UMBC Coach Bans Team From Locker Room After Loss

Monday, January 16, 2006

The UMBC men's basketball team has been indefinitely banished from its locker room, punishment by Coach Randy Monroe for a sub-par effort in a 75-58 home loss to New Hampshire on Wednesday.

UMBC spokesman Steve Levy confirmed yesterday that Monroe has not permitted the Retrievers to use their usual locker room since Thursday.

Instead, team members are dressing in the courtside media workroom, which also was to be used as a meeting room during halftime of yesterday's home game against Hartford, a 74-73 loss.

Additionally, players have been forbidden to wear apparel bearing the school's name.

The Retrievers (6-10) had been 5-1 at RAC Arena before losing to New Hampshire (5-11), a team that had been averaging 56.6 points per game. Monroe, usually an animated presence on the sideline, spent most of the game sitting dejectedly in a folding chair.

Against Hartford, however, Monroe was whistled for a technical foul for being out of the coach's box with 8 minutes 24 seconds remaining and UMBC holding a 58-49 lead.

· RUNNING: Haile Gebrselassie shattered the world half marathon record by 21 seconds while running the last half of the Rock-and-Roll Arizona Marathon in Tempe.

Gebrselassie also broke the 20-kilometer world mark en route. It marked the 19th and 20th times the Ethiopian has broken world records in his career.

"This one is so fantastic because this is my first one in America," he said. "It's a little special to me."

His half marathon time of 58:55 through the streets of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe broke the mark of 59:16, set by Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru in Rotterdam last Sept. 11.

His 20-kilometer time was 55:48. That broke the world record held by his longtime rival, Paul Tergat of Kenya, who ran 56:18 in April 1998.

· BASKETBALL: The U.S. team led by LeBron James will face Puerto Rico at the World Basketball Championship in August, providing a chance to avenge its lopsided loss at the Athens Olympics.

The opening game on Aug. 19 in Sapporo, Japan, will be a rematch of a 92-73 loss to Puerto Rico at the 2004 Olympics. That opening-game loss marked only the third Olympic defeat for the Americans and first since adding professional players. The United States finished with a bronze medal at the Games.

Yesterday's draw put the top-seeded U.S. team in Group D along with Slovenia, Italy, China and Senegal.

· COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Florida State quarterback Wyatt Sexton has decided to quit football after sitting out the past season because of illness.

Sexton, committed to a psychiatric facility in June after being found disheveled and disoriented on a Tallahassee street, said he will forgo his final year of eligibility to concentrate on his health and his studies.

"This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my entire life," Sexton said in a statement. "I will focus on regaining my health and my academic pursuit of getting an MBA."

The school released the statement Saturday night without comment from Coach Bobby Bowden or his staff. Billy Sexton , Wyatt's father, is the longtime running backs coach.

Sexton had been suspended at the time of the bizarre June episode for failing to take a drug test, Bowden said in July. That month, Sexton learned he had Lyme disease and was pronounced out for the season.

· SOCCER: Chelsea rallied to beat last-place Sunderland, 2-1, in the English Premier League despite being reduced to 10 men when Arjen Robben was sent off for celebrating with fans after he scored the winning goal.

Robben's 70th-minute chip was deflected in the net by Sunderland defender Dean Whitehead . He then received his second yellow card for jumping over the advertisements lining the field to celebrate with fans in the stands. . . .

Juventus finished the first half of the Italian league season with a record 52 points after Alessandro Del Piero scored in a 1-0 win over Reggina. . . .

Last-place Alaves upset fourth-place Deportivo La Coruna, 2-0, in the Spanish league.

-- From News Services

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