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Avery Wayne Bell Jr., 22, and Leif Ericson Barnes, 20, are facing
criminal charges of freshwater fishing tournament fraud, which has been
on the books for 12 years but has never been used before in Central
Texas, police said.
Bell and Barnes were released from McLennan County Jail Sunday after
they each posted $2,000 bond. If convicted they could be sentenced to a
year in prison and given a $2,000 fine.
Neither could be reached for comment Monday by The Associated Press.
Capt. W.J. Rawls, a game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department, says police are still investigating because of reports that
other fisherman at the tournament also schemed to claim prizes for bogus
More fisherman could be arrested this week, he said.
Bell and Barnes were arrested Sunday afternoon while weighing in their
fish at the Speegleville III marina on Lake Waco as part of the
tournament sponsored by the Hewitt Bass Club.
Rawls said the men turned in fish that tournament officials knew had not
been caught during tournament hours.
``The evidence we have is marked fish,'' Rawls said.
The men, who comprised one of 36 two-man teams in the tournament,
finished second in the contest and would have received about $425 if
their catches had not been contested. First prize was about $850, said
Robert Schange, president of the Hewitt Bass Club.
The Waco Tribune Herald reported that sources familiar with the incident
said a competing fisherman found a basket with fish submerged underwater
near Hog Creek. The fisherman suspected that someone had hidden the fish
there and planned to use them to claim a prize later in the day.
The fisherman notified a game warden and he marked the fish by inserting
a small ``tag'' inside them. The fish turned in by Bell and Barnes
reportedly carried the tags left by the game warden.
The Texas Legislature felt the cheating problem was serious enough that
in 1985 it made the offense a crime under the TPWD's criminal code.
The opportunity for deception has led many clubs that sponsor
tournaments to require lie detector tests from participants.
The Centex Bass Association requires them for its annual Angler of the
Year contest, which Bell was leading for much of last year, the
He was later disqualified from the competition after he refused to take
the test, said Kendall Lovett, president of the association. The award does not carry a cash prize.
BETHESDA, Md. (AP) - The ninth hole at Congressional Country Club is the
kind of par-5 that no one considers trying to reach in two shots - not
even Tiger Woods.
It is 607 yards long with the landing area off the tee pinched by
bunkers and a deep ravine guarding the green. The wise thing to do is
lay up off the tee and lay up with the second shot, then try to get
close to the pin.
Woods feathered a 3-wood off the tee Monday in his first practice round
at Congressional Country Club before Thursday's start of the 97th U.S.
Open, then laid up again with a 2-iron to the green.
That was not good enough for a gallery that was used to the impossible
``Go for it,'' they yelled.
``Show me the money,'' someone screamed, using the catch line from the
movie ``Jerry Maguire.''
Woods, laughing now, reached in his pocket and took out another ball and
a tee and teed the ball up in the fairway and went at the green with his
The shot missed to the right side, but the effort drove the crowd wild.
The ovation he received as he walked to the green was as if it was
Sunday at the Open and he was protecting a lead.
Woods has a ton of competition lined up for the Open as he tries to
follow up his April victory in the Masters with the first back-to-back
Masters-U.S. Open championship double since Jack Nicklaus in 1972. But
he has no competition when it comes to being the most popular golfer
Woods finished his abbreviated practice round with a series of sand
shots from the bunker around the ninth green. When one landed inches
from the hole, the crowd went wild with an outpouring of oohs and aahs
and shouts of ``You the man, Tiger,'' and ``You got a future in the
For Woods, the toughest part of being a golfer is that he now has to
live up to the expectation that he will become the greatest ever to play
the game. Anything less will be considered a failure.
History is the toughest measuring stick to grow up against.
Woods followed his record-setting victory in the Masters with a victory
in the Byron Nelson Classic and then a fourth-place finish in the
Colonial before finishing nearly last at the Memorial.
Clearly something, whether it was the hectic schedule or just pure
exhaustion, was getting to him.
His coach, Butch Harmon, went back to work with Woods last week.
``It was good - very good, '' Harmon said Monday of the practice session
as he walked with Woods.
Woods hit his driver only once on the front nine Monday, using it on the
475-yard, par-4 sixth hole.
``This is a golf course that puts a premium on putting the ball in the
short grass,'' Harmon said. ``And he hits his 3-wood and 2-irons so far
it almost makes no difference,'' Harmon said about Woods.
Woods won the Masters at Augusta National by overpowering the course. To
win here, he will have to outthink the course and the others in the
He has proven he can overwhelm. Now he will have to show he can outsmart.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The NBA Finals have allowed Utah to reveal a
boisterous soul that belies its image.
Outside the Delta Center, rowdy crowds were cheering the Jazz and
jeering the Bulls. Cars, pickups and freight trucks paraded past for
hours, blaring their horns.
And on a Sunday, for heaven's sake.
``For Mormons, if they are Mormons, they were acting very un-Christian
out there,'' Chicago coach Phil Jackson said.
The meek, these fans know, do not inherit the NBA title.
On Wednesday night, just a few blocks from the Mormon Tabernacle, the
Utah Jazz play Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls. A
victory would put the Jazz up 3-2 and send the best-of-7 series back to
Chicago for Game 6 Friday night and, maybe, Game 7 on Sunday.
Utah fans certainly expect a victory. The Jazz have won 23 in a row at
the noisy Delta Center, boosting their home record this season to 48-3.
They are 10-0 at home in the playoffs.
``It's a time now for the whole state,'' Utah's Karl Malone said.
``We've taken our knocks over the years. I'm from Louisiana, but I
consider Utah my home now. We've taken a lot of bad raps. Now for the
spotlight to be on us here, I think, it's great to get rid of some of
those myths you guys think about Salt Lake.''
Much of the giddy enthusiasm comes from years of frustration. The Jazz
were always good, but not good enough to make it to the finals. Just
pulling even with the mighty Bulls 2-2 was cause for jubilation.
``It's been a long time coming,'' Malone said. ``These guys have waited
12 or 13 years for something to celebrate.''
When Malone rode his Harley home after Sunday night's come-from-behind
78-73 thriller, he found a crowd around his house.
``Most of them were neighbors,'' he said. ``I've been here for 10 years
and I didn't even know half of them live up there.''
The Bulls enter Wednesday night's game weary but determined.
``This is all new to the Jazz,'' Jackson said. ``We've been here before.
This is what I call slugfest time.''
Jackson, although he has earplugs to help him deal with the Delta din,
insists the homecourt advantage in Salt Lake City is no bigger than
other places the Bulls have played in the finals.
``We played Phoenix when they had a great homecourt run. We played
Portland when they had a great homecourt run. We played last year
against Seattle when they had a great homecourt run,'' Jackson said.
``Every team that's been in the finals against us out West has had a
great homecourt advantage and a great homecourt record. We overcame
that; we'll overcome this one.''
Jackson believes the Jazz have gotten an unfair edge in the two games in
Salt Lake. Utah's defense, which has successfully thwarted Chicago's
inside game, has been a thinly disguised zone ignored by the officials,
``We just wonder does the color of the uniform make a difference or the
color of the court,'' Jackson said. ``They really haven't made the Jazz
be legal in this homestand, so they've had success in closing down lanes
and compacting the court and hurrying the offense a little bit.''
Then there's the fouls, or lack of them.
``We didn't shoot a free throw in the fourth quarter and they won the
game at the foul line,'' Jackson said.
The Bulls are accepting some of the blame themselves, especially on
offense, where Chicago has sputtered, particularly in its attempts to
take advantage of the Scottie Pippen-Jeff Hornacek matchup.
When Utah coach Jerry Sloan switched Bryon Russell from Pippen to
Michael Jordan, the Bulls salivated at the prospect of Pippen
overpowering the much smaller Hornacek. It hasn't happened.
``We crowded him. We didn't give him space. We didn't read it. We didn't
organize ourselves,'' Jackson said.
And, as always, what about Dennis? Rodman, with Jackson's permission,
flew off to Las Vegas for a night of revelry Sunday, then rejoined the
team Monday. Some of the Bulls grumbled but no one protested too much.
``Dennis is uncontrollable, so don't even try,'' Ron Harper said.
``Hopefully, he'll bring his game back with him.''
Rodman has been ineffective throughout the series, surrendering much of
his playing time to Brian Williams.
``On this team, you don't perform, you don't play,'' Jackson said.
The Jazz's farewell Wednesday night could be permanent for some of the
players. Six on the Utah roster, including Hornacek, are free agents
after this season.
Malone and John Stockton will be back, but who knows for how long?
Malone turns 34 next month. Stockton is 35. They have missed a combined
eight games in 25 NBA seasons and look as if they could play forever.
The end must be approaching.
All in all, Wednesday night should be a night for Jazz fanatics to
``The spotlight is on the state of Utah,'' Malone said, ``so now is the time to celebrate.''
Stewart is expected to be the Steelers' starting quarterback and has
also played wide receiver. He replaced Jim Stewart as the team's No. 2
quarterback late last season, backing up Mike Tomczak.
Tomczak, who became a free agent in February, re-signed with the
Steelers as a backup for three years at $1.2 million, including a
$300,000 signing bonus.
Stewart is scheduled to make $360,000 in salary but can more than double
that with incentives as the starting quarterback. The new contract adds
an unspecified signing bonus.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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