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June 30, 1998

Familiar names among rodeo leaders

Staff Writer
PECOS, June 30 -- The defending All-Around champion at the
West of the Pecos Rodeo, and the current runner-up in the
Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association All-Around standings,
both had a good start to the 1998 rodeo on Monday, when the
first go-round was held during slack competition.

The second go-round in the timed events began this morning
at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena, along with the first
section of saddle bronc riding. Tonight at 7:30 p.m., a
special section of bull riding will be held, along with the
start of the second go-round in steer roping, while the
rodeo officially kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, with the
first of four nightly performances.

Rope Myers, last year's all-around champ in Pecos, came out
of the first go-round tie for the lead in steer wrestling,
while Trevor Brazile, second to Ty Murray in the PRCA
all-around standings, got a leg up on this year's West of
the Pecos Rodeo title with fifth place finishes in both the
steer roping and calf roping events.

Myers' 4.1 time tied him with Casey Callahan for first place
and was worth $1,634.82 to both cowboys. Keith Webster and
Brian Field were just behind with a 4.2 and 4.3 second
times, worth $1,292.65 and $1,064.53, while Jeff Lewis
placed fifth with a 4.5 time and Chantz Green was sixth,
with a 4.6 second effort. They picked up $836.42 and $608.30
for their finishes.

Steer roping and calf roping both had some familiar names
among the leaders after the first go-round. In addition to
Brazile, who earned $963.01 for an 11.8 second time in steer
roping, and $774.82 for his 11.1 time in calf roping,
12-time National Finals Rodeo steer roping champion Guy
Allen was in sixth place, with a 12.4 time, worth $700.37,
while Tee Woolman, also among the leaders in this year's
PRCA All-Around standings, tied Colby Goodwin for second,
with an 11.4 time, good for $1,619.60.

Jimmy Smith leads the steer roping, with an 11.2 second time
and picked up $2,013.56, while Buster Record rounded out the
top six, with a fourth place finish at 11.6 seconds, and
picked up $1,225.64.

Chad Hagen leads the calf roping competition. He was the
only roper to break 10 seconds on Monday, going 9.4 for a
$1,875.86 prize. Sammy Webb and Marty Jones were second and
third at 10.1 and 10.2 seconds, worth $1,631.20 and
$1,386.52, while five-time NFR champ and all-time PRCA money
earnings leader Roy Cooper is fourth, picking up $1,141.84
for his 10.6 second time.

Two other record holders, Jake Barnes and Clay O'Brien
Cooper, are among the leaders in team roping. The seven-time
NFR winners placed second on Monday to Rowdy Hickman and
Shawn Darnell with a 7.7 time, worth $1,440.88. Hickman and
Darnell are over a second in front, after their 6.4 time
earned them $1,741.07.

Three teams -- Charles Lawson and Mike Beers, Bret Boatright
and Kory Koontz and Jimmy and Tommy Edens -- all scored
eight second flat times, worth $840.51 apiece, while Kevin
Stewart and Martin Lucero were sixth, with a nine-flat time,
and earned $300.18.

Monday's slack competition also included one other celebrity
-- country music star George Strait. He competed in team
roping during the evening portion of the first go-round. No
last name was used for Strait, who roped with Brett Beach.

Tonight's bull riding session will feature current leader in
the 1998 standings, Blu Bryant of Nacogdoches, along with
Bryan Pitak, currently third in the Bad Company Rodeo Tour

NBA owners ready for lockout tonight

AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK, June 30 -- The NBA's summer of labor discord tips
off tonight at midnight Eastern time.

That's when the lockout begins and all business will come to
a halt: No trades, no free agent signings, no practices, no
resolving the Michael Jordan question.

After going more than a week since the last talks on a new
collective bargaining agreement, the league announced Monday
what everyone knew was coming -- a lockout that could wipe
out games for the first time in NBA history.

``We need a way to slow down salary growth to bring it in
line with our revenue growth,'' commissioner David Stern
said. ``The current system does not work.''

``We can't afford to play next season under the current
system. That's just the reality. That's why owners elected
to lockout,'' Stern said.

The move came as no surprise. Players were told throughout
last season to expect a long work stoppage, and talks were
going nowhere before breaking off.

The biggest question now is when it will end.

``We spent all of this year urging players to save their
money so they would be able to survive a lockout,'' union
director Billy Hunter said. ``We've taken continuous polls
among the players, and they are prepared to go the

Stern even acknowledged that the impasse could last into
November, when the season opens, or even into 1999.

``Yes, that is fair and accurate. There are a number of
clubs that will do better not operating than operating.
That's something the players don't seem to understand,''
Stern said.

This will be the third lockout in league history. A lockout
in the summer of 1995 lasted three months; in 1996 it lasted
only a few hours.

The old agreement was to run for six years, but the owners
had the right to reopen it if the amount of designated
revenue being paid toward player salaries exceeded a certain
level -- 51.8 percent of basketball-related income.

The owners say they are now devoting 57 percent of those
revenues to player salaries, a total of almost $1 billion.

The impending lockout already caused 12 NBA players to be
removed from the team scheduled to compete next month at the
world championships in Greece. USA Basketball, the governing
body for the national team, will replace them with a team of
Americans currently playing overseas, minor leaguers and
possibly some collegians.

Despite meeting nine times since April, the owners and
players have made only minimal progress on a new agreement
to replace the one expiring at midnight tonight.

``We've made four different proposals, all involving player
salaries going up every year,'' deputy commissioner Russ
Granik said. ``The players made one set of proposals, and
have never moved off those proposals in any way on economic

Stern and Granik said the league's profit margins have been
shrinking for the last five years, and almost half of the 29
teams stood to lose money in the just-completed season.

``The final numbers aren't in, but for first time, as a
whole, we believe the league was actually unprofitable last
season,'' Stern said.

He also said the NBA would accept an agreement similar to
the NFL's, in which a salary cap could not be exceeded for
any reason.

The players have vowed to resist any form of a ``hard''
salary cap and want to keep the current ``soft'' cap,
especially the rule known as the ``Larry Bird exception,''
which allows teams to exceed the salary cap to retain their
own free agents.

Such an exception allowed the Chicago Bulls to pay Michael
Jordan more than $33 million last season despite the salary
cap being set at $26.9 million.

``At the last bargaining meeting, the union said that unless
the owners were prepared to agree to maintain the `Larry
Bird exception' as is, they had nothing further to talk
about,'' Granik said, referring to the June 22 session,
which broke off after only 30 minutes. ``We need an
agreement that is not totally open-ended, and if there's a
way to do so that keeps the exception -- or some elements of
it -- we're prepared to do that.''

Hunter pointed out that only 10 percent of players signed
their current contracts under the Bird exception.

``For the other 90 percent, it's a fixed cap. Without the
exception, teams wouldn't have room to accommodate most of
the players,'' he said.

The lockout means teams cannot conduct practices, summer
camps, workouts, coaching sessions or team meetings. A
handful of players who were to be paid part of their
salaries this summer will not receive those paychecks until
the lockout ends.

Unlike the last lockout, teams will not be barred from
working with players rehabilitating from injuries as long as
those sessions take place outside of NBA facilities.

Also, some previously scheduled charity games will be
allowed to proceed.

Hunter said he expects to meet again with Stern in mid-July.

``If there's a softening in our position, we'll let them
know,'' Hunter said. ``But the league is profitable, the
commissioner and the deputy commissioner are the highest
paid in professional sports, the number of league employees
is growing and the average salary of coaches is higher than
that of the players. So why are things so bad?''

McGwire a hit; Sosa misses All-Star spot

AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK -- All those home runs made Mark McGwire a shoo-in
to start in the All-Star game. All Sammy Sosa can hope for,
however, is a chance to be a backup.

McGwire, leading the majors with 36 homers, was the top
vote-getter in NL results announced Monday. He was the fans'
choice to start for the sixth time overall, the first five
coming when he played for Oakland.

``I think it's going to be great,'' the St. Louis slugger
said over the weekend. ``It's been great that I've been able
to play in the All-Star game so many years for the American
League, and now I get to do it for the National League.''

But Sosa, whose 19 home runs in June set a major league
record for most homers in any month, has to hope he's picked
as a reserve for next Tuesday night's game at Coors Field at

The Chicago Cubs star, who has hit 32 homers, finished sixth
among outfielders and was only 12th overall in the fan

New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza, the NL's top vote-getter
the past two years while with Los Angeles, earned another
starting spot. He was the first Mets player picked to start
since Darryl Strawberry in 1989.

Larry Walker of the host Colorado Rockies will start in the
outfield, along with San Diego's Tony Gwynn and San
Francisco's Barry Bonds.

Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones, Atlanta shortstop Walt
Weiss and Houston second baseman Craig Biggio join McGwire
in the NL's starting infield.

The AL starters were scheduled to be announced today. The
pitchers and reserves for both leagues will be released

McGwire, expected to highlight the home-run derby a day
before the game, received 3,377,145 votes and finished far
ahead of runner-up Andres Galarraga (880,142) of Atlanta.

Piazza was second overall in NL voting at 2,731,079. Charles
Johnson (811,813), who took Piazza's place behind the plate
in Los Angeles, was second.

In close votes, Weiss earned his first All-Star appearance
by edging Cincinnati's Barry Larkin, 1,159,960 to 997,591.
Jones (1,574,512) beat out Colorado's Vinny Castilla

In the outfield, Gywnn (2,485,229), Bonds (1,897,156) and
Walker (1,744,949) finished ahead of Colorado's Dante
Bichette (1,213,700), Houston's Moises Alou (1,205,369) and
Sosa (1,112,234).

Gwynn will be making his 11th start in the All-Star game,
while it will be the eighth appearance for Bonds and third
for Walker.

Biggio (2,298,691) easily beat out New York's Carlos Baerga
(744,568) for his seventh appearance.

The best finish for any player from the stripped-down World
Series champion Florida Marlins was eighth by shortstop
Edgar Renteria. Florida's Jim Leyland will manage the NL

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