The U.S. Football League filed a $7 million breach-of-contract suit yesterday against ABC in U.S. District Court, New York City, and demanded the television network continue its payments to the league.
USFL Commissioner Harry Usher said he had been informed by ABC that the network does not intend to make scheduled rights payments of $2.8 million due on June 1 and July 1, and $1.4 million due prior to June 29.
The first two payments are part of the $14 million contract ABC and the USFL made for the 1985 season. The third is for playoff telecasts.
Usher said ABC served notice it would withhold the payments because the USFL vacated certain cities designated in its original contract, including Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston.
"There is no justification for withholding $7 million," Usher said. " . . . We are also suing them for disparaging the product in the way their announcers, sales force and management have treated and spoken about it in public and on the air." . . .
Former Vanderbilt strength coach E.J. (Doc) Kreis, Nashville pharmacist Woody Wilson and Wilson employe Thomas Patterson pleaded innocent of involvement in illegal distribution of steroids to college athletes.
Arraigned at the Metro Nashville Courthouse, they are accused of selling nearly 100,000 doses of steroids to athletes at Vanderbilt, Clemson and Colgate . . .
Former pitcher Denny McLain was denied bail after passionately pleading in Tampa, Fla., for the chance to leave Seminole County jail at Sanford and support his family while appealing his racketeering conviction and 23-year prison sentence.
"I'll do anything you want. I'll report every day to a marshal. You can have one live in the house with me," major league baseball's last 30-game winner promised U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich.
But she said: "This court feels he is a danger to this community . . . a threat to flee."