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City orders Coliseum to hire minorities, women

The Tampa City Council has repeated its strong stance that Tampa Coliseum Inc. must follow city rules on minority hiring when it builds an arena on public land adjacent to Tampa Stadium. The council passed a measure Thursday that orders Tampa Coliseum Inc. to develop a program that will insure minorities will be hired during construction of the 18,500-seat arena that will house the Tampa Bay Lightning, a National Hockey League expansion franchise.

The council said the program should follow the city's Women and Minority Business Enterprise Program (W/MBE).

Under the law, 25 percent of the money for construction projects should be awarded to firms owned by women and/or minorities; 4 percent of contract money spent on goods and non-professional services and 14 percent of the money spent for professional services should go to W/MBE firms.

The council also asked for a report on hiring at the Coliseum.

The Coliseum group had agreed to follow W/MBE rules May 14 when the city approved a ground lease and joint-use parking agreement between Tampa Coliseum Inc. and the Tampa Sports Authority, the public body that oversees the land.

The Hillsborough County Commission also required a provision be added regarding minority hiring before it approved the two agreements on May 21.

Whalers owner says GM decided to fire coach

HARTFORD, Conn. _ Hartford Whalers owner Richard Gordon said he may have been the reason coach Rick Ley was fired, but denied he made the decision.

Gordon said at a news conference he made it clear he didn't like Ley's coaching style, but he left the decision to general manager Ed Johnston.

The Whalers will introduce their new coach today. The job is expected to go to Jimmy Roberts, who has coached the Springfield Indians to successive AHL titles.

Gordon came under heavy criticism after Ley's firing because he left town a day earlier with his family to watch the French Open and was unavailable for comment.

Gordon said he wanted to be at the news conference announcing Ley's firing, but couldn't.

"Ed Johnston said to me, "I'll handle it myself. That's what I get paid for,' " Gordon said.

Johnston said at the news conference last week he decided to fire Ley when it became clear he could not resolve philosophical differences between Ley and Gordon.

After he was fired, Ley said Gordon spent too much time listening to advisers such as tennis star Ivan Lendl and former football player Roger Staubach instead of people in the organization.

But Gordon disputed that, saying that while he talks with Lendl and Staubach occasionally, he talks with Johnston and hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr daily.

Ferraro signs multiyear contract with Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. _ Center Ray Ferraro, who has scored at least 20 goals in each of his last six seasons, signed a multiyear contract to stay with the New York Islanders.

_ Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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