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Twins outfielder SHANE MACK signed by far the biggest contract in the history of Japanese baseball yesterday -- a two- year deal worth about $8.1M (Mult., 1/5)....University of Miami has given the Seahawks permission to talk with coach DENNIS ERICKSON (Mult., 1/5)....The Boston Garden is closed to completing a broadcast deal with NANCY KERRIGAN Productions for a '95 show called Halloween on Ice (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/4)....Former NCAA Director WALTER BYERS told the AP that college athletes should be paid. Byers' suggestion drew "fire" from current NCAA Director CEDRIC DEMPSEY who said "There is a very strong concern about providing direct compensation beyond education. There's no support for that" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/5)....MLS has announced the signing of U.S. National Team player TAB RAMOS, who recently has played in the Spanish First Division. Ramos is the first player signed by the league scheduled to begin play in 1996 (MLS)....JOHN HAMMER has been appointed to president of Revlon Professional USA. He will oversee all marketing, advertising, sales promotions and manufacturing activities for his division (Revlon).....Hill & Knowlton public relations of New York, has named MARK THORNE Chief Operating Officer (Hill & Knowlton)....Music critic Barry Walters, on DEION SANDERS' new rap album: "Sanders better not quit either of his day jobs" (SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 1/5).