STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) _ Mississippi State athletic officials have canceled the pre-game prayer for Saturday's game with Mississippi because some students use the quiet for less than heavenly thoughts.

Mississippi State athletic director Larry Templeton said Wednesday the prayer was canceled because of the ''Go to hell Ole Miss'' cheer that often punctuated it.

Templeton said a prayer before State's Sept. 11 game against Louisiana State was punctuated with the cheer. Templeton said he was ''very disappointed'' with the yells from the student section after the prayer.

Templeton told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that ministers have told him they would rather have no prayer than a prayer followed by the cheer.

State discontinued the pre-game prayer beginning with the Ole Miss game in 1991 until the Louisiana State game. There were no prayers at Scott Field in Starkville last season.

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LONDON (AP) - Tottenham Hotspur captain Gary Mabbutt remained hospitalized Thursday with a fractured skull sustained in a collision with Wimbledon forward John Fashanu.

Tottenham officials originally reported that Mabbutt, 31, had broken his cheekbone, but the team issued a statement Thursday saying the defender would undergo surgery at a north London hospital for a skull fracture.

The injury occurred when Mabbutt and Fashanu both went up in the air for the ball during Wednesday night's 1-1 tie. A videotape of the incident showed that Mabbutt was hit in the face by Fashanu's elbow.

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TEMPE (AP) - Mindful of a fan rampage that injured 75 people this fall in Wisconsin, Arizona State officials plan to deprive fans of a favorite target after Friday's big game against Arizona.

Stadium workers will topple the goalposts at Sun Devil Stadium before fans get a chance to try. The plan is to have the goalposts down within two minutes of the end of the game, stadium manager Tom Sadler said.

''They'll go down so fast, don't even waste your time coming onto the field,'' university police Sgt. Bennett Rowe said.

The annual game generally sparks high spirits: The goalposts at the stadium toppled in 1991 when the Sun Devils ended a nine-year winless streak against the Wildcats, and fans took over the field in 1986 when Arizona State clinched its first and only Rose Bowl berth.

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) - In town for Thursday night's fight between heavyweights David Tua and Mike Acey, boxing promoter Dan Duva was invited on a dinner cruise by sponsors of the bout.

While sailing in the harbor, members of the Duva party heard calls for help. There, in front of the yacht, were two men and a dog. Their own boat had sunk and they had been in the water for a half hour.

The Duvas, veterans of the Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe bout when a paraglider interrupted the heavyweight championship, watched as the men and dog were rescued. When they were safely aboard the yacht, Duva walked over and said, ''You guys weren't flying over Las Vegas in a parachute two weeks ago, were you?''