Florida Panthers officials said Tuesday that the team will begin looking for a new home unless the owners of Miami Arena, the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority, approve the team's new lease.
The MSEA has rejected a lease extension worked out in May between the Panthers and Leisure Management, which manages the arena. The authority is supposed to have five board members but currently has one, Joe Carollo, the favorite in next Tuesday's Miami mayoral election.
"Obviously, we are kind of being held hostage here," Panthers president Bill Torrey said.
Carollo has complained that Panthers owner H. Wayne Huizenga essentially negotiated the lease with himself because he also controls Decoma Miami Associates, which manages the arena.
"This is all a ploy by Huizenga Holdings to intimidate me, to frankly extort me on the election eve," Carollo said.
MORE NHL: Arturs Irbe, 4-12-4 with a 4.59 goals-against-average in 22 games with San Jose last season, signed a one-year free-agent deal with Dallas. Bill Evo quit after 10 months as Detroit's president. Paul MacLean, who played 719 games with the Jets, Blues and Red Wings before coaching the IHL's Peoria Rivermen for three seasons, joined Phoenix _ formerly Winnipeg _ as an assistant. Steven King, a right wing who had two goals in seven games for Anaheim last season, signed with Philadelphia. . . Bill Berg, a checking forward obtained in a trade with Toronto last season, signed a three-year deal with the Rangers.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Citing a "combination of things," including the drafting and release of lineman Christian Peter by New England, Nebraska coach Tom Osborne told the NFL he will continue to provide film but will not allow scouts on campus. "I don't know that it is unprecedented," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Noting that his school reported nine of 10 violations listed in the NCAA's letter of inquiry, Louisville coach Denny Crum said the worst penalty he expects is a one-year ban from post-season play. Donyell Marshall, who left in 1994 to enter the NBA draft, donated $100,000 to establish a men's basketball scholarship at Connecticut. . . Keith Smart, whose baseline jumper in the final seconds gave Indiana a 74-73 victory over Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA final, went from the Florida Beachdogs to the Fort Wayne Fury for fellow guard Dexter Boney in a CBA trade. . . UMass said six players, including Marcus Camby, are receiving payments to settle invasion-of-privacy complaints against the university.
BOXING: New York's Madison Square Garden, host to the July 11 Riddick Bowe-Andrew Golota bout that ended in a chair-swinging melee, said it has improved security for its Aug.
20 card. The New York Post reported that federal authorities are investigating allegations that IBF president Robert Lee accepted payoffs to fix rankings. Hector Quiroz (22-1, 20 knockouts) stopped Marlon Thomas (13-4-1) at 2:59 of the second round Monday night in Inglewood, Calif., to retain the NABO junior welterweight title.
GOLF: Kevin Mock of Tampa shot 71 to stand third through one round of the Nortel junior golf competition in Nashville.
BOWLING: Aleta Sill climbed 10 spots to lead through 16 games of match play in the LPBT's Greater Charleston (S.C.) Open.