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HOOSIERS GIVE KNIGHT A TEXAS-SIZED WELCOME

On most nights, you won't find many people in the rural southern Indiana town of Starlight who give a hoot about Lubbock, Texas.

You'd probably find even fewer who could name a player on the Texas Tech basketball team.

But bring in one Robert Montgomery Knight and all that changes -- quickly. About 600 people paid $40 a ticket to see Knight speak at a Texas Tech fund-raiser Wednesday night, evidence the coach's popularity in Indiana hasn't changed, even if his place of employment has.

Fired a little more than a year ago from Indiana University, the Hall of Famer has made believers out of Texas Tech officials, who wouldn't have pegged Indiana as a prime fund-raising spot.

"This would be a pretty hard thing to do in most cases," said Bill Dean, head of Texas Tech's alumni association. "To leave a state and go to a school in another part of the country, then come back to that location and raise money for the new school. . . . That just doesn't happen."

"There's really no way that I can tell you how much this means to me," Knight said after receiving a standing ovation.

Venus and Lindsay skipping Kremlin Cup

Venus Williams (left) and Lindsay Davenport pulled out of the Kremlin Cup tournament in Moscow because of the terrorist attacks in the United States.

"We fully respect their concerns about traveling," Alexei Selivanenko, director of the women's part of the tournament, said Wednesday.

Williams is the U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion. Davenport is ranked No. 3 in the world.

The women begin play Monday. The field features 12 of the top 20 players, including defending champion and top-ranked Martina Hingis. Also competing are Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo and Nathalie Tauziat. Justine Henin, runner-up to Williams at Wimbledon, is a wild card.

Wyoming student charged in eight traffic deaths

A University of Wyoming student was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on eight counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.

A state trooper testified that evidence showed Clinton Haskins was drunk when his pickup truck crossed the center line and smashed into a vehicle carrying eight members of the school's cross country team. Haskins' alcohol level was 0.16 percent, above the state's legal limit of 0.10 percent, according to police.

The driver of the sport utility vehicle carrying the eight athletes was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Nicholas J. Schabron, 20, of Laramie, had a blood-alcohol level of "point-zero-zero," Rettinger said.

The trooper said Schabron had told his mother the eight planned to go to Fort Collins, Colo., to "look for a party" and that Schabron and another athlete were to be the designated drivers.

Irish offense goes on a Holiday

Sitting on the bench last season as fellow freshman Matt LoVecchio led Notre Dame to seven straight wins, Carlyle Holiday wondered whether he would ever get a chance to start.

Now the Irish, in danger of going 0-3 for the first time, are looking to Holiday to do the same thing LoVecchio did last season: rescue an anemic offense.

A year ago, LoVecchio was named starter at quarterback after a 27-21 loss to Michigan State left the Irish 2-2 and averaging only 249.8 yards a game total offense, 102nd among Division I-A teams. Holiday was selected the starter after a 17-10 loss to Michigan State left the Irish 0-2 and averaging only 221 yards a game, 112th among Division I-A teams.

Jordan's a wiz at selling tickets

Suddenly, everyone wants to see the Washington Wizards.

Typically one of the NBA's weaker draws, the Wizards have become one of the biggest attractions around the league since Michael Jordan announced he was coming out of retirement to play for Washington.

Phone lines were ringing off the hook in Seattle and Boston. Interest in Bulls' season tickets peaked as fans wondered what it would be like to see the man who won six championship rings in Chicago play in a uniform that wasn't red and black.

And at Jordan's new home court, MCI Center in Washington, people who thought they would never pay money to watch the Wizards play lined up for seats.

Individual game tickets for the Wizards' two visits to Boston have sold out.

Toronto fans will have three chances to see him at Air Canada Centre, with a preseason game on Oct. 25 and regular-season games Dec. 16 and March 24. Single-game tickets will go on sale in October.

Around & About

Leanne Barrette's 246-237 win over Carol Gianotti-Block gave her the No. 1 seeding heading into tonight's championship of the $50,000 Jacksonville (Fla.) Open, a stop on the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour. Gianotti-Block is second and Tammy Turner third.

New York Rangers defenseman Dale Purinton was suspended for four preseason games and fined $1,000 for trying to injure Islanders goalie Garth Snow.

Las Vegas police searched Mike Tyson's home after a sexual assault allegation was made against the former heavyweight champion. No charges have been filed against Tyson.

Justin Leonard, who didn't make the U.S. team for the postponed Ryder Cup, joined three players who did today through Sunday in the Texas Open. The three Ryder Cup cup players entered are: Hal Sutton, PGA champion David Toms and Sweden's Jesper Parnevik.

Annika Sorenstam is skipping the AFLAC Champions, an elite LPGA event for tournament winners from 1999-2001 and active Hall of Famers which runs today through Sunday at the Magnolia Grove Crossings course.

Former NFL lineman Ariel Solomon rear-ended a car while driving his 7-year-old son Dakota Solomon on a motorcycle in Louisville, Colo., killing the boy and leaving Solomon in the hospital with broken bones.

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