Roy Williams said he made a "mistake" when he approved gifts to graduating players and others who had used up their eligibility while coach at Kansas, but denied there was any intentional wrongdoing.

"I am deeply saddened to say there was evidently a mistake," Williams said in a statement yesterday.

Williams -- now the coach at North Carolina -- issued the statement to respond to a report by Kansas outlining NCAA rules violations in its athletic department.

After conducting an internal review, the school said Williams -- who won the national championship last April in his second season in Chapel Hill, N.C. -- approved payments made by three representatives of the university's "athletics interests."

The school said Dana Anderson, Joan Edwards and Bernard Morgan gave cash and clothing to graduating players and others who had exhausted their eligibility. Payments went back as far as 1998, though no player was said to have received more than $400.

Williams said there was a "communication problem" with the school's compliance department, leading him to believe a gift was permitted.

The men's basketball violation will be addressed through extra education about the rules regarding gifts. No other sanctions against the program are planned.

* TENNIS: David Nalbandian helped Argentina earn two points and a 2-1 lead over Australia on in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in Sydney.

France won its doubles match to lead Russia, 2-1, in Moscow.

Nalbandian completed his singles match from a day earlier by taking the fourth set in a 6-3, 7-6 (10-8), 5-7, 6-2 win over Wayne Arthurs. The 2002 Wimbledon finalist then teamed with Mariano Puerta to beat Arthurs and Lleyton Hewitt, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-3.

In the other quarterfinal ties, Slovakia leads the Netherlands 2-1 and Croatia leads Romania 2-1.

* POLE VAULT: Russia's Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva broke the women's pole vault record by sailing over 16 feet 2.4 inches at the IAAF Super Grand Prix meet in Madrid. The 23-year-old cleared the bar on her second attempt to break her own mark of 16-1.7, set in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 5.

* RUNNING: Chris Graff of Rosslyn failed in his final attempt to earn the World Championships 10,000 meters "A" standard (27 minutes 49 seconds) Friday night in a special race hosted by New York Road Runners at New York's Ichan Stadium. Graff, who finished eighth at the U.S. National Championships last month in 28:41, was on pace for the first mile, but faded shortly after and pulled out after nine laps.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports

Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva celebrates after setting an outdoor world record of 16 feet 2.4 inches at the Super Grand Prix meet in Madrid.