GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ The criminal fraud trial of agent William ``Tank'' Black was delayed by a judge Tuesday until January, giving Black and six co-defendants seven more months to prepare their cases.

The case had been scheduled to begin next Monday. It is now set for Jan. 8, 2001.

The delay comes less than a week after two South Carolina businessmen, Robert C. Ellenburg and Jimmy B. Roof, were added as defendants in the federal case.

All seven defendants are charged with scamming Black's former clients, all NFL players, of millions of dollars through bogus stock deals and a Ponzi scheme based in the Cayman Islands. All face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Black also faces charges in a civil case filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission

The court order calling for the continuance of the criminal trial said it was being granted ``in the interest of justice.''

Other defendants include James Franklin, general counsel for Black's sports agency; the agent's runner, Alfred Twitty; his partner in a travel agency, Linda Wilson; and his director of finance, Lisa Adams.

All remain free on bond. In March, Black was freed on $1 million bond and was ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet and to get court permission to leave South Carolina.