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Volume 24 No. 156
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     The NHL released the schedule for its 80th season.  Games
will begin Friday, October 4, and the regular season will run to
April 13 (NHL)....ESPN's John Kernan reported the IRL is looking
to expand its schedule -- possibly to the Pocono Int'l Raceway.
IRL President Tony George and two other IRL officials visited the
raceway over the weekend ("SportsCenter," 7/22)....On the '96-97
premiere of "NFL Prime Monday," ESPN's Chris Mortensen quoted a
source who told him NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue is
considering a six-eight game suspension for Michael Irvin because
of the "exacerbating circumstances" concerning his drug case.
Also, NFL officials are still deciding whether to order Irvin
into rehab.  Mortensen also noted that Nebraska coach Tom Osborne
wrote to Tagliabue and all NFL teams saying that NFL scouts are
banned from campus.  Osborne is upset at the way the league
handled the Lawrence Phillips and Christian Peter situations
("NFL Prime Monday," 7/22)....Average MLS attendance dropped
below 20,000 for the first time.  The league now averages 19,776,
including two season low crowds the last week in Denver of 6,117
and 6,320 (USA TODAY, 7/23)....In Phoenix, Bob Cohn, on NBA free
agency salaries, which he calls "laughable and ludicrous":  "The
sport is in serious danger of alienating many of the fans once so
willing to embrace it" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 7/23)....The AHL has
named Syracuse to host the '98 AHL All-Star Classic.  Next
season's event will be in St. John, New Brunswick (AHL)