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Tennessee's Houston quits

Wade Houston, his team heading for its worst record in more than 30 years, resigned Monday as basketball coach at Tennessee.

Houston said he will leave after this season. The Vols have two regular-season games before the Southeastern Conference tournament in two weeks.

"We feel that the announcement at this juncture will allow the university to openly pursue its search for a new coach, assure a smooth transition in the program, help our recruits to make a more informed and knowledgeable choice of institutions, and enhance my and the staff's opportunities to pursue our career goals," Houston said.

The Vols are 5-19 this season and last in the SEC's Eastern Division at 2-12.

Athletic director Doug Dickey said Tennessee had agreed to pay the base salary for the two years remaining on Houston's contract, or $200,000, plus an additional $50,000 in the negotiated settlement.

Dickey said he will start looking for a replacement immediately, although he would not discuss any candidates.

State men's games

Fla. Atlantic 75, N.C. St. 71: Khris Edden made four free throws in the final 34.5 seconds and Craig Buchanan scored all of his 13 points in the second half as the Owls pulled off an upset Monday night. Florida Atlantic (3-23) won on the road for the first time as a Division I school. The Wolfpack (10-17) lost its third home game to a non-ACC opponent.

Arkansas St. 86, Jacksonville 71: Jeff Clifton had 23 points and 17 rebounds as the host Indians beat the Dolphins in a Sun Belt Conference game.

Centenary 80, Cent. Fla. 76: Aijay Foreman scored 23 points, including a career-high seven three-pointers, to lead Centenary (15-11, 8-8 in the Trans America Athletic Conference) to victory over host Central Florida (15-11, 8-8).

Penn joins the ranks

PHILADELPHIA _ The last time Penn was nationally ranked was in 1979, when the Quakers were playing in the Final Four against a Michigan State team led by Magic Johnson.

The Ivy League school made its first appearance in the college basketball rankings in 15 years Monday, taking over the No.

25 spot with 70 points from a national media panel.

Arkansas, Duke and Michigan remained 1-2-3, followed by Connecticut and North Carolina.

Black coaches, NCAA to talk

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. _ The Black Coaches Association and the NCAA will meet tonight, their first full discussion since the BCA threatened to disrupt the college basketball season.

They will be joined on a two-hour conference call by three federal mediators who will have no authority to resolve any disputes. The issues the BCA has raised, including freshman eligibility standards and scholarship cuts, can be decided only by vote of NCAA schools at their annual meeting.

_ TIMES WIRES

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