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Olajuwon rips into Rockets officials

Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon had been silent all off-season but ripped into team officials Thursday night. Olajuwon had demanded an apology and a trade resulting from his feud with the Rockets over his injured hamstring and his refusal to suit up for a game. But he blasted owner Charlie Thomas and general manager Steve Patterson. Olajuwon: "I don't expect any apology because you are not dealing with classy people here. Charlie has been a coward standing behind the organization. So Steve Patterson is not even worth talking about." In March, Olajuwon was angered because Patterson accused him of faking an injury as a ploy in his attempts to renegotiate his contract.

MORE NBA: Arkansas guard Lee Mayberry, one of Milwaukee's two first-round draft choices, signed a four-year contract. The Bucks' other first-round pick was Arkansas forward Todd Day, who remains unsigned. The Bucks also signed South Carolina forward Joe Rhett to a free-agent contract. Rhett, who has a pacemaker, missed the final 12 games last season because of an irregular heartbeat. Charlotte signed Wisconsin-Green Bay guard Tony Bennett, the team's second- round draft pick, to a multiyear contract. Nearly 10,000 tickets have been sold for the Chicago Bulls-Washington Bullets exhibition at the Suncoast Dome on Oct. 17. In response to questions about whether Michael Jordan will play in the preseason, Bulls coach Phil Jackson said Thursday night that "barring any unforeseen circumstances, we expect that all of our players will play." Magic Johnson reported to Lakers camp in Honolulu. Johnson: "I was so nervous I felt like a rookie again." Stanley Roberts, acquired from the Orlando Magic last month, reported to camp with the Los Angeles Clippers weighing about 310 pounds, about 25 more than the Clippers wanted.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UNLV's legal battles with the NCAA over the past two decades have cost the university $1-million in legal fees, a report prepared by school officials for a legislative committee says. The university has spent $600,000 in legal fees in the past five years alone.

COLLEGE SPORTS: King Dixon said he hoped to be South Carolina's athletic director next year but wouldn't comment on a report that he would be replaced before the end of 1992. The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C., reported Friday that Dixon would be replaced before the year is over _ possibly before the end of October.

HORSE RACING: Pleasant Tap is the 5-2 favorite for today's 1-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. Sultry Song and Strike the Gold are the co-second choices at 7-2. Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy is the 4-1 fourth choice. A.P. Indy is coming off a fifth-place finish in the 1[-mile Molson Million on Sept. 13. That race snapped his string of seven consecutive victories. The $850,000 Gold Cup is a major prep for the $3-million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 31 at Gulfstream Park.

BASEBALL: Little League Baseball Philippines Inc. demanded the resignation of the International Tournament Committee that stripped the Philippines of the world series title. The Philippines was stripped of the title for using ineligible players.

ET CETERA: The 14th-ranked USF men's team (7-2-1) and host Virginia Commonwealth (3-6-1) played to a 3-3 tie. USF coach Jay Miller blasted the officials: '"In 20 years of soccer, I've never seen anything like this. It was not a good experience." Mark Chung, Ryan Scott and Matt Borgard scored for USF. The U.S. and Canadian national soccer teams played to a lackluster scoreless tie in Greensboro, N.C. The USF volleyball team (8-7) downed visiting Tulane (13-10) 15-9, 15-10, 15-6 in Metro Conference play.

_ Compiled by Mike Huguenin

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