Three Wisconsin coaches get one-year contract extensions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin athletic board extended by one year the contracts of men’s basketball coach Dick Bennett, women’s basketball coach Jane Albright-Dieterle and hockey coach Jeff Sauer.
The extension gave Bennett a five-year deal. Albright-Dieterle and Sauer were returned to their original four-year contracts.
Athletics director Pat Richter said on Monday that the athletic board acted only on contract lengths. Decisions on salaries are expected to be made later, Richter said.
The board also renewed one-year agreements with wrestling coach Barry Davis and women’s swimming coach Nick Hansen.
College golfer withdraws from NCAAs
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Jackson State golfer Tim O’Neal says he will not play in the NCAA tournament.
O’Neal, who has one of the best scoring averages in the nation, said on Monday he will join his teammates at the National Minority Championship in Cleveland, Ohio. That tournament begins May 19. The Tigers have won the event six times.
“I’d rather go with the team. I believe if I was here for individual goals I would have turned pro earlier. The NCAA is not the last tournament and it’s not the only tournament,” O’Neal said.
The Jackson State golf team was not extended an NCAA tournament bid. O’Neal earned an individual bid to play in the Central Regional in Norman, Okla.
Jackson State won its ninth straight Southwestern Athletic Conference championship this year. Last year, Jackson State became the first team from a historically black school to earn a berth in the NCAA golf tournament.
“I’m not totally in agreement with it,” Jackson State golf coach Eddie Payton said. “But I respect his decision and will stand by him.”
O’Neal’s scoring average is 71.83, which leads the race for the Golfstat Cup, awarded each year to the men’s collegiate golfer with the lowest scoring average, adjusted for conditions. Last year’s winner was Tiger Woods with a 70.61 average.
Jockeys head southfor money
ST. PAUL (AP) — While the state Legislature debates how to keep the Minnesota Twins in town, a different type of athlete already is leaving the state.
Equine athletes from Canterbury Park — where the Legislature is considering putting slot machines to finance a new baseball stadium — are heading south to the track in Altoona, Iowa, where slots are alive and well.
The machines at Prairie Meadows have become such a booming success since they were installed in April 1995 that profits have retired nearly $90 million of debt on the track.
They’re also paying for purses that are paying horsemen $105,000 a day, nearly $40,000 more than Canterbury will offer when live racing resumes in Shakopee on Saturday.
The purse difference not only has convinced some horsemen to compete in Iowa instead of Shakopee this year, but it also has persuaded native Minnesotans to shift some of their breeding stock to Iowa because of the money offered to racehorses bred there.
As a result, Canterbury officials say that competition has become so intense that adding slots to the Canterbury mix probably would be only a temporary solution to the horse industry’s problems.
“It will take some pressure off short term,” said Canterbury President Randy Sampson. “But to be really successful, Canterbury and the breeding industry will need a long-term revenue source.”
The Minnesota Lottery would oversee the slots operation at Canterbury if it is approved. Lottery director George Anderson estimated that 1,500 slot machines would produce $60 million a year.
The profits would be divided several ways, including stadium funding, the state, the environmental trust fund and lottery expenses.
Canterbury would get a cut for capital improvements, additional security and utilities.
A $50 million figure would mean an additional $2.5 million for Canterbury’s purses, a $50,000-per-day purse increase for a 50-day meet. But Sampson said it is likely the track would run a longer meet under such conditions, maybe 70 or 80 days.
At the Iowa track, the slots produced a $110 million profit last year and are averaging $4 million a day of business this year.
“It’s truly amazing what has happened there,” said John McEvoy, senior writer for the Daily Racing Form, the industry’s leading newspaper. “But I’m a little leery of what will eventually happen. How long will people want to subsidize racing this way?”