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Names In The Game

December 11, 1996

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ North Carolina’s Dean Smith and his former protege, South Carolina’s Eddie Fogler, are uncomfortable coaching against each other, so the matchups in basketball’s annual Tournament of Champions might change.

Raycom vice president Chuck Steedman said he has had discussions about changing the four-team format with both schools and sponsors. ``Nothing definitive at this point, but it is something we are exploring,″ Steedman was quoted in Wednesday’s The Greenville News.

The tournament has been held since 1988. Under the proposal, North Carolina and South Carolina would play each of the two other entries on Friday and Saturday, Steedman said.

``If they decide to do that, my feeling is, since both Coach Smith and I don’t particularly like having to face each other, that they look at bringing two Top 25-caliber teams,″ Fogler said.

Steedman said they are several reasons for the changes. ``But that’s one of them. They genuinely don’t like playing each other, and I respect that.″

South Carolina, then coached by George Felton, won the tournament in 1990, upsetting North Carolina. Fogler, a former player and assistant for Smith and the Tar Heels, arrived at South Carolina in 1993.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Quarterbacks Kerry Collins of the Carolina Panthers and Jeff Blake of the Cincinnati Bengals were selected Players of the Week on Wednesday, Collins in the NFC and Blake in the AFC.

Collins completed 22 of 37 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers’ 30-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Blake completed 26 of 42 attempts for 272 yards and two touchdowns as the Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens 21-14.

Defensive end Fernando Smith of the Minnesota Vikings was picked NFC defensive player of the week for his four tackles and two sacks as the Vikings beat the Detroit Lions.

AFC Defensive Player honors went to safety Jason Belser of the Indianapolis Colts for his two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and eight tackles in a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giants placekicker Brad Daluiso and punter Rick Tuten of the Seattle Seahawks won Special Teams Player honors in their respective conferences.

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) _ Former world champion driver Nigel Mansell, who is considering another Formula One comeback, said he didn’t push it Wednesday in his first of two days of testing with Jordan-Peugeot.

Still, his best of 49 test laps in his first try with the car was 1 minute: 22.89 seconds, just behind Ralf Schumacher, the brother of two-time world champion Michael Schumacher.

The younger Schumacher will be a Formula One rookie next season and is the only driver signed by Jordan.

Schumacher’s best lap Wednesday was 1:22.59 on the Catalunya circuit.

Several other cars _ including Jacques Villeneuve testing his Williams-Renault _ had much quicker times.

Mansell, 43, suffered an embarrassing Formula One comeback last year when the cockpit of his McLaren was too small, forcing him to miss the first two races. He eventually competed in two races before quitting 18 months ago.

Mansell, the only driver to win the Formula One and IndyCar championships in successive years (1992-3), said again Wednesday that the odds were better than even he’d be racing next season, but offered few other hints about his plans.

``There’s a 60-40 chance I’ll be driving somewhere next year,″ Mansell said. ``I have had various offers, not just from Formula One.

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MONTREAL (AP) _ Two commemorative stamps to honor the late Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve will be issued by Post Canada next year.

Villeneuve was killed in a racing accident in 1982.

Villeneuve’s son, Jacques, now is a driver on the Formula One circuit.

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