LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Olympic champion Gail Devers, scheduled to run in the 50 meters at the Sunkist Invitational on Saturday night, apparently has decided not to compete in the meet at the Sports Arena.

Irina Privalova of Russia, who set a world indoor mark of 6.01 seconds at the distance in Madrid earier this month, had entered the Sunkist field for the 50 meters earlier this week.

Al Franken, chairman of the meet, said Thursday that a contractual dispute had arisen with Devers.

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MONROE, La. (AP) - Bill Shimek, who coached or recruited two Heisman Trophy winners, was named running backs coach Thursday by new Northeast Louisiana head coach Ed Zaunbrecher.

Shimek recruited Billy Sims, the 1978 Heisman winner, while an assistant at Oklahoma from 1973 to 1982. He coached Barry Sanders, the 1988 Heisman winner, while running backs coach at Oklahoma State from 1983 until he left to enter private business in 1991.

Shimek is the third assistant added this week to the staff at Northeast Louisiana, a former NCAA Division I-AA power that will make its Division I debut in 1994.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Orioles announced Thursday that they have signed catcher Jeff Tackett to a contract for the 1994 season.

Tackett appeared in 39 games with the Orioles, batting just .172, but led the team in caught stealing percentage, throwing out 13 of 35 baserunners.

Tackett was optioned to AAA Rochester on August 24. He appeared in eight games with the Red Wings and was recalled on September 24.

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SEVILLE, Spain (AP) - Santiago Aragon's first-half goal helped Zaragoza to a 1-0 victory over second-division Betis on Thursday in a semifinal, first-leg match in Spanish King's Cup play.

Aragaon scored on a direct kick from 20 yards in the 32nd minute.

Celta of Vigo defeated Tenerife 3-0 on Wednesday in the other first-leg semifinal.

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BOSTON (AP) - The NFL finance committee voted unanimously Thursday to approve James B. Orthwein's sale of the New England Patriots to Robert Kraft.

The vote clears the way for the sale to be considered by team owners during their meeting Tuesday at Orlando, Fla. Approval of 75 percent of the owners is required.

Kraft, who owns Foxboro Stadium, where the Patriots play, heads Rand- Whitney Corp., the largest privately owned packaging company in the nation and International Forest Products Inc., a paper-products firm.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State starting forward Rickey Dudley will not play Saturday at Penn State because he is in Henderson, Texas, attending his brother's funeral.

Dudley, a 6-foot-7 junior, left for his hometown Wednesday morning, Ohio State spokesman Bob Goldring said.

Dudley played Tuesday against Illinois after learning of his brother's death. Mervin Dudley, 28, died Monday night from complications of lung disease.

Jimmy Ratliff, a 6-9 junior from Middletown, will start in Dudley's place.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Surgeons have inserted two screws in center Chris Dudley's fractured left ankle, and Trail Blazers officials don't know when, or if, he'll be able to play this season.

Dr. Lewis Yocum of the Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles performed the half-hour operation earlier in the day.

Geoff Petrie, the team's senior vice president of operations, said doctors told him they will evaluate Dudley's progress in 10 days and at that time might be able to estimate when he can play again.

Until recently, Blazers officials were counting on Dudley to return for the regular-season stretch run and believed he could be back by the end of February.

Dudley broke his ankle in the first quarter of the Blazers' third game, a 109-102 road victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. He has scored two points and pulled down 13 rebounds in 46 minutes this season.

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