Former Washington Redskins coach George Allen is on the list of 15 finalists being considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for 1988.
Allen, who coached the Redskins from 1971 to 1977 and advanced the team to its first Super Bowl appearance after the 1972 season, is on the list of final nominees for the first time. Selectors will meet in San Diego on Jan. 30 to pare the list to six modern era candidates and one old-timer nominee. The announcement of 1988 inductees will be made on Feb. 2.
Joining Allen on the list of 15 are Al Davis, owner of the Los Angeles Raiders; former Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant; Chicago Bears tight end and current coach Mike Ditka; Raiders wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Buck Buchanan; Miami Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jack Ham; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan; Cleveland Browns running back Leroy Kelly; Los Angeles Rams guard Tom Mack; Minnesota tackle Alan Page; Cleveland tackle Lou Rymkus (who played for the Redskins in 1943); Raiders tackle Art Shell, and Pittsburgh receiver Lynn Swann . . .
Businessman Joe O'Donnell has withdrawn his bid to purchase the financially ailing New England Patriots after the selling price rose to $83 million from $63 million, the Boston Globe reported.
A group of investors led by O'Donnell had planned to gain control of the team in a two-part sale that first would have dealt the Patriots to a Philadelphia group led by Fran Murray and John Charlton, the report said. The Murray group then reportedly would have sold the club to O'Donnell's group, which would have controlled 100 percent of the club's stock.
O'Donnell predicted his group's withdrawal from the proceedings could lead to the team leaving New England. "The way things are right now, I don't see any way this team can stay in New England," O'Donnell said . . .
Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino said he will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and will miss the Pro Bowl. The Dolphins expect Marino to recover quickly.
"He's referred to it in the past as an oil change," said Eddie White, director of publicity. "They go in and clean it out and check it out."
Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills will replace Marino as the AFC quarterback.
The league announced four other changes for the AFC. Running back Marcus Allen of the Los Angeles Raiders, tackle Jim Lachey of the San Diego Chargers, center Mike Webster of the Pittsburgh Steelers and nose tackle Tim Krumrie of the Cincinnati Bengals will play.
Allen replaces Curt Warner of the Seattle Seahawks, who has an ankle injury; Lachey replaces Anthony Munoz of the Cincinnati Bengals, who has a shoulder injury; Webster replaces Dwight Stephenson of Miami, who has a bad knee, and Krumrie replaces Bob Golic of the Cleveland Browns, who has a broken arm.
The NFC also announced one change. Hoby Brenner of the New Orleans Saints replaces Mark Bavaro of the New York Giants at tight end. Bavaro has a foot injury.