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Names In The Game

July 26, 1991

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) _ Bill Elliott is losing Adolph Coors Co. as a sponsor, and other stock car drivers may feel the bite as big-buck corporate backing becoms harder to find and keep.

Coors has sponsored Elliott since 1984, but the beer distributor told him Thursday the deal will end at the conclusion of the season.

Coors was not unhappy with the performance of Elliott, who has 34 victories in nine seasons. It simply didn’t want to continue pumping an estimated $1.5 million to $2 million a year into Elliott’s car.

″Right now, I’m not going to worry about it,″ Elliott said as he prepared for Sunday’s DieHard 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway. ″I still have a number of races left in this season.″ ---

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Former Memphis State coach Dana Kirk says he has been named general manager for a team in a new sports league called Pro Basketball USA.

One of Memphis State’s winningest coaches, Kirk was fired by the university in 1986. He went to prison for four months on a federal conviction of income tax fraud and obstruction of justice.

He said his team will be one of eight in the new league and will be headquartered in Memphis. He declined to name the team’s owners, saying they will be announced next week.

″If I can’t find anyone more qualified than me, then I’ll coach,″ Kirk said at a news conference Thursday.

Other teams for the new league will be in Wichita, Kan.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Saginaw, Mich.; Fayetteville, N.C., and Albany, Ga., Kirk said. ---

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) - Former NFL running back Brent McClanahan had cocaine and heroin in his system when he was arrested after police received a complaint from his wife, authorities said Friday.

A drug screening also was positive for phentermine, a prescription diet pill, and codeine, usually used as a cough suppressant, chief Deputy District Attorney Thomas D. Sparks said Thursday.

McClanahan, 40, who played for the Minnesota Vikings, from 1973 to 1980, was arrested July 12 after Kern County sheriff’s deputies received a disturbing-the-peace report call his home.

An arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday in Bakersfield Municipal Court on a misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of dangerous drugs. Sparks said McClanahan probably will be eligible for a drug diversion program as a first-time offender. ---

MIAMI (AP) - Every day for two weeks, Miami Dolphins fan Richard Molinary attended training camp workouts wearing an aqua and orange wig and a Dolphins towel cape, seeking money for a trip to see the team play the Los Angeles Raiders in Tokyo.

He waved a large Japanese flag and held a sign that read, ″Need sponsor to Tokyo″ on one side and ″Will work for sushi″ on the other.

Dolphins receivers Mark Clayton and Mark Duper were impressed by the 42- year-old Molinary, who bills himself as the Miami Fanatic.

The ″Marks Brothers″ decided to pay for Molinary’s trip to the preseason game Aug. 3, including his air fare, six nights in a hotel and other expenses. The total cost is $5,000.

″I see him all the time,″ Clayton said. ″I thought it’d be nice to see him in Tokyo. I’m not doing this for any type of hype, to get a reward or anything. I’m just doing it to be nice.″

″It’s no big deal,″ Duper said. ″The guy wanted to go to Tokyo, and I think he should be allowed to.″

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