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Monday, December 1, 1997

Demanding Longhorns hunt for new coach

AUSTIN, Dec. 1 (AP) -- Some might argue that the Texas
football coaching job comes with a seat already warmed to
temperature of high noon on a summer day in Austin.

Fred Akers won 73 percent of his games over 10 seasons and
was fired after his first losing season in 1986.

Favorite son David McWilliams, who played for Akers'
predecessor Darrell Royal, put Texas in the top five in 1990
then was fired after a 5-6 season in 1991.

John Mackovic won or shared three conference titles in six
years, improved football graduation rates and was fired
Saturday after his first losing season.

On Monday, Texas will convene its 10-person screening
committee for a new football coach with hopes of naming
Mackovic's successor in the next two weeks.

Top candidates include Northwestern's Gary Barnett, Mack
Brown at North Carolina, Butch Davis at Miami, Tommy
Tuberville at Mississippi and Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee.

Thomas Hicks -- a university regent from Dallas who owns the
Dallas Stars hockey team who will be part of the search team
-- said Sunday he hoped the committee would have the list
narrowed by the end of the week.

``Until official calls are made and you go through the
protocol, it's hard to tell what a coach's interest is,''
Hicks said. ``They may act interested if someone is just
asking them offhand. But we should know by the middle of the
week who is serious.''

Hicks praised Mackovic for his championships, for improving
recruiting in Texas and in California and for increased
graduation rates. But he said Mackovic's downfall was
failing to improve the Longhorns' defense and for failing to
motivate the team.

``We've become one of the worst defensive teams in the
nation over a long period of time,'' Hicks said. ``He was
encouraged to do something about that and he was unable to
do so.

``The on-field leadership was very erratic,'' Hicks added.
``When a team loses 66-3 against a team (UCLA) it's favored
to beat, it shows for whatever reason the team chose to quit
on that day. They did that a half dozen times while he was
coach and that's unacceptable.

``We are all realistic to know that college football has a
lot of parity, but the University of Texas has been out of
the hunt for a national championship for close to 20 years,
and that's just too long.''

When asked if many coaches would want to face the pressure
at Texas, athletic director DeLoss Dodds said, ``I think
there are coaches who want this job.

``It's a tough job, but it's a place where I think we can
have a top 10 program year in and year out,'' Dodds said.

Texas regent Lowell H. Lebermann Jr. of Austin said, ``Texas
is a tough place to coach, but it's hard to coach at any top

``We go out there and try to win in everything, in
academics, research and athletics, and we will continue to
do that.''

No bones are made about the fact that the football program's
success is directly related to the enthusiasm of students
and the money given by key financial backers.

``In this part of the country, football is important to
getting alums and students excited about their involvement
in the university, to getting donations, which are important
to the shrinking budgets of schools,'' Hicks said.

Dodds will chair the search committee and will be joined by
Hicks, Royal and three of his former players: Bob Moses of
Houston, Doug English of Austin and Alfred Jackson of

The other four members are Texas men's athletics council
chairwoman Waneen Spirduso; Mike Myers of Dallas,
representing former students; B.M. ``Mack'' Rankin of
Dallas, head of the Longhorn Foundation Advisory Council;
and at-large selection Prof. Charles Alan Wright of the UT
School of Law.

Chiefs win in rout, but 49ers get bye

AP Football Writer

KANSAS CITY, Dec. 1 -- San Francisco already was in the
playoffs and now has a bye, too. Denver joined in as a
postseason qualifier, and Kansas City solidified its
position as a contender.

Things are getting settled nicely in the NFL's western
divisions. And they are getting more muddled by the week in
the eastern sectors.

While Denver's 38-28 victory Sunday night at San Diego
handed the Broncos a wild-card berth at worst, the Chiefs'
44-9 rout of the 49ers kept them right on Denver's heels in
the AFC West. Oddly, the 49ers were assured of having the
first round off when the playoffs begin later this month
because the New York Giants were beaten 20-8 by Tampa Bay.

New York's loss also tightened the NFC East, although the
Giants (7-5-1) stayed on top. But Philadelphia's 44-42
shootout win over Cincinnati lifted it within a game of New
York and tied with Washington, which fell at home to St.
Louis 23-20.

``We're still in this thing,'' said Eagles quarterback Bobby
Hoying, who threw for four touchdowns in only his third
start. ``We still have a good chance at getting into the

Even Dallas, a 27-14 loser to Tennessee on Thanksgiving Day,
remains in that race.

The AFC East isn't any less uncertain. Buffalo's 20-10
decision against the Jets dropped front-running New York
into a tie with Miami and New England, all at 8-5. The
Dolphins won for the first time in nine tries at Oakland,
34-16, and the Patriots took the Colts 20-17.

Broncos 38, Chargers 28

John Elway threw three touchdown passes and San Diego native
Terrell Davis ran for 178 yards and one touchdown. Davis
regained the NFL rushing lead from Detroit's Barry Sanders
with 1,647 yards and needs to average 118 yards over his
final three games to become the third NFL player to reach

Chiefs 44, 49ers 9

Kansas City (10-3) handed San Francisco (11-2) its worst
defeat in the regular season since a 59-14 rout by Dallas in
1980, the year before the Niners won their first Super Bowl.
It also snapped an 11-game winning streak for the visitors
as Steve Young was sacked five times and Garrison Hearst,
who went over 1,000 yards rushing for the year, was lost for
4-6 weeks with a broken collarbone.

The Chiefs jumped to a 28-6 lead and cruised. Kansas City
rushed for 153 yards, more than double what San Francisco's
league-leading defense had allowed on the ground this year.
Rich Gannon, still starting for injured Elvis Grbac, threw
for three TDs and Marcus Allen threw for one.

``Rich Gannon has done things, but nobody wants to write
about that,'' said Andre Rison, who caught two touchdown
passes and finished with five catches for 117 yards. ``Today
he showed the whole world he's a starting quarterback. He
just happens to be here behind Elvis Grbac.''

Buccaneers 20, Giants 8

In breaking a nine-game losing streak against New York teams
on the road, Tampa Bay (9-4) guaranteed its first winning
season since 1982. Mike Alstott scored twice and Warrick
Dunn ran for 120 yards and set up two TDs for the Bucs, who
can clinch a playoff berth for the first time in 15 years
with one win in the three remaining games.

Eagles 44, Bengals 42

Bobby vs. Boomer in a shootout.

Hoying not only threw four touchdown passes, he guided the
Eagles 61 yards in the final moments to set up Chris
Boniol's 31-yard game-winning field goal for the host Eagles
(6-6-1), who play the Giants next. Hoying finished 26-of-42
for 313 yards.

Rams 23, Redskins 20

St. Louis (3-10) ended an eight-game slide as Jerald Moore
and Amp Lee, replacing the released Lawrence Phillips, each
scored. Lee's 45-yard reception set up Jeff Wilkins'
game-winning 25-yard field goal with :04 left.

Bills 20, Jets 10

New York's playoff express hit a roadblock as three starters
-- tackles David Williams and Jumbo Elliott and cornerback
Aaron Glenn -- were lost to injuries. Host Buffalo (6-7) won
its sixth straight against the Jets as Todd Collins and
Lonnie Johnson combined on a 62-yard fourth-quarter

Dolphins 34, Raiders 16

Miami showed balanced on offense and got a big play on
defense against the Raiders (4-9), who were eliminated from
playoff contention for the fourth straight year.

Patriots 20, Colts 17

New England grabbed its share of the AFC East lead as Drew
Bledsoe, who went two games without a touchdown pass, threw
a 3-yarder pass to Sam Gash and an 18-yarder to Troy Brown.
The Patriots needed a fumble recovery and Dave Meggett's
47-yard punt return to set up their two touchdowns and beat
hapless Indianapolis (1-12).

Steelers 26, Cardinals 20, OT

Pittsburgh rode the Bus again.

Jerome Bettis' 10-yard run 5:34 into overtime was his third
TD of the game. He gained 142 yards on 36 carries.
Pittsburgh had 10 sacks, three by Carnell Lake in the first

Jaguars 29, Ravens 27

Jacksonville won its 13th straight home game as Mark Brunell
showed he's back in form. The quarterback threw for 317
yards and a touchdown as the Jaguars improved to 6-0 vs.

Falcons 24, Seahawks 17

At Seattle, Atlanta (5-8) won its third in a row and fourth
in the last five as rookie Byron Hanspard returned a kickoff
93 yards for a touchdown and the winning points. The
Seahawks lost their third in a row and at 6-7 seem out of
playoff contention.

Saints 16, Panthers 13

How good a job is Saints coach Mike Ditka doing? His team is
5-8 after scoring 13 points off turnovers. A 45-yard field
goal by Doug Brien, his third of the game, with five seconds
left beat host Carolina (6-7).

Jordan wants explanation of trade demand

DEERFIELD, Ill., Dec. 1 (AP) -- Michael Jordan says Scottie
Pippen owes his Chicago Bulls teammates an explanation for
his trade demand.

``I'm very disappointed that he hasn't been able to put
aside hidealings with management,'' Jordan said.

Pippen, claiming management has not respected him, went
public last week with the trade demand. Pippen also is fed
up with a salary of $2.7 million in the final year of a deal
he signed in 1991. Chosen as one of the 50 greatest players
in NBA history, Pippen is 122nd on this year's salary list.

He has missed the first 16 games of the season while
recovering from preseason foot surgery. But he has said he
won't play another game for the Bulls, healthy or otherwise.

Pippen should have announced that sooner, Jordan said late
Saturday after the Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak
with a victory at Washington.

``It would have made a big difference in terms of me and
(coach Phil Jackson) and a lot of other players,'' Jordan
said. ``I'm pretty sure management would have changed the
whole outlook (of the team).''

Jordan has had similar disputes with management, believing
the team should have offered him more money when he became
the league's best player and began leading the Bulls to NBA
titles. Like Pippen, he had been a salary bargain for years,
making $4 million a year until his contract expired after
the 1995-96 season. He signed a one-year deal last season
for about $25 million and another one for this season paying
him about $33 million.

But Jordan said he has always been able to put differences
with management aside when he steps on the court.

``I don't know if he can do that right now. The scars may be
too deep,'' said Jordan, who has spoken only briefly with
Pippen since the trade demand.

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