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Volume 24 No. 112
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          Police over the weekend cleared Cowboys Erik Williams
     and Michael Irvin of a sexual assault charge after
     determining that the accusation was false.  Williams is
     considering legal action "against the police department and
     others," and Irvin and his lawyer "have not discussed their
     next step" (Kelly Carter, USA TODAY, 1/13).  
          MEDIA ETHICS EXAMINED: In the wake of Irvin's and
     Williams' clearance, the ethics of sports media was examined
     by ESPN's Jeremy Schaap on "SportsWeekly."  Dallas Morning
     News Exec VP & Editor Ralph Langer: "The story was forced by
     what the police department did.  They had a choice to not do
     that and they did it, and once they went public and read
     these people's names into the record, then it couldn't not
     be reported"  Bob Lichter, head of Center for Media & Public
     Affairs: "It was just too juicy.  Violence against women,
     celebrity athletes out of control, the Dallas Cowboys riding
     for a fall" ("SportsWeekly," ESPN, 1/12).         
          REAX: Header in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS: "Image Still
     Tarnished, Pundits Say. Some Call Backlash Unavoidable
     Despite Vindication Of Players" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/12).
     Header in the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM: "Cowboys Need To
     Tackle PR Crisis" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/12).  Mike
     Lupica: "Sometimes we all go too far, and they were innocent
     this time, and you know what?  It is about time" ("The
     Sports Reporters," ESPN, 1/12).  NBC's Cris Collinsworth
     said Irvin and Williams "deserve the same kind of treatment
     on national television once this story went away that it got
     when this whole thing started to break" (NBC, 1/12).