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Duke Allows Accused Players Back Into School

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Thursday, January 4, 2007

Duke University said yesterday that two of the lacrosse players charged with sexually assaulting a stripper have been invited to return to school while they await trial and are eligible to rejoin the team.

Collin FinnertyandReade Seligmannhad been barred from attending class during the fall semester while their case made its way through court. A third player,David Evansof Bethesda, graduated in May, the day before he was charged.

Lawyers for Seligmann and Finnerty said their clients were still making up their minds about whether to return. The spring semester begins next week; the lacrosse season opens in late February.

Rape charges against all three athletes were dropped last month, after the woman who said she was attacked at a team party last March wavered on some key details. The men are still charged with sexual offense and kidnapping; they are not expected to go on trial before the spring. . . .

Virginia Tech backup quarterbackIke Whitakerwill be back for spring practice, according to his father. Whitaker, a graduate of Northwest High, missed the Chick-fil-A Bowl after he entered an alcohol rehab program that lasts 30 days.

"He's doing excellent,"Derrick Whitakersaid.

· COURTS: Former heavyweight championMike Tysonwas charged with drug possession and driving under the influence of drugs.

Maricopa County (Ariz.) AttorneyAndrew Thomassaid he will try to jail Tyson because of his criminal background. . . .

Jailed Olympic gold medalistMyriam Bedardwill be transferred to Canadian custody within 36 hours, a U.S. prosecutor told a federal judge. Bedard's attorney,Kevin McCants, said after the hearing that his client was disappointed the judge did not free her on bail. Bedard faces up to 10 years for child abduction. . . .

Hall of Fame pitcherRollie Fingersowes Wisconsin more than $1.4 million in income taxes and is the seventh biggest tax delinquent in the state.

· BASKETBALL: St. Francis (Pa.) men's coachBobby Jonesremained hospitalized after he had stroke-like symptoms following his team's loss to American University on Tuesday night. Jones, 44, was scheduled to stay at Sibley Memorial Hospital and undergo testing today. Jones was listed in good condition and has been improving, according to sports information directorBob Volkert. . . .

The WNBA's Charlotte Sting has folded three weeks after the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats gave up control of the team. The WNBA was unsuccessful in finding a buyer for the Sting, one of the original eight franchises. The team averaged 5,783 fans, ranked 13th out of 14 teams. . . .

Van Chancellor, who led the Houston Comets to the first four WNBA championships, is resigning, according to two sources.

·TENNIS:Justine Henin-Hardennewill skip the Australian Open and a preliminary tournament because of undisclosed personal reasons.

Australian Open spokesmanJohn Lindsayconfirmed that Henin-Hardenne -- the No. 1 player in the world -- withdrew from the tournament that begins Jan. 15 in Melbourne.

· SOCCER:Oguchi Onyewu, a graduate of Sherwood High, could be the fourth American to play for Fulham in England's Premier League. The 6-foot-4 defender has played for Standard Liege in Belgium since 2004.

· BASEBALL:Joel Piñeiroreached a preliminary agreement on a one-year, $4 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, who are turning to the former Seattle starter as a contender for their vacant closer's job.

-- From News Services and Staff Reports

© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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