Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Sports digest

Reports: Serena near $60M deal with Nike

The Enquirer and wire reports

Serena Williams is close to signing an endorsement contract with Nike worth as much as $60 million, two tennis sources told the Associated Press. The deal would make her the richest female athlete in history.

The multiyear agreement would include royalties and performance bonuses for winning Grand Slam events or reaching No. 1 in the rankings, one source said.

Those clauses could make the contract worth more than the deal with Reebok that older sister Venus signed in December 2000 after winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. That was worth up to $40 million over five years.

Serena, 21, has won five of the last seven Grand Slam tournaments, beating her sister in the final each time.

ESPN.com, citing unidentified sources, reported that Serena and Nike agreed to a five-year deal plus a three-year extension that could be worth as much as $55 million. SportsBusiness Journal reported it is a lifetime deal for $60 million.

Serena's contract with Puma expired early this year.


PGA TOUR Q SCHOOL: Swede Mathias Gronberg captured medalist honors at the final stage of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament, posting a 20-under-par total in Orlando, Fla.

Former U.S. Ryder Cup player Steve Pate and Kentucky left-hander Russ Cochran were also among the 34 players to secure 2004 PGA Tour cards.

Oak Hills High graduate Brett Wetterich failed to regain his PGA Tour privileges and will return to the Nationwide Tour for a second year.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Tom Watson was named the over-50 circuit's player of the year - for which he receives the Jack Nicklaus Trophy - in voting by his peers.

PGA TOUR: Players voted Tiger Woods player of the year; British Open champion and Ohio native Ben Curtis rookie of the year and Greater Hartford Open champion Peter Jacobsen, 49, comeback player of the year.


MIAMI HOCKEY RISES: The unranked RedHawks moved atop the CCHA standings and into the nation's top-15 poll (No. 14) by sweeping then-No. 6 Ohio State in a home-and-home series last weekend for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

"It's always a good series when we play Ohio State," team captain Derek Edwardson said. "The rankings basically go out the window, and we end up with two great games. OSU is a great team; we were just fortunate to get the bounces."

Miami is off this week, then travels to Minneapolis to play No. 5 New Hampshire in the Dec. 20-21 Dodge Holiday Classic. Two-time defending national champion Minnesota and Princeton are the other teams involved.


TRACK AND FIELD: USA officials' plan for lifetime bans for first-time steroid offenders will never be upheld in court, World Anti-Doping Agency chairman Dick Pound said.

HORSE RACING: The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from trainer Bob Baffert that stemmed from a filly's positive drug test three years ago.

SOCCER: Birmingham City (England) is trying to identify and ban a spectator who threw a coin at Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel, the star of the U.S. World Cup team last year.

AUCTION: Mickey Mantle's 1957 MVP award sold for $275,000 in an auction of items belonging to the family of the late Yankees star.

OHIO DEER KILL: Hunters killed 116,004 deer in the weeklong gun season that ended Sunday, state wildlife officials said. The preliminary total was down about 12 percent from last year. One hunter was killed from the 450,000 who participated.

Setback has Bengals thinking forward
Jones doubtful after arthroscopic surgery
Hawkins expected to return
Monday: Rams 26, Browns 20
Foot injury ends season for Redskins' Ramsey

Bearcats have eyes on Solich
Minter, Holtz to reunite?
Roethlisberger gets Heisman support
Embattled BCS system has options
Stoops: Sooners deserve Sugar Bowl bid
Heisman Spotlight: Michigan RB Chris Perry
Bowl snub leaves NIU crying foul

Like Miami, Muskies look to end streak

Schmidt predicts Rose action soon
Baseball's revolving door shows it's cash that counts
Anaheim, RHP Colon reportedly near deal

Moeller, MND top boys, girls rankings
Prep sports results, schedules

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