Bill Parcells won't be fined by the NFL for calling surprise plays used in practice "Jap plays," a remark for which he later apologized.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said yesterday that no action would be taken by the league against the Dallas Cowboys coach.

Parcells made the remark, an apparent reference to Japan's 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, while talking to reporters during the Cowboys' minicamp Monday.

Later in the day, Parcells issued a statement apologizing.

"I made a very inappropriate reference, and although I prefaced it with the remark, 'no disrespect to anyone intended,' it was still uncalled for and inconsiderate," he said. "For that I apologize to anyone who may have been offended." . . .

Recently hired New York Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty has had colon cancer diagnosed.

Flaherty, 48, plans to work as much as possible while undergoing treatment, which will include surgery, the Giants said in a statement.

* HOCKEY: Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey are virtually ensured of being selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee will announce this year's inductees today, and Bourque and Coffey are expected to be honored in their first year of eligibility.

Glenn Anderson, Dino Ciccarelli and a handful of others passed over in recent years are also expected to be considered. . . . Bryan Murray was hired as coach of the Ottawa Senators, leaving as general manager of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to run a team that was ousted in the first round of the playoffs. He replaces Jacques Martin. Meantime, Al Coates was appointed interim general manager of Anaheim.

* COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Florida State basketball player Ronalda Pierce died early yesterday, apparently from an aneurysm that may have resulted from a genetic disease that typically affects tall people.

Preliminary results from an autopsy indicated that Pierce, 19, who was the tallest player on the Seminoles at 6 feet 5, died because of a ruptured aorta that was caused by an aneurysm, which may have been caused by the hereditary disorder, Marfan syndrome.

* TENNIS: Andre Agassi, a first-round loser at the French Open, was beaten in his opening match at the Queen's Club tournament in London by a player ranked 60th and making his debut in a grass-court event.

Agassi lost 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3) to Russia's Igor Andreev, then failed to show at a news conference. He faces a fine from the ATP.

* GOLF: Nick Faldo will play in his 17th consecutive U.S. Open after making birdie on the final hole at a sectional qualifier in Orlando to claim one of three available spots.

* CYCLING: Lance Armstrong dropped to fourth place and Spain's Jose Gutierrez took the overall lead after the second stage of the Dauphine Libere race in Saint-Etienne, France.

-- From News Services