DETROIT (AP) _ Former Detroit Pistons player Curtis Rowe has been charged with possession of cocaine after police said they saw him and a companion throw packets of drugs on the ground.

Rowe, 40, faces an Oct. 24 preliminary examination on the charge, which carries a maximum sentenced of four years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

He and companion Jerome Rines, 27, were arrested Tuesday. Police on patrol said they saw the men throw packets containing small amounts of cocaine on the ground.

Thirty-sixth District Court Magistrate Irma Chenevert on Thursday set a $2,000 bond for Rowe and a $2,500 bond for Rines, who faces the same charge.

Rowe played on national championship teams at UCLA in 1969-71 and eight seasons in the NBA, five with the Pistons in 1972-76.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Former University of Kentucky basketball coach Eddie Sutton, who has found a public relations job with Nike, has also found that taking a year off from coaching hardly hurts.

And he says he's in no hurry to get back.

''I've talked to other people and they say how nice it would be to take a year off from their regular job,'' he said Wednesday. ''That's basically what I'm doing.''

Sutton will observe practices and games of a number of colleges that wear Nike shoes this season, but don't expect him to show up at UK.

For one thing, new coach Rick Pitino switched the Wildcats to Converse shoes. For another, Sutton, who resigned slightly more than six months ago under pressure, doesn't know whether his presence would create an awkward situation.

''I'm going to be really busy with this other stuff,'' Sutton said. ''I doubt I'll make it to any of the Kentucky games.''

Sutton said part of his job will be to observe the teams and offer advice to the head coaches if they want it.

''I'll visit with the coaches, take them to lunch, critique their practices and help them if they would like me to,'' he said. ''At Kentucky we always used to have some coaches or former coaches come in, and it really helped us get an objective view. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to coach, though.''

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MONTREAL (AP) - Detroit's Gerard Gallant was suspended for five games by the National Hockey League on Thursday for deliberately attempting to injure Vancouver defenseman Garth Butcher in a game on Oct. 7.

The Red Wings said Thursday night they would not appeal. Gallant was in the lineup for Detroit's home opener against Winnipeg. Under NHL rules, he will begin serving the suspension on Oct. 19.

The incident occurred in the third period when Gallant came to the defense of Steve Yzerman after the Red Wings' star was hit by Butcher. Gallant struck Butcher in the upper body with his stick, knocking him to the ice. Butcher was not injured, but Gallant was assessed a match penalty, prompting a review of the incident by NHL executive vice president Brian O'Neill.

''In considering an appropriate penalty, it is noted that Gallant went out of his way to retaliate for an incident involving his teammate, and that he swung his stick with sufficient force to cause his opponent to fall to the ice,'' O'Neill said in a statement. ''There can be no excuse for taking this type of action.''

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MIAMI (AP) - Tellis Frank sparked a key fourth-quarter rally to lead the Miami Heat over Maccabi-Tel Aviv 101-95 in an exhibition game.

Miami trailed 83-79, with 9:01 left in the game, but the Heat then scored 11 straight points, including eight by Frank, who was acquired Oct. 2 from Golden State for a second-round draft choice.

A 16-point Heat run early in the third quarter helped Miami take a 68-55 advantage. But a 12-2 Maccabi spurt that featured two 3-pointers by Motti Daniel, put the Israeli team in front.

Rony Seikaly led Miami in scoring with 13 points, while Kevin Edwards and Frank each added 12.

Daniel paced Maccabi with 20, while Doron Jamshi added 16, Lavon Curtis- Mercer 15 and Kevin Magee 14.

Maccabi has won the Israeli basketball league championship every year since the 1970-71 season.

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Barbara Wetzel of Mullica Hill, N.J., had a four- fish catch of 11.55 pounds to lead the first day of the competition at the Fifth Lady Bass Classic on Lake Dardanelle.

Rhonda Wilcox of Malakoff, Texas, is second with a five-fish catch for 11.30 pounds. Cindy Caperton of Madison, Tenn., is third with a six-fish catch for 10.90 pounds.

The tournament has a seven-fish catch limit.

Wetzel, fishing in her third classic, also weighed in with the big fish of the day, a 5.65-pound largemouth bass.