CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) _ Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos, professional beach volleyball's all-time winningest team, are the first players to qualify for the $150,000 Jose Cuervo Gold Crown, the richest series in the sport's history.

Smith and Stoklos each have earned more than $1 million in their careers, in which Smith has won 132 tournaments and Stoklos has 113. They will be after a $60,000 first prize on April 24-25 in the first of three Gold Crown events.

The duo won all three Cuervo events in 1990, the only team to sweep the series in one year.

The top four teams on the Association of Volleyball Professionals tour will qualify for the Clearwater tournament, along with four teams emerging from qualifying competition on April 23.

The series continues June 5-6 in Boulder, Colo., and concludes Aug. 21-22 in Santa Cruz, Calif.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Starting with the 1993-94 academic year, NAIA colleges and universities will be limited in the number of scholarships allowed per sport, according to guidelines announced Thursday.

Schools may award 33 full scholarships for Division I football, 12 for Division I basketball, 12 for volleyball, 12 for softball, 12 for baseball and fewer for other sports.

The amounts are proportional to the number of athletes that participate in each sport, NAIA spokesman John Mulvihill said.

The NAIA, made up of 450 small four-year colleges and universities, had never before regulated the number of scholarships its members could award.

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NEW DELHI, India (AP) - Bhalindra Singh, a former ruler of the Sikh sovereign state of Patiala and a top sports official, died Thursday of a heart attack, United News of India reported. He was 72.

Singh died in a private clinic in New Delhi where he was admitted Wednesday night after he complained of breathing problems. He had suffered the past month from a kidney ailment, United News said.

An avid horse rider and tennis player, Singh was a member of the International Olympic Committee and a former president of the Indian Olympic Association.

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LONDON (AP) - Swedish golfer Johan Tumba had a 10-year PGA European Tour ban reduced to three years by the tour's board of management Thursday.

The original ban was imposed January 31 after Tumba, 28, was found to have changed his scorecard during an October 1991 qualifying competition in Essex, England.

His playing partner in Essex, Englishman Ian Roper, accused Tumba of changing two 5s to 4s to give himself an even-par 72 for the round.

Tumba would not have made the cut with a 74.

''The finding was that he did change his scorecard at the qualifying round for the European Tour School last October, but the Board felt the sentence of 10 years was too severe given that it was a first offence,'' board general counsel Michael Friend said. ''They wanted to reduced the sentence to give him a chance to play again.''

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Steve Fritz scored 7,952 points Thursday to capture the Kansas Relays decathlon title for the second straight year.

Fritz won the 100 meters, long jump, discus and 110 hurdles.

Nebraska's Rick Schwieger was second with 7,877 points. He won the shot put, high jump, 400 and 1,500.

Denise Brungardt of Wichita State won the women's heptathlon with 5,194 points. Jannette Whitcomb of Illinois State won two of the three events on Thursday to finish second with 5,111.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Charlie Spoonhour, St. Louis University's newly appointed basketball coach, has named Randy Stange as the first member of his staff.

Stange has been an assistant under Spoonhour at Southwest Missouri State for the past five seasons and also played for Spoonhour. He was the first player ever recruited by Spoonhour at Southwest Missouri State after he became coach in 1983.

Stange graduated from Southwest Missouri in 1985 and spent the 1985-86 season as a student assistant with the Bears. He spent the next season at Kansas State under the direction of Lon Kruger and rejoined Spoonhour in 1987 as a part-time staff member before becoming full-time in 1989.

Spoonhour who was named to the post Tuesday.