A group of male athletes sued Miami (Ohio) University yesterday, claiming reverse discrimination resulted from a federal law designed to equalize the money colleges spend on men's and women's sports.

The former Miami wrestlers and tennis and soccer players contend that by eliminating their teams to satisfy NCAA gender quotas, the university violated sex discrimination provisions of Title IX, the federal program designed to increase the number of women playing sports.

"Prohibiting men from participating in athletics simply because they are men is sex discrimination, and that violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution as well as the federal civil rights statute, Title IX," said Curt Levey, spokesman for the Washington-based Center for Individual Rights.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, asks the court to order Miami to reinstate the men's sports and to pay team members unspecified damages for "the losses they've suffered . . . shattered dreams . . . and costs such as transferring to other universities," Levey said.

Track and Field

Diack Ascends

Lamine Diack pledged to rid track and field of an image of "kings, dictators and popes" after being confirmed as president of the sport's governing body until 2001. Diack, of Senegal, was installed as acting president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation for the next two years by the body's governing council, 11 days after the death of longtime leader Primo Nebiolo. Nebiolo was credited with elevating the sport, but often accused of authoritarianism during his 18-year reign.

College Basketball

Calls Examined

Phone records show 16 calls were made between the office telephone of former Memphis basketball coach Tic Price and a female student the day after a witness claimed to have seen the woman run bleeding from Price's home.

Price resigned unexpectedly Sunday night, but neither he nor the university has said what prompted the move. But the university released documents this week indicating the resignation was related to allegations Price had an affair with a 23-year-old student and assaulted her in his Germantown, Tenn., home.

Baseball

McGwire Opts In

Mark McGwire and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to exercise their $11 million mutual option for 2001. McGwire, 36, gets $9 million next season as part of a $28.5 million, three-year contract he agreed to in September 1997. . . . Deion Sanders was added to the Cincinnati Reds' 40-man roster, a procedural move made in case he decides to play baseball again.

College Football

Drop the Chalupa!

Kansas defensive end Dion Rayford, a 270-pound player, got stuck in the drive-thru window of a Taco Bell when he allegedly tried to charge employees who left a chalupa out of his order.

Rayford, 24, allegedly became angry about 2 a.m. Wednesday when he didn't get a chalupa. He got stuck when he tried to climb through the 14-by-46-inch drive-thru window, said Lawrence police Sgt. George Wheeler. "When you take a big guy and put him through a small space, something's got to give," Wheeler said.

Boxing

Fields Wins

Landover lightweight Jermaine Fields improved to 19-0 with a technical knockout of New Orleans's Eldon Sneed (11-12) at 2 minutes 12 seconds of the third round at Michael's 8th Avenue in Glen Burnie. Also on the card, Falls Church's Jimmy Lange improved to 10-1-1 with a unanimous decision over journeyman Benji Singleton (20-54-4) of Charlotte. In the main event, cruiserweight Julian Letterlough (10-0) wore down New Carrollton's Darryl Hollowell, then knocked him out at 2:55 of the sixth round.

Tennis

Courier Charged: DUI

Jim Courier, currently ranked 33rd on the men's tour, was charged with driving under the influence after being stopped for running a red light on the University of Georgia campus. "He made a mistake, he realizes that. He regrets it," said Courier's agent, Gavin Forbes.

AMERICA'S CUP CHALLENGER SERIES

Results yesterday in the second round robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series for the America's Cup in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf:

AmericaOne def. Young Australia by 5 minutes 39 seconds.

Prada def. Le Defi Francais by 3:49.

America True def. Nippon by 12 seconds.

Spanish Challenge def. Fast 2000 by default.

Stars and Stripes def. Young America by default.

Bye: Abracadabra.

Point Standings

Prada 42

America True 34

Stars and Stripes 32.5

AmericaOne 28

Young America 25

Nippon 21.5

Spanish Challenge 17

Le Defi Francais 14

Abracadabra 2000 12

Young Australia 9

Fast 2000 8