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Names in the Game

August 22, 1997

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) _ Iowa’s new radio network for football won’t be exclusive after all.

Radio station KCJJ, which isn’t part of the network created by Learfield Communications, plans to offer its own broadcasts of Hawkeye games _ but not from Kinnick Stadium.

Instead, the announcers will watch the game on a big-screen television at a local bar, and report what they see.

``Just imagine six guys sitting around a table watching the big show on the big screen with a microphone in one hand and a beer in the other,″ station owner Steve Bridges said.

With its plan, KCJJ seems to be thumbing its nose at Learfield’s $2.85 million deal with Iowa for exclusive radio rights to football and basketball games.

Iowa and Learfield officials dismissed the effort as something that won’t be actual play-by-play broadcasts, and they don’t view it as a threat to their deal.

But Budd Thalman, associate athletic director at Penn State, said it could have ramifications elsewhere. Most major universities have exclusive networks for their football broadcasts and they sell commercials on the basis that there are no competing broadcasts.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ The many gargoyles perched upon city buildings have given rise to the name of the new American Hockey League team.

Meet the Beast.

David Gregory, the team’s president and general manager, unveiled the name and logo in a Thursday ceremony. The logo of the Beast is a fanged gargoyle in stone highlighted in blue. Below it is the team name in deep red, with a green full moon in the background.

``We thought about Nighthawks and Blades (names of previous New Haven hockey teams),″ Gregory said.

``But we did some research on the city of New Haven and there are more gargoyles on the buildings here than any city in America. When gargoyles are carved out of stone and put on buildings, they’re known as beasties,″ he said.

The Beast, which will play its games in the New Haven Coliseum, is the farm team of the Carolina Hurricanes, the former Hartford Whalers.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ South Carolina Stingrays coach Rick Vaive received a six-game suspension and the club was fined an undisclosed amount by the East Coast Hockey League for salary cap violations committed two seasons ago.

The ECHL took action after a two-month investigation into allegations that Stingrays players were paid an average of $1,400 a week extra in checks issued by the city of North Charleston. The money was first paid by the Stingrays to the city as a donation to its youth hockey program.

The Stingrays, who won the ECHL title this past season, attended a hearing before league officials on Aug. 10. Commissioner Rick Adams said he expected the team to pay the fine within a week.

Vaive will miss the first six games of the season.

``I’m glad it’s over and we’re done with it,″ Vaive said. ``We’re moving forward within the parameters of the league rules and looking forward to a very successful season.″

The ECHL allowed for ``third party payments″ to players as long as teams don’t supply the money to the third parties for the players.

The team suspended the practice after the 1995-96 season.

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CLEVELAND (AP) _ In only two years, the Browns will be back in Cleveland _ and the anticipation is already being felt.

A rally held by the Browns Trust on Thursday _ featuring players from the team’s storied past, a high school marching band and indoor fireworks _ started the countdown.

Former Browns’ lineman Doug Dieken told lunchtime fans at the Tower City enclosed mall that the team’s new stadium will be different than Cleveland Stadium. ``You’re really going to be able to see football,″ said Dieken, referring to the poor sight lines in the old stadium. Dieken was the Browns’ radio broadcaster.

The Browns played their last game in Cleveland on Dec. 17, 1995, and moved to Baltimore, where they are now known as the Ravens. The NFL has promised Cleveland a replacement Browns team for the 1999 season.

Construction has begun on a $247 million replacement for Cleveland Stadium on the same lakefront location.

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