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Bears' defensive tackle killed in car crash

Chicago Bears rookie defensive tackle Fred Washington was killed in a car crash early today, a Bears spokesman said.

Washington was driving northbound on Illinois 43 in north suburban Lake Forest when the car went over a curb and struck a tree, said Bears spokesman Bryan Harlan.

Lake County Coroner Barbara Richardson pronounced Washington and a female passenger dead on the scene.

The Bears drafted Washington in the second round of the 1990 draft. The 6-foot-2, 277-pounder from Texas Christian had been used sparingly until recent weeks, when he began seeing more playing time for the injured Dan Hampton.

Hough joins White Sox; Three other vets re-sign

Four baseball veterans have agreed to new contracts: knuckleballer Charlie Hough is moving from the Texas Rangers to the Chicago White Sox, while catcher Don Slaught is staying with the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitcher Dan Petry will be back with the Detroit Tigers and pitcher Charlie Leibrandt will return to the Atlanta Braves.

Hough agreed on a one-year contract worth $900,000.

The 42-year-old right-hander was 12-12 with a 4.07 ERA in 1990.

The Pirates paid the price to keep Slaught as their right-handed hitting catcher -- $3 million over three years.

Slaught, the third free agent to re-sign with Pittsburgh, can't believe a 32-year-old platoon catcher can make that much.

"How long ago was it that only the greatest players earned $1 million," Slaught said. "I remember asking George Brett, 'What's your paycheck like? What do you buy, a condo every two weeks?' "

Slaught and Mike LaValliere hit .277 with 33 doubles, seven home runs and 60 RBIs between them last season.

Leibrandt, granted new-look free agency on Dec. 7 as part of the collusion settlement, agreed to a three-year, $8 million contract with the Braves.

Atlanta has an option for 1994 that, if exercised, would make the deal worth $10 million. Leibrandt can make up to $350,000 more each year in performance bonuses.

Leibrandt, a 34-year-old left-hander who made $1 million last season, was 9-11 for Atlanta in 1990 with a 3.16 ERA. He pitched five shutouts after missing nearly the first two months of the season because of a shoulder injury.

Petry accepted the Tigers' offer of salary arbitration for the 1991 season, but the salary wasn't disclosed.

Petry, 32, rejoined the Tigers in 1990 after two seasons with the California Angels, posting a 10-9 record and 4.45 ERA for 32 games.

Two players who played last season with the Buffalo Bisons -- catcher Dann Bilardello and outfielder Scott Little -- have been released by the Pirates.

And the Baltimore Orioles have signed backup catcher Bob Melvin to a two-year contract worth more than $1.5 million.

The California Angels released Johnny Ray from the final year of his contract and the second baseman then signed a two-year agreement with the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese Baseball League.

California trainers denied entries for upcoming races

In a cocaine-drugging investigation reminiscent of the furor that rocked California racing circles two years ago, the Los Angeles Times reports that five thoroughbred trainers will be prevented from entering horses when Santa Anita opens Wednesday.

In all, 12 trainers -- six on the thoroughbred side, three from the quarter horse ranks and three in harness racing -- have been accused by the California Horse Racing Board of running horses that tested positive for a form of cocaine. The biggest name is Blane Schvaneveldt, a premier quarter horse trainer who won the $250,000 Champion of Champions race with Dash for Speed at Los Alamitos Saturday night.

The reported positive tests came from horses that raced at Santa Anita, Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Los Alamitos and the California State Fair in Sacramento.

Jankovich joins Patriots as chief executive officer

The New England Patriots, riding a 12-game losing streak and completing the most embarrassing season in the history of the franchise, have hired University of Miami Athletic Director Sam Jankovich as the club's chief executive officer.

The announcement came after two days of meetings between owner Victor Kiam and Jankovich. Jankovich, who brought a sinking Miami athletic program to national prominence in the 1980s, also met with General Manager Pat Sullivan, who will remain with the Pats.

Jankovich said Sullivan will be involved in community relations and salary negotiations.

Terms of Jankovich's contract were not disclosed, but there have been reports it is worth $500,000 a year for five years.

Boston College to renew search for football coach

Boston College was sent back to the drawing board in its search for a new head football coach when Jimmye Laycock, the winningest coach in William & Mary history, changed his mind one day after accepting the post.

"Boston College and the people there were outstanding," Laycock said. "After reassessing the situation, my decision to remain in Williamsburg is based purely on personal grounds."

It was the second time BC had been spurned by a Virginia coach. Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer was the school's first choice to replace Jack Bicknell, but he withdrew his name from consideration Monday.

Laycock accepted the post Wednesday, but called BC Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk around 5:30 a.m. Thursday to say he had reconsidered.

"He told me he really thought the job was there, he felt good about BC, he felt good about the conditions, the whole situation. But he felt he just could not leave his home," Gladchuk said.

Nuggets' Woolridge to miss up to 2 months after sur gery

Denver Nuggets forward Orlando Woolridge, tied for third among leading scorers in the NBA with a 29 points per game average, will undergo surgery to repair a detached retina in his right eye and could be sidelined as long as two months.

Woolridge apparently sustained the injury in a collision during Denver's game with Phoenix last Saturday. He had complained of blurred vision the past few days.

Buffalo State will return to action tonight against Malone in the first round of the Heidelberg Tournament at Tiffin, Ohio.

The Bengals (3-2) will be up against a tough foe. Malone (8-3) is on a five-game winning streak and is ranked 16th by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Knight-Ridder/Tribune News
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