Contains Items on Green Bay Packers, Alain Prost, J.J. Lucas, Timo Liekoski and U.S. Decathlon Team

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ They've ridden a hot streak to the top of the NFC Central Division, but the Green Bay Packers are used to freezing cold, not Florida heat, heading into Sunday's game at Tampa Bay.

Coach Mike Holmgren said his Packers will practice indoors this week, and he's cranking up the heat to get the players ready for temperatures in the mid-70s instead of Green Bay's recent freezing weather.

``That's a real thing,'' Holmgren said of the temperature difference. ``We'll do the same routine every time we go down there.''

Last season Green Bay beat the Bucs 34-19 Dec. 24 with the temperature at 63 degrees.

Tampa Bay (6-7) has lost five of its last six games, while the Packers (9-4) have won four straight, including 35-13 over the Bucs at Green Bay two weeks ago.

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WOKING, England (AP) _ Alain Prost will be driving for McLaren Mercedes next season although not in Grand Prix races.

The Frenchman, who quit Formula One two seasons ago after winning his fourth title, had fueled speculation that he was about to return by participating in practice sessions.

But McLaren said Tuesday he will join the team next year only as part of its background technical group.

``There is no question of Alain Prost racing for us next season,'' McLaren spokesman Norman Howell said. ``He will be driving our cars but not in Grand Prix races.''

Prost said he would enjoy his new role.

``I am looking forward to working with McLaren in such an exciting new position,'' he said. ``It will be a great challenge to take on the technical aspects of this role.

``I feel very confident, however, that I will be able to contribute my ability and experience to make a success of the project.''

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ The son of former NBA star Jerry Lucas did not travel with Vanderbilt to play No. 18 Virginia Tuesday while mulling over his future with the Commodores.

J.J. Lucas, a 6-foot-11, 265-pound center, has been outperformed this season by fellow sophomore Austin Bates and freshman Gianni Cugini.

The Tennessean newspaper reported Tuesday that Lucas was quitting the team and leaving Vanderbilt. Coach Jan Van Breda Kolff has indicated he will try to get Lucas to rejoin the team in a meeting later this week.

Lucas averaged 5.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 1994-95. In five games this season, he has averaged 4.2 points and 3 rebounds.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Former U.S. Olympic team coach Timo Liekoski was hired as coach of the Columbus Crew of the Major League Soccer on Tuesday.

In 1994, Liekoski guided the U.S. to the second round of the World Cup for the first time in 64 years. Most recently, he was coach of the U.S. Under-23 Olympic Team.

Liekoski has coached professional teams in Houston, Edmonton, New Jersey, Cleveland and Canton in the North American Soccer League, the National Professional Soccer League and the Major Indoor Soccer League. He was coach of the year in both the NASL and MISL.

From 1976-78, Liekoski was an assistant coach with the Dallas Tornado of the NASL. The Tornado was owned by the Lamar Hunt family, which also owns the Crew.

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SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Three-time world champion and world record-holder Dan O'Brien will head the 12-man USA-Visa Decathlon Team that will conduct a three-day clinic at the new U.S. Olympic Training Center beginning Sunday.

Among those joining O'Brien will be 1992 Olympic bronze medalist Dave Johnson, 1992 Olympians Aric Long and Rob Muzzio, 1995 Pan Am Games champion Kip Janvrin, and the world's eighth-ranked decathlete, Chris Huffins.

Eight emerging decathletes also will attend the clinic, as will all five living U.S. Olympic decathlon champions _ Bob Mathias (1948, '52), Milt Campbell (1956), Rafer Johnson (1960), Bill Toomey (1964) and Bruce Jenner (1976).