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Names In The Game

January 21, 1996

BOSTON (AP) _ Travis Roy, the paralyzed Boston University hockey player, is the recipient of a new van that can be fitted with a wheelchair, thanks to two Dallas Stars season ticket-holders.

The couple, Bob and Susan Taylor, heard about Roy’s plight during a broadcast of a Stars game against the Boston Bruins last month. The following day, Bob Taylor helped set up the ``Stars for Travis Fund$″ to purchase the vehicle.

After that, volunteers walked around Reunion Arena collecting money and raised avbout $12,000. A Dallas radio station ran a raffle to raise funds, and one fan spent $3,000 on a team autographed jersey.

Taylor then solicited contributions from 12 Metroplex-based businesses, and two weeks ago Stars owner Tom Hicks said the team would match every dollar collected that night during a game against Los Angeles. Volunteers collected $9,500, the Stars matched the total and the goal was met.

A few days later, the Taylors got the van, which has Roy’s No. 24 jersey on the spare tire cover. Last Monday, they began the drive from Dallas to Boston, and on Thursday presented the gift to Roy’s father.

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) _ Hakeem Olajuwon, the star center of Houston’s two-time NBA champions, and Andre Agassi, tennis’ No. 2-ranked player, are among five professional athletes being honored for their humanitarian awards.

They, along with quarterback Boomer Esiason of the New York Jets, outfielder Jim Eisenreich of the Philadelphia Phillies and golfer Betsy King have been selected by USA Weekend magazine as winners of its Most Caring Athlete Awards.

To honor them, the magazine is donating $1,000 to the charity of each athlete’s choice.

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DALLAS (AP) _ Desperate for help in goal, the Dallas Stars are turning to Allan Bester.

Bester was signed Sunday from the Orlando Solar Bears of the International Hockey League. He hasn’t been in the NHL since playing one game for Detroit in 1991-92.

Bester, 31, once was a top prospect. Toronto made him the first goalie taken in the 1983 entry draft when they selected him with the 48th pick. He played 32 games for them that season and remained with the Maple Leafs until being traded to the Red Wings in 1991.

Bester has a 69-94-16 NHL record and a 4.06 goals against average. With Orlando this season, Bester was 17-8-2 with a 3.61 goals against average.

Dallas is thin on goalies. Darcy Wakaluk is on injured reserve with a strained hamstring and Andy Moog is out with an injured knee. The Stars also have tried rookies Manny Fernandez and Jordan Willis, but both have been sent back to Kalamazoo of the IHL.

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ATLANTA (AP) _ As fans approach Gate 3 of Georgia Tech’s renovated basketball arena, they quickly realize there is something different about the place.

Out front, next to the ushers tearing off ticket stubs, are the unmistakable golden arches, directing customers into a McDonald’s restaurant located in the building.

That’s right: At the McDonald’s Center, they can order up a Big Mac and fries with their 3-pointers.

Pro sports have been doing this with frequency in recent years, renaming their arenas after everything from airlines to banks _ for a few million dollars.

Now that trend seems ready to sprout on college campuses, where administrators dealing with rising costs and gender-equity issues say they can’t rely on alumni donors and other traditional sources.

Still, some people are wondering if blatant corporate sponsorship belongs in the world of academia.

``People look at a college campus as a more pristine environment, with the ivory-tower image where everyone is studying academics and learning,″ said Jim Andrews, vice president of the IEG Sponsorship Report in Chicago, a biweekly newsletter which follows sponsorship in sports. ``The argument is that it’s not the place for companies to hawk hamburgers.″

To which Georgia Tech athletic director Homer Rice replies, ``Why not?″

McDonald’s donated $5.5 million to Georgia Tech for the $13 million renovation project at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, a 1950s-era arena that had become outdated. It didn’t even have one luxury box.

In exchange for the donation, Tech agreed to rename the 10,000-seat arena Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center.

But it’s obvious that the hamburger chain gets top billing in every other respect, with the distinctive McDonald’s logo plastered at center court, on both scoreboards and atop the main sign outside the building. There’s also a restaurant on the outer rim of the building, complete with a drive-through and a concession stand to serve fans during games.

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