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IRL boss wants to unify open-wheel

Indy Racing League president Tony George is bidding for some of the assets of the bankrupt CART series in an attempt to unify American open-wheel racing.

A bankruptcy judge will hold a hearing today to determine how CART's assets will be disposed. The judge may not make his decision today.

The future of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg likely hinges on the decision. The IRL did not include rights to the local race among the assets for which it is bidding. The other bidder, Open Wheel Racing Series LLC, plans to stage a St. Petersburg race.

George explained his decision in an open letter to fans, dated Jan. 23, on the IRL Web site.

"If we are successful with our bid, our intention is to work quickly and effectively to create a unified market-driven North American open-wheel series," George wrote.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Seminole has surgery

FSU starting center David Castillo will have surgery today on his right foot. After receiving numerous opinions, including from a Bucs team doctor, he will have the procedure to insert three or four screws.

The junior, a second-team All-ACC pick, played in pain virtually the entire season, wearing a special cast. Castillo expects to be ready for fall practice.

In other injury news, starting offensive tackles Alex Barron, a first-team All-America player, and Ray Willis have had shoulder surgery since the Orange Bowl.

LSU: Bobby Williams, an assistant under coach Nick Saban before replacing him at Michigan State, was hired to work on Saban's staff. Williams led Michigan State to a 16-17 record before being fired in 2002. He was the Lions receivers coach this season.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Defensive back Tremaine Tyler was suspended indefinitely for violating unspecified team rules.

GOLF

Five-time PGA Tour

winner Fred Haas dies

Fred Haas, whose five PGA Tour victories included one that stopped Byron Nelson's record winning streak, died Monday in Louisiana. He was 88. Mr. Haas, as an amateur at the 1945 Memphis Open, ended Nelson's winning streak at 11. Mr. Haas turned pro in 1946.

DAVIES FACES MEN: Laura Davies will play in the men's ANZ Championship in Sydney, Australia. The Feb. 12-15 tournament at Horizons Golf Resort marks the first appearance by a female player in an event sanctioned by the European and Australasian tour.

ET CETERA

BOWLING: An 83-year-old man in Green Bay, Wis., become the oldest man in the United States to roll an 800-plus series. Fran Lasee of De Pere, Wis., scored an 834 in the Aurora BayCare Senior Classic at Willow Creek Lanes last week. Lasee bowled three games of 279, 290 and 265.

HORSES: Racing was called off at three tracks in the New York area because of the threat of a snowstorm. Harness racing at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and at Yonkers Raceway in New York was canceled. The thoroughbred card at Aqueduct today also was scrapped.

OLYMPICS: Suspended IOC vice president Kim Un-yong was arrested in Seoul, South Korea, after investigations into possible embezzlement of funds from taekwondo organizations. Kim did not respond to questions by reporters as he was whisked away by car. Officials from the prosecutors' office and the court were not available to comment.

_ BRIAN LANDMAN, TIMES WIRES

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