With his job about to become extinct, Gene Budig resigned as American League president yesterday and was appointed a senior adviser to Commissioner Bud Selig.

Budig's counterpart, Leonard Coleman, resigned as National League president last year and also became a senior adviser to Selig.

Owners intend to disband the American and National leagues as legal entities this month and consolidate their functions in the commissioner's office. . . .

John Milner, a member of NL championship teams with the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates, died Tuesday in East Point, Ga., of cancer. He was 50.

Auto RacingDriver Is CriticalIndy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt was in critical condition after crashing during practice at Walt Disney World Speedway.

Schmidt, 35, was coming out of a turn when he lost control and the left rear of his car hit the wall, said IRL spokesman Eric Powell. Schmidt, who earned his first career victory last year, was practicing for the season-opening Indy 200.

He was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center and was being evaluated for a spinal injury after losing some sensation in his legs, said a hospital spokesman.

Pro Football

Monday Ratings Down

Television ratings for the NFL regular season increased on both CBS and Fox but declined for ABC's Monday night coverage.

CBS posted a 10.5 rating and 24 share for its coverage of AFC games. That was a 2 percent increase over last season's 10.3 rating and 24 share.

Fox posted an 11.0 rating and 25 share for NFC games, up 2 percent over last season's 10.8 rating, 25 share.

ABC's 13.7 rating and 23 share were down 1 percent from 13.9 and 22 in 1998. The Monday night numbers were the lowest ever.

Each ratings point represents about 1 million homes. The share refers to the percentage of working television sets tuned to a show. . . .

Roger Lapham Jr., a founding partner of the Oakland Raiders, died Sunday in Stanford, Calif., from complications of cancer. He was 81.


Wolters Makes Team

Former Connecticut star Kara Wolters, a 6-foot-7 center, was selected by USA Basketball as the women's Olympic team's 11th member, leaving one spot to be filled. Two of the game's premier players, Cynthia Cooper and Sheryl Swoopes, are still not on the team. . . .

Attempting to capitalize on the Hispanic heritage of southern Florida, the Miami Heat's WNBA franchise will be called the Miami Sol.


Manchester United Tied

In the first major surprise at the world club championships in Brazil, European champion Manchester United was tied by Necaxa of Mexico City, 1-1.

United superstar David Beckham received a red card just before halftime, leaving his team a player short and resulting in a one-game suspension.

Necaxa had advanced to the tournament by winning the North American title in Las Vegas in October.

It defeated D.C. United, 3-1, in the semifinals of that event.

In the second game of the Group B doubleheader, Brazil's Vasco da Gama beat Australia's South Melbourne 2-0 on goals by Felipe in the 52nd minute and Edmundo in the 85th.


Rafter Returns

Pat Rafter will return to competition at the adidas International on Sunday in Sydney, where he plans to partner with Wayne Arthurs in the doubles.

The former No. 1 player has been out of action since pulling out of the U.S. Open in August with a shoulder injury. The two-time U.S. Open champion is not expected to make a comeback to singles action until April.


No Lightweights

The 25th Marine Corps Marathon will host the first Team Clydesdale National Marathon Championship Oct. 22. The Clydesdale division is divided into five weight classes for men at least 185 pounds and three for women at least 145 pounds.

The Marines will begin accepting applications for the marathon on Feb. 15.

Clydesdale runners must register for the race then sign up and be weighed for the Clydesdale division during the expo that begins the Thursday before the race.