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Romanowski Ordered to Pay $340,000

Wednesday, March 23, 2005; Page D02

A jury in Oakland, Calif., ordered Bill Romanowski to pay former Raiders teammate MarcusWilliams $340,000 in damages for smashing the tight end's face with a punch during a practice drill in 2003.

Williams had been seeking millions of dollars in damages for the Aug. 24, 2003, attack, saying it broke his left eye socket, shortened his memory, gave him double vision and depression, and ended his career after less than two seasons.

Sebastian Gonzalez, left, and Ricardo Rojas prepare for Chile's World Cup qualifier vs. Uruguay on Saturday. (Roberto Candia -- AP)

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"We are very pleased with the verdict because it establishes that there are limits to the violence in football," said Williams's attorney, James Brosnahan.

Jurors reached their verdict after deliberating for two days. Romanowski showed no visible emotion as the verdict was read, but his wife gave him a hug.

During the trial, Williams testified that after he blocked Romanowski during a running drill, Romanowski grabbed his helmet and then ripped it off before the crushing blow was delivered.

"This was not football -- there are lines and limits and rules," Brosnahan said.

Romanowski told jurors he did punch Williams in the face, but did not remember much more about the fight.

• SOCCER: Sven-Goran Eriksson defended England's two-game May tour of the United States, saying managers of top English clubs should be thanking instead of criticizing him. The England national team coach was lambasted by Manchester United's Alex Ferguson and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger for taking the club to Chicago and New York immediately after the domestic season. They threatened to withhold their players from the national team.

But Eriksson said they should have be grateful he opted against playing World Cup qualifying games in June, when the players' presence would have been obligatory. "In life, you're always criticized for something or other," said Eriksson, preparing England for World Cup games over the next week against Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan.

Eriksson said he would take as strong a team as possible for games against the United States on May 28 at Soldier Field in Chicago and Colombia on May 31 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. He might be forced to leave behind several regulars, however. Real Madrid's DavidBeckham and Michael Owen already are not being considered because of club obligations in Spain.

COLLEGES: Utah sophomore center Andrew Bogut, who averaged 20.4 points and was second in the country in rebounding at 12.4, was joined on the Associated Press all-America team by senior forwards Wayne Simien of Kansas and Hakim Warrick of Syracuse, junior guard J.J. Redick of Duke and sophomore guard Chris Paul of Wake Forest.

The second team comprises Illinois guards Dee Brown and Luther Head, Sean May of North Carolina, Salim Stoudamire of Arizona and Ike Diogu of Arizona State. . . .

NCAA President Myles Brand criticized a new survey schools can use to demonstrate compliance with Title IX, saying it doesn't adequately reflect the interest in women's athletics and could harm its growth. The Education Department's Internet-based survey, announced Monday by the federal government, was designed to help schools scientifically gauge whether they must expand or create women's teams to meet demand.

BOXING: Riddick Bowe's bout scheduled for Friday in Salt Lake City was postponed indefinitely because of contract and scheduling problems. Bowe, the former heavyweight champion, had been scheduled to fight in the first boxing event held at Delta Center, but the state boxing commission, Lion Heart Boxing Productions and arena officials announced it was postponed. No new date had been determined and it was not clear whether Bowe would actually fight in the "Night of the Heavies" when it happens.

-- From News Services

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