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SPORTS TODAY

Irish face tough task
when World Cup resumes

On the 20th day -- and the 21st and 22nd -- the World Cup rested.

After two frantic rounds of soccer, the field has been cut to eight quarterfinalists, half of them surprises. The reward is three days off to plot strategy, heal the wounded and, in one case, see the Pope.

The Irish team spent part of Wednesday at the Vatican and had an audience with Pope John Paul II.

The boys in green have a heavy task ahead -- beating Italy Saturday at Olympic Stadium. Italy has won all four games by shutouts. The Irish had three first-round ties, then 120 minutes of scoreless soccer against Romania in the second round before winning a penalty kick shootout.

The most wide-open styles are employed by West Germany and Czechoslovakia, who play Sunday in Milan. The Germans have shown the most dangerous attack, while the Czechs have been led by Tomas Skuhravy, the Cup's leading scorer with five goals.

Other games are Argentina-Yugoslavia at Florence (Saturday) and England-Cameroon at Naples (Sunday).

Several English fans among the 246 expelled from Italy after rioting in the Adriatic resort of Rimini said they were treated cruelly by Italian police.

"When we were arrested, we were held in a garage and treated very roughly," said Michael Vincent. "We were punched and kicked by the police for no reason. I have never known anything like it and will never go back to Italy again.

"Even on the plane (back to London), they treated us like animals. We got one glass of water and were told to keep looking ahead and not to turn round to talk to anybody. Otherwise, you would get a smack across the head."

Nicklaus' debut set
for Senior Open

As often is the case with Jack Nicklaus, his peers come to praise him.

"Having Nicklaus in the field is a wonderful thing," Gary Player, winner of the Senior Open in 1987 and 1988. "Competition is one of the great motivators of sport. The more competition you have, the harder you work.

"I have increased my exercise program and watched my diet more. I wish Nicklaus would play every week."

Beginning today, Nicklaus will play indeed, making his debut in the U.S. Senior Openin Paramus, N.J.

"The competition is as good as you get," said Arnold Palmer, who won in his Senior Open debut in 1981. "With Nicklaus, (Lee) Trevino and Player in the field, it's like it was 20 or 30 years ago on the PGA Tour."

Nicklaus is among the favorites, especially since he won two of the three senior tournaments he has played since joining the 50-and-older crowd.

Trevino, also making his Senior Open debut, has won five of 12 senior tournaments.

College presidents propose
time reduction for athletes

College athletes will have to spend no more than 20 hours a week on sports, an average reduction of about one-third, under legislation the NCAA Presidents Commission will sponsor at the 1991 convention.

The time-reduction addresses a common complaint voiced by athletes in a survey two years ago, and are based on recommendations by a group of conference commissioners.

Also following a recommendation by the commissioners, the presidents agreed to sponsor scholarship cuts in a move to reduce spiraling costs.

In addition, the commission will sponsor a measure to increase the number of games in a basketball season from 25 to 27 and specify that athletes during their season must get at least one day a week off.

Tyson, Foreman twin bill
slated for Atlantic City

When Caesars Palace couldn't agree on the price for a September double-header featuring Mike Tyson and George Foreman, promoters Bob Arum and Don King played a Trump card.

So the fights are headed for Atlantic City's Convention Center Sept. 22, where the live-site promoter will be the Trump Plaza hotel-casino of financier Donald Trump, who has been doing some heavy sparring lately with international bankers concerning interest payments on junk bonds.

"We have a deal in principle with the Trump organization," Arum said.

It's believed staging the double-header, on which Tyson will fight Alex Stewart and Foreman might fight Francesco Damiani, will give Trump Plaza right of first refusal on a Tyson-Foreman match.

The bouts originally were scheduled Sept. 8 and were expected to be held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where on June 16 Tyson knocked out Henry Tillman and Foreman KO'd Adilson Rodrigues.

Kevin Jones is named
Alfred's basketball coach

Kevin Jones became the first black basketball coach in Alfred University history. The 28-year-old Bronx native spent the last three years as an assistant coach at Canisius, where he worked in recruiting, scouting and academic advising.

Jones also worked as assistant coach at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, and coached the women's team to a 14-15 record in 1986-87. He is a 1983 graduate of Dartmouth, where he earned two letters for the Big Green. He also was appointed instructor of French in the university's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Around & About

Six-time Professional Bowlers Association champion Don Genalo has a 141-pin lead over Wayne Webb after the second round of the $145,000 Kessler Classic in Riverside, Calif. Genalo averaged 240.5 pins for 12 games. Joe Salvemini is third with a 2,693 pinfall, Pete McCordic is fourth at 2,685 and Pete Weber is fifth at 2,682. . . . John Doherty of Ireland ran the year's fastest time in the 5,000 meters with a clocking of 13:58.28 at an IAAF Mobil Grand Prix track and field meet in Helsinki, Finland. . . . Three-time Olympic medalist Joe Fargis of Southampton, L.I., won opening-day competition at the 21st annual Lake Placid Horse Show. Fargis was one of 12 entries to complete the nine-jump power course without penalty to advance in the timed-speed section. He then completed the seven-jump, 369-yard speed section penalty-free in 42:134 seconds.

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