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Names In The Game

December 14, 1990

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A ticket agent suffered a broken finger when tennis star John McEnroe shoved her against a wall during an outburst when a flight left without him and his family, a spokeswoman for United Airlines said Friday.

″Her finger was broken at the tip and it will be in a brace for a while,″ United spokeswoman Sara Dornacker said of the agent, Diane Lemke.

Airline officials said after Wednesday’s altercation that there were no injuries.

Lemke was trying to close the door at the gate when McEnroe pushed her against the wall. The athlete became enraged because airline employees wouldn’t hold a Hawaii-bound flight.

McEnroe took a later flight with his wife, actress Tatum O’Neal, the couple’s two children and a nanny.

An airport spokesman, Ron Wilson, said, ″United did hold the airplane, but it’s a judgment call how long an airplane should be held.″

He said McEnroe wanted the plane held until O’Neal returned from the ladies room.


CHICAGO (AP) - A high school wrestler and four relatives - including his mother - were arrested in an attack on the school’s wrestling coach.

Lonnell Smith, 18, is alleged to have left a competition at Julian High and returned with his relatives to the gym where they beat coach Ben Ward with a pipe and a chair, police Sgt. Ed Kane said.

Smith, his cousin Lanell Crenshaw, 19, and sister Lynette Cerocke, 24, were charged Thursday with aggravated battery and mob action, Kane said. Smith was suspended from school.

Smith’s mother, Laverne Smith, was charged with mob action.

Police issued a warrant for Smith’s brother, Lindell Weary, 25, on aggravated battery charges.

The incident occurred Tuesday after Smith, wrestling at 130 pounds, was disqualified for illegal moves and holds.

Julian High was penalized because he refused to shake hands with his opponent.

Smith quoted her son as saying he was slapped in the face by the coach, which Ward denied.


JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - Quarterback Pat Rinard, who led Carson-Newman to the NAIA Division I semifinals, was dropped from the team by coach Ken Sparks, and the player says he thinks he was a victim of discrimination.

Rinard, a junior, transferred to the small Baptist-affiliated college in East Tennessee from the University of Georgia.

″I’m Catholic and I won’t become the person he wants me to be,″ Rinard said Thursday.

Sparks said the dismissal was for the good of the team, but declined to be more specific.

″That can be an embarrassment to the people involved,″ he said.

Carson-Newman was 11-1 this season, losing in the semifinals of the playoffs to Central of Ohio.

The Eagles won the NAIA championship four of the last five years.


NEW YORK (AP) - Willie Mays will be honored by the Congress of Racial Equality with its Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports.

The presentation will be made Jan. 21 at CORE’s annual Martin Luther King Ambassadorial Dinner, marking the national holiday observing the late civil right leader’s birth.

To be honored with the Hall of Fame outfielder will be actor Morgan Freeman, entertainer Gladys Knight and the late composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Tom Jackson, a former all-pro linebacker for the Denver Broncos and now a football analyst for ESPN, was named Alumnus of the Year by the Walter Camp Foundation on Friday.

Jackson, before his 14-year NFL career, played at Louisville and was the team’s leading tackler in his three varsity seasons during the early 1970s.

He twice was named Missouri Valley Conference player of the year.

Jackson will be honored at the Walter Camp Foundation dinner Feb. 16 at Yale.

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