Migrating whales could create chaos for Olympic sailing events in Sydney Harbour next summer, a National Parks and Wildlife Service official said.
NPWS Olympic operations coordinator Robert Bird said up to 3,000 whales could migrate through the harbor during September as they return to Antarctica from their warmer breeding grounds off Queensland state.
Bird said that while most whales pass through relatively unnoticed, some could cause problems for Olympic sailing events. "The NPWS has spent the past 12 months developing contingency plans with the Waterways Authority and SOCOG [the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games] to ensure there is minimal disruption to Olympic sailing events," Bird said.
He said whales had the right of way in the water and were protected, but their presence in the harbor could mean some Olympic sailing events are delayed or even canceled.
Wizards Sign Riddick
The Wizards signed forward Andre Riddick to a training camp contract, according to a source. Riddick, 6 feet 9, is a shot-blocker who has played in Taiwan and Venezuela since graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1995. He will compete for a job at both power and small forwards, the source said. . . .
Guard Jeff Hornacek, 36, who played for the Utah Jazz last season, will retire after the upcoming season, and said he would have quit already except the lockout-shortened 1999 season gave him a little time off. Hornacek, a free agent, is unsigned. . . .
Retired Texas-El Paso coach Don Haskins was hired as a consultant for the Chicago Bulls.
"Coach Haskins has one of the great minds in the history of the game," said Bulls Coach Tim Floyd, who began his coaching career as an assistant under Haskins. . . .
NBA referee Ronald Nunn was fined $3,000 for his part in a scam involving the misuse of airline tickets. Nunn, 49, pleaded guilty in July to one count of filing a false income tax return. He admitted that in 1993 he earned more income than he declared on his return by cashing in first-class airline tickets received from the league for coach tickets and pocketing the difference. He failed to report between $8,000 and $13,500, including some unreported income from 1992.
The Atlanta Thrashers selected Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Ladislav Kohn as the first pick in the league's annual waiver draft. NHL clubs were allowed to protect 18 skaters and two goalies from the draft.
Williamses to IMG
The Williams sisters have hired International Management Group (IMG) to represent them in business and marketing decisions, the company said. Serena Williams, ranked No. 4 in the world, won the U.S. Open earlier this month. Her sister, Venus, is ranked No. 3.
IMG said Stephanie Tolleson, a senior vice president with the Cleveland-based company, will oversee marketing efforts for the Williams sisters.
Record Ryder Ratings
The dramatic finish to the Ryder Cup in which the United States rallied to beat Europe drew the highest overnight ratings in the history of the event. NBC said yesterday that Sunday's closing singles matches drew a 6.3 overnight with a 15 share. Saturday's overnight rating was 4.9 with a 14 share, the second-highest rating for a Ryder Cup telecast since NBC began televising the event in 1991.
The network estimates 55 million viewers saw all or part of the Ryder Cup, surpassing the previous high of 42 million in 1997.
Miami (Ohio) University barred its band from playing during halftime of Saturday's game against Marshall because some members were drinking, watching pornographic movies and mooning people during a trip on Sept. 11. The band will be allowed to play before and after the game because it is on Parents Day, spokesman Richard Little said.
The band also was banned from playing at halftime of an upcoming Cincinnati Bengals game, and further discipline is possible after an investigation, Little said.