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Names In The Game

August 19, 1995

TOKYO (AP) _ Los Angeles Dodgers hurler Hideo Nomo may be getting ready to cash in on his hero status back home in Japan.

Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s largest automaker, is negotiating with Nomo’s agents for him to appear in Toyota’s Japanese television commercials, Kyodo News Service reported today.

Toyota officials were not immediately available for comment. The company is on summer vacation through Sunday.

Nomo, a 26-year-old former star in Japan, is 10-3 in 20 starts for the Dodgers this year. His exploits have been followed avidly in Japan, with his starts televised live and his face constantly on the front pages of daily sports newspapers.

But Nomo has yet to appear in commercials in Japan since joining the Dodgers in the spring.

The report didn’t say how much Nomo would be paid or whether the commercials will also air in the United States.

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PHOENIX (AP) _ It was billed as a cruise to Bermuda with Charles Barkley, but all the 138 passengers aboard a luxury liner got was cardboard cutouts of the Phoenix Suns star.

Barkley didn’t show up for the July trip aboard the Norwegian Line Cruise vessel, but he did get paid $50,000. Allan Kobrick, promoter of the Charles Barkley & Friends Supercruise, now wants his money back.

``Charles Barkley signed a contract,″ said Kobrick, who runs International Sports Group. ``Charles Barkley received a great deal of money. Charles Barkley had an insurance policy that was intact and was more than enough to cover him. Charles Barkley should have gone on that cruise.″

Barkley said he wasn’t about to board the ship without a $3 million insurance policy.

``Anytime you put your name on something, you’re obviously going to be liable if something happens, and they never came up with the insurance,″ he said. ``So on the Wednesday before we were supposed to leave, I said, `You have 24 hours to get the insurance for me, or I’m not going,′ and it wasn’t there.″

Kobrick maintains he faxed Barkley’s lawyer a 40-page insurance policy on July 11, four days before the ship was to depart New York.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Adam Kucera, who gained national fame with his brief playing time as a Nebraska quarterback last fall, is back doing what he does best to help the team _ being a student manager.

``I checked, and I’m in the media guide with one pass and one carry,″ Kucera said. ``That’s something that will be in the records forever. But that’s done with. Time to get on with life. That was good. I’m still part of the program, but I can concentrate on school and work and go back to being a manager again.″

Kucera, a high school quarterback at Lake Havasu, Ariz., was asked to fill in as a scout-team player after four other quarterbacks were injured or left school. He then saw time in the Cornhuskers’ 70-21 victory over Pacific.

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) _ After failing to advance past the second round in three appearances in the International, it would be easy to question why David Feherty keeps coming back to Colorado.

But perseverance paid off Friday for the Northern Ireland native, whose 11 second-round points gave him 13 for the tournament and his first taste of a weekend at the Castle Pines Golf Club.

``I love this place. That’s why I keep coming back,″ Feherty said. ``There’s no reason I should be here because I keep failing miserably. But I like it. I really enjoy being here.″

Early Friday, it looked like Feherty would be making another quick exit. He started play on the back nine and bogeyed the 14th hole for the second straight day to drop to 1 point for the tournament.

``I always bogey 14. I think it’s necessary,″ he explained.

But Feherty birdied four of the next six holes, including No. 2, where his approach shot hit the flag, dropped down and then spun away.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Ohio State football coach John Cooper’s daughter has joined WSYX-TV as a part-time sports feature reporter.

Cindy Cooper’s duties will include covering the Buckeyes.

``I’m sure there’s no way I can avoid being partial, but I’ll try to report in a way that gives the viewers the truth with what’s really happening inside Ohio State football,″ said the 26-year-old, who is an attorney in the Ohio attorney general’s office. ``I guess in a way I do have the inside track.″

News director Mike Hevel said Cooper was hired because of her extensive knowledge of sports. She has appeared on WSYX several times and helped cover the 1995 Memorial golf tournament.

``We won’t put her in the position of having to criticize her father,″ Hevel said. ``We realize there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed.″

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MILWAUKEE (AP) _ British Open champion John Daly has committed to play in the Greater Milwaukee Open, tournament director Tom Strong said.

``This is the biggest player announcement the tournament has made since Greg Norman in 1989,″ Strong said Friday.

``John’s appearance in our event gives the golf fans of Milwaukee and Wisconsin the marquee name that they have been looking for.″

The tournament is Aug. 28-Sept. 3 at Brown Deer Park Golf Course.