LAS VEGAS (AP) _ It may be the greatest gathering of Hall of Fame players ever, 60 of them representing four different sports.

In a sign of the times, it took a sports card and memorabilia show to get them all together.

From football great Jim Brown to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 60 former Hall of Fame athletes will get together beginning Friday at the Tropicana Hotel for the three-day Living Legends of Sports show.

Fifteen Hall of Fame players each from baseball, football, basketball and hockey will appear at the show to sign autographs _ for a price _ and a special lithograph commemorating the weekend's event.

``It's never been done before,'' said Ken Thimmel, who coordinated the event for All American Collectibles.

The athletes will sign the lithographs during the show and will be videotaped doing so as a way to authenticate their signatures in a business that has been decimated by fake signatures.

``There's an immense amount of forgeries out there,'' Thimmel said. ``One estimate is 70 percent of all signed items are forgeries.''

Although he is not on the lithograph, the featured attraction at the show will be Muhammad Ali.

Among the Hall of Fame athletes who will appear are Ernie Banks, Brooks Robinson, Bob Feller, Phil Esposito, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Paul Hornung, Deacon Jones, Y.A. Tittle, Bill Walton, Dave DeBusschere, Earl Monroe and Jerry Lucas.


ATLANTA (AP) _ Georgia Tech athletics director Homer Rice, who oversaw an ambitious rebuilding program that returned the Yellow Jackets to prominence in sports, is stepping down after 17 years.

Rice, 70, was to announce his retirement today.

``I feel like it is time for the right person to come in who has the necessary energies and marketing background to maintain what we have and take it to the next level,'' Rice said.

Georgia Tech president Wayne Clough said he hoped to have a replacement by June 1.

``We'll appoint a search committee,'' Clough said.

He would not disclose names of possible candidates to replace Rice, but among those mentioned most often as possibilities are Arizona State's Kevin White, Jim Copeland of Southern Methodist, Virginia Tech's Dave Braine, Atlantic Coast Conference associate commissioner Tom Mickle, Western Carolina's Larry Travis and Tech associate AD Bernadette McGlade.

In 1980, when Rice gave up a front-office job with the Cincinnati Bengals to take the Tech job, the athletic programs were among the worst in the ACC.

During his tenure, the athletics department raised and spent more than $100 million in improving and building facilities. The athletics budget today is almost $19 million.

Rice says his proudest accomplishment is starting the Georgia Tech Total Person Program, which has been used as a model for more than 190 colleges.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ The contract of new Ohio State women's basketball coach Beth Burns is almost identical to that of men's coach Jim O'Brien except for supplemental earnings.

Burns' contract and supplemental contract were released Thursday by the university. Her total package is worth $325,000 a year compared with O'Brien's $650,000 a year.

Both coaches are paid a $150,000 base salary, have identical incentive packages and each receives the same allotment of their sport's season tickets and season football tickets.

O'Brien receives $500,000 a year for television and radio work, promoting Nike equipment under the university's contract with the shoe manufacturer and for running a summer camp.

Burns is paid $175,000 for television and radio, Nike promotion and her summer camp.

Burns' contract includes a clause which says the agreement does not ``prohibit or preclude'' her from resigning to pursue or accept ``other professional opportunities.'' That paragraph does not appear in O'Brien's contract.

Burns said Thursday that the clause was a disclaimer inserted by her attorney to free her to coach national and international all-star teams. She said it had nothing to do with coaching a professional basketball team.