The Gator Bowl Association has extended a $2-million proposal to Vanderbilt to lure a game this fall or in 2000 between the Commodores and Florida to Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville.
The '98 game is Nov. 7. The Gator Bowl's deal is believed to be about $800,000 more than a $1.2-million guarantee Florida Citrus Sports has had on the table for several years in its quest to lure a UF game to the Citrus Bowl.
Word of the Gator Bowl's offer reached Chuck Rohe on Monday, but the executive director of Florida Citrus Sports said his group still will pursue a UF-Vandy date for Orlando, even for '98, if possible.
"We'll still be talking to Vanderbilt. We don't negotiate in the media. Any discussion we have with Vanderbilt will be private," Rohe said.
BASKETBALL: Anthony Jones' last-second three-pointer gave host Tampa Bay a 138-137 victory over defending USBL champ Atlantic City.
BOXING: Don King's lawyer, Peter Fleming Jr., tried to wear down the prosecution's star witness, boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, in a New York insurance-fraud trial with questions that strained his memory and patience. The cross examination of the 35-year-old went on most of the day, frustrating Chavez, who thought Fleming was trying to trick him. Fleming showed Chavez checks, contracts and other documents to try to show when Chavez was paid or when he borrowed money from King. Prosecutors are using Chavez's testimony to try to prove King faked a contract in 1991 for a Chavez fight to collect $350,000 in training expenses after the bout was canceled. Lawyers for Mike Tyson and Kevin Rooney argued over whether an oral contract between the pair was binding for the length of Tyson's career. A federal appeals court is considering whether to reinstate the $4.4-million jury award made to Rooney in September 1996. That award was thrown out by the trial judge. Spencer Oliver is breathing on his own and able to speak after surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. He was knocked out by Sergei Devakov in the 10th round of his European super-bantamweight title defense in London. Aging legend Roberto Duran, 47, and heavyweight contender Ray Mercer will be on the undercard of next month's Evander Holyfield-Henry Akinwande championship fight. Joe Bugner and James "Bonecrusher" Smith will fight July 4 for the little-regarded WBF heavyweight title.
COLLEGES: Brian Dutcher, the longtime Michigan assistant men's basketball coach who was passed over for the head job when Steve Fisher was fired last fall, has resigned. Pero Vasiljevic was kicked off the Kansas State basketball team after pleading guilty to drug-related charges, coach Tom Asbury said. Rollins College softball coach Michelle Frew was named Sunshine State Conference coach of the year. Eckerd College's Leslie Jerkins was named to the All-SSC first-team softball squad.
GOLF: Two-time defending champion Marla Jemsek-Weeks and former titleholders Leslie Shannon, Taffy Brower and Peggy Brass won first-round matches at the Women's State Amateur Championship in Fort Myers. Brower, of Ocean Ridge, won the first three holes to beat Debbie Mook-Sang of Valrico 4 and 3. Medinah Country Club in Chicago will host the 1999 PGA Championship. The course will play at 7,384 yards, par 72. The length is believed to be the longest for a major.
SKIING: The U.S. team named two of its smallest Nordic teams in history. Todd Lodwick, winner of two World Cup events last season, and Tim Tetreault were the named to the combined team, and Casey Colby was named to the jumping team.
SWIMMING: Australian world silver medalist Richard Upton was suspended for three months for testing positive for the banned substance probenecid.
TENNIS: Boris Becker lost in the first round of the German Open to Magnus Gustafsson 7-5, 6-4 in Hamburg. Anna Kournikova eased into the second round of the Italian Open with a 6-0, 6-1 rain-interrupted win over Virag Csurgo in Rome. No. 9 seed Venus Williams powered past Yayuk Basuki 6-2, 6-3. Serena Williams eliminated No. 11 Nathalie Tauziat 7-5, 6-0. Patrick McEnroe won his first ATP Tour match since the 1997 Australian Open with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 victory over Christian Vinck in the first round of America's Red Clay Championship in Coral Springs.
TRACK: Frankie Fredericks of Namibia edged American Tim Harden by .04 seconds to win the 100 meters in 10.12 at the Mito, Japan, meet. Joel Heuscher, a 16-year-old pole vaulter from Kalispell, Mont., died of brain injuries suffered in what was thought to be a routine vault Monday.
_ Compiled from Times wires.
Mark Angle of Davis Island examines the damage to his 22-foot boat that was blown off its trailer after a tornado hit near the Davis Island Yacht Club. "It's a pretty heavy boat," Angle said of the 1,600-pound vessel. "It looks like it was thrown around like a toy."