A punctured tire, probably from debris left on the track after an earlier crash, caused the spin that sent Ralf Schumacher into the wall during Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis, a team spokesman said yesterday.

Schumacher spent the night at a hospital as a precaution and was released yesterday morning. He planned to return home to Austria but skip a scheduled test session this week in Spain.

"Ralf is well, but has a bruised back and strained back muscles," said Liam Clogger, media manager for the BMW Williams team. Clogger said the team did not know how long Schumacher would be out.

Two laps before Schumacher's crash, Fernando Alonso blew a right rear tire and struck a foam barrier going sideways into the first turn. Before both crashes, four cars were eliminated in an opening-lap collision.

* COURTS: Prosecutors dropped charges against New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law, who was arrested in April after he allegedly led police on a brief foot chase.

Law was charged with resisting without violence after Miami Beach police said the 30-year-old Pro Bowl player sped off in his Rolls-Royce after being pulled over for a lane violation. Prosecutors would not say why they dropped the charges. . . .

A court in Paris rejected Lance Armstrong's attempt to force a publisher to insert the star cyclist's denial of doping allegations into copies of a new book about him.

* COLLEGES: All athletes transferring to Baylor should undergo criminal background checks and allow access to disciplinary records at previous colleges, a university task force recommended.

Several recruiting policy recommendations were made by the task force, which was formed by the school to address NCAA violations and other problems discovered last summer after basketball player Patrick Dennehy was killed. His former teammate, Carlton Dotson, was charged with murder and is jailed in Waco, Tex., awaiting an August trial.

* BOXING: Mike Tyson was granted a boxing license in New Jersey, a state he walked away from nearly six years ago after swearing at regulators during a licensing hearing.

* GOLF: The overnight ratings for Sunday's coverage of the final round of the U.S. Open were up 13 percent from last year, but 32 percent lower than those for Tiger Woods's victory in 2002.

* LOCALLY: Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, will sign copies of her book, "Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America," at the Baltimore Orioles' community booth at Camden Yards during tonight's game. The Orioles Foundation will benefit from the books sold.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports