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SPORTS TODAY

Smerlas going on wall when Bills face Pats

Fred Smerlas will be inducted onto the Buffalo Bills' Wall of Fame Dec. 16 when the Bills play the New England Patriots, the team announced Wednesday.

Smerlas is a native of Waltham, Mass., who was drafted by the Bills out of Boston College in the second round of the 1979 draft. The nose tackle played 11 seasons and went to five Pro Bowls.

Four-time Super Bowl quarterback Jim Kelly will take his place on the wall Nov. 18, when the Seattle Seahawks are in town.

In other news, tickets for a scrimmage between the Bills and Cleveland Browns at Edinboro (Pa.) University will go on sale July 3. Tickets, priced at $10 for adults and $5 for students 12 and under, will be available at all Erie-area McDonald's restaurants and through the Edinboro athletic department.

For additional ticket information, contact Sue Marshall at (814) 732-2776, ext. 224. The scrimmage, which follows a pair of practice sessions the day before, will start at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 4 at Edinboro's Sox Harrison Stadium. It will feature the entire 80-man rosters of the Bills and Browns.

McNair ready to sign $47 million extension

Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair soon will sign a contract extension worth $47 million over six years.

The extension would free up about $6 million of salary cap space to pay other players.

McNair, 28, has played six NFL seasons, and led the Titans to the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Last year he completed 248 of 396 passes for 2,847 yards and 15 TDs.

McNair underwent surgery in February for an infection that severely impaired his right, throwing shoulder. He also injured his left shoulder last season.

Elsewhere in the NFL, the league agreed to two changes in dealing with option-year players signed from the Canadian Football League, including a ban on allocating them to NFL Europe. It also said that such players cut by an NFL club would have 10 days to sign with another team before their rights automatically revert to their Canadian club. CFL officials had complained that assignment to NFL Europe meant option-year players were risking injury while merely filling out rosters in the NFL's development league.

Jagr given permission to talk with Rangers

Mike Barnett, the agent for disgruntled Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jaromir Jagr, said he had been given permission by the Penguins to talk to the New York Rangers and "other specific teams" regarding a possible contract extension for Jagr should he be dealt to one of those clubs.

Barnett did not say whether he had come to a tentative agreement with the Rangers or any other club -- it is believed that any team trading for Jagr would want him signed for longer than the two years (at $20.7 million) left on his contract. It is expected that a trade for Jagr won't come until mid-July as the Rangers, Penguins and other clubs focus on free agency.

Webb's grandfather dies in Australia

Mick Collinson, the grandfather who helped inspire Karrie Webb's golf career, died at 71 in a Gold Coast, Australia hospital. After suffering a stroke, he probably never got to see Webb become the youngest woman ever to complete a career Grand Slam.

The 26-year-old Webb said her grandparents had taken her onto the course near home in Ayr, a small rural town in northern Australia, when she was 4 and taught her how to play with plastic clubs.

"They were about the only two people in the world who were patient enough to go out with a 4-year-old and play golf on a Sunday morning," Webb said.

Elsewhere in golf:

Bob Eastwood and Jack O'Keefe withdrew from the Senior U.S. Open in Peabody, Mass., which starts today. They will be replaced by alternates Joel Hirsch and Greg Edwards. Eastwood had a pulled hip muscle and O'Keefe complained of a back injury.
While Tiger Woods is taking the week off, the PGA's Greater Hartford Open, which begins today as well, has attracted big-name players such as Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, David Duval, John Daly and Nick Faldo.

Bonnies to face Eagles at HSBC Arena this season

The St. Bonaventure men's basketball team will face defending Big East Conference tournament champion Boston College on Nov. 28 at HSBC Arena. The tip-off time and ticket information will be announced next month. The schools have contracted to play three times, with the remaining two games to be played in Boston in 2002-03 and 2003-04.

It will be the schools' first meeting since Dec. 13, 1972 and their seventh meeting all-time. The Bonnies have won five of the first six. Bona's non-conference schedule also includes a game at Oklahoma on Dec. 5. .

In other college basketball scheduling news, Syracuse will host Manhattan Nov. 12 at the Carrier Dome in a first-round game of the Preseason NIT. Other first-round matchups include Detroit at Michigan State, Maine at Arkansas, North Carolina-Wilmington at Wake Forest, Wyoming at Southern California, Montana State at Fresno State, Fordham at DePaul and Central Connecticut at Oklahoma. .

Mayweather accused of hitting man with bottle

Floyd Mayweather has been sued by a man who claims the boxing champion broke a champagne bottle over his head in a Las Vegas nightclub.

Greg Bedford, 31, of Las Vegas alleges that Mayweather attacked him as he tried to walk away from an altercation with the boxer at Club Utopia about 2 a.m. June 19.

The lawsuit alleges assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Bedford is seeking an unspecified amount of punitive and other damages. Mayweather, 24, has held the World Boxing Council super featherweight title for almost three years.

In other boxing news, the John Ruiz-Evander Holyfield WBA heavyweight championship fight in Beijing on Aug. 5 definitely is on, and promoter Don King's television company will handle the pay-per-view in the United States.

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Around & About

Hobart has named Matt Kerwick its new men's head lacrosse coach. Kerwick, a 1990 Hobart graduate, replaces B.J. O'Hara, who was asked for his resignation after the Statesmen went 5-7 this spring. Kerwick spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Georgetown, after heading coaching stints at Alfred nd Randolph-Macon .

Cheektowaga's Janette Piesczynski finished 13th and won $1,125 at the PWBA's Memphis Open. Piesczynski had an 11-13 record in match play and knocked down 9,063 pins. Carolyn Dorin-Ballard leads with 10,029 going into tonight's stepladder finals.

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