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AROUND AND ABOUT

Mike Hargrove was hired today to manage the Seattle Mariners and turn around the team after its worst season in 12 years. Hargrove, previously the manager of the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians, agreed to a three-year deal through 2007. He replaces Bob Melvin.

Sasha Cohen won't defend her title at Skate America this weekend, withdrawing because of a back problem that doctors believe might be related to her season-ending injury four years ago. Cohen was examined in Chicago by Dr. Craig Weston, an orthopedic surgeon, and tests showed she has a severe back strain.

The family of late Northwestern football player Rashidi Wheeler has agreed to a financial settlement with three makers and distributors of the ephedra-containing products the player ingested in the hours before he collapsed and died on the practice field in 2001. Court documents show that Wheeler's family agreed to accept $75,000 -- equal payments of $25,000 from GNC, Phoenix Laboratories and Nutraquest, Inc.

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