletic department receives no state funds.

The Eugene Register-Guard reported that medical and security problems were minimal.

"I'd rather work nine Grateful Dead concerts than one Oregon football game," Eugene Police Detective Rick Raynor said. "They don't get belligerent here like they do at the games."

Around & About

Jari Kurri says he is close to signing a multi-year contract to play hockey in Italy next season. Kurri's contract with the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL runs out in five days. He and his agent, Don Baizley, are negotiating with the Milan Devils for a deal that would reportedly make Kurri Europe's highest-paid player. . . . A July 1 Atlantic City heavyweight bout between third-ranked contender Donovan "Razor" Ruddock of Toronto and Kimmuel Odum of Gary, Ind., has been canceled because of an injury to Ruddock's right hand apparently suffered in training, officials said. . . . The trial of promoter Don King's suit against heavyweight champion James "Buster" Douglas was delayed until July 2 because the Mirage Hotel & Casino at Las Vegas, Nev., a co-defendant, has changed lawyers. Douglas is seeking to break a promotional contract with King. King is suing the fighter and manager John Johnson for breach of contract and the Mirage for interference by offering Douglas a promotional contract conditional on him freeing himself of King. . . . Cuban high jump world record holder Javier Sotomayor has returned home from competing in Europe to receive treatment for a sore heel bone, the official Communist Party newspaper Granma reported.

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