DODGERS SALE: The sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Peter O'Malley to Rupert Murdoch's Fox Group is the main topic for baseball's three-day quarterly meetings, which started today.

The sale, valued at about $350 million, is expected to be approved Thursday. Fox, a division of Murdoch's News Corp., would immediately take over operation of the team.

MO' MONEY FOR VAUGHN: The Boston Red Sox are prepared to offer first baseman Mo Vaughn a four-year, approximately $50 million contract, The Boston Globe reported today.

That would give Vaughn an average of $12.5 million, matching the average salary pitcher Pedro Martinez will be paid under a six-year, $75 million contract. Vaughn, 30, in the last year of a three-year, $18.6 million contract, has previously asked for a five-year deal.


HUGE $$$ FOR HUGH: Hugh Douglas, a 26-year-old linebacker who joined the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday in a trade with the New York Jets, signed a six-year contract worth more than $25 million.

At a news conference, the Eagles said they tore up Douglas' remaining one-year contract and offered him the fresh, six-year agreement. The Eagles acquired Douglas for second- and fifth-round draft choices.

DALLAS RE-SIGNS THOMAS: The Dallas Cowboys re-signed free agent defensive end Broderick Thomas to a one-year contract. Terms were not released.

Thomas led the Cowboys last season with 10 quarterback pressures. He also had 31/2 sacks and 31 tackles in a backup role.

EVANSVILLE DROPS FOOTBALL: Evansville dropped its football program, saying it can no longer provide the support needed to compete. The school played at the non-scholarship NCAA Division I-AA level for the past decade.


ERRING OFFICIALS BANNED: Three officials were barred from working further women's tournament games by the NCAA after their wrong call allowed Alabama's game-winning shot against UCLA.

The NCAA said Jack Riordan, Robert Strong and Lolly Saenz made mistakes at the end of the Midwest Regional game at Tuscaloosa on Sunday. The mistakes included allowing Latoya Caudle's game-winning shot to stand.

Despite finding that the home-team timekeeper started the clock too slowly and a violation was committed on the inbounds pass, the NCAA said Alabama would still be recognized as the winner.

POINT-SHAVING CASE: Two Illinois men pleaded guilty to reduced charges for their role in an alleged scheme to pay two Arizona State players to shave points in 1994 games.

Joseph Mangiamele, 36, of Arlington Heights, Ill., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sports bribery and money laundering. His father Dominic Mangiamele, 61, of Mount Prospect, Ill., pleaded guilty to sports bribery.

Both still face five years in prison, but could have their sentences reduced for cooperating with authorities.

A federal grand jury returned a 72-count indictment last month against the Mangiameles, Benny Silman of North Hollywood, Calif., and Joseph Gagliano of Phoenix, accusing them of bribery, money laundering and racketeering.

NEW ISU COACH: Doug Oliver, an assistant under Stanford's Mike Montgomery for 12 years, was hired as Idaho State's coach.

Athletic director Irv Cross said Oliver would succeed Herb Williams, who resigned after eight years at Idaho State with a 98-123 record. Idaho State was 6-20 this season, including a 2-14 record in the Big Sky Conference.

HOWARD FIRES COACH: Howard University fired coach Mike McLeese after the Bisons' fourth consecutive losing season. Howard was 8-20 this season, and 31-78 in four seasons under McLeese.


CHELIOS' APOLOGY NOT ENOUGH: U.S. Olympic Committee Executive Director Dick Schultz said a public apology from Olympic men's hockey team captain Chris Chelios doesn't "close the book" on an investigation because players who trashed their rooms still haven't apologized.

Schultz said Chelios's letters of apology Friday to the Japanese Olympic Committee and USOC and payment of $3,000 to cover the damages was a step in the right direction.

Chelios's apology came two days after the USOC said it would accept a group apology for damage done to the rooms. Schultz wouldn't say why an apology from the team captain isn't enough.

The USOC still wants a public apology from the players responsible for the damages. If no one comes forward before the USOC executive committee meets April 4-5 in Portland, Ore., Schultz said the committee will consider all of its options, including a teamwide sanction. Such a move could prevent any of the 23 Olympic team players from participating in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.


U.S. OPEN EXEMPTS JACK: Jack Nicklaus received special exemptions from the United States Golf Association to play in the U.S. Open through 2000.

When Nicklaus, 58, was not among those given exemptions in January it appeared his streak of consecutive major championship would end at 145 after the Masters. Now Nicklaus, a four-time U.S. Open winner, can extend that streak through the 2001 Masters, if he chooses, pushing it to 157.

This year's U.S. Open is June 18-21 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. The 1999 Open is at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina, and the 2000 tournament is at Pebble Beach, Calif.

WHEATIES INKS WOODS: Tiger Woods became just the eighth permanent spokesman in the nearly 75-year history of Wheaties cereal.

The details of Woods' contract weren't disclosed. A source told The Associated Press on Friday that Woods will be paid by General Mills through contributions to the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Woods, the youngest Masters champion, has signed over $100 million in endorsements since turning pro in August 1996, including deals with Nike, Titleist, American Express and Rolex.


MORE PICABO WOES: Not only did Olympic champion Picabo Street break her left leg last week in a World Cup downhill race in Switzerland, she seriously damaged her right knee, U.S. Ski Team surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman said.

Street underwent surgery last Friday in Switzerland to repair the broken leg, then was flown to the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo.,on Sunday.

Steadman said Street also tore the anterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus to her right knee in last week's crash and will require reconstructive surgery. Street won the Olympic super-G gold medal last month to cap a 14-month comeback from reconstruction of her left knee.