Almost certain he's stepping down after 10 years as New York Yankees pitching coach, Mel Stottlemyre had harsh words yesterday for George Steinbrenner and the owner's treatment of Manager Joe Torre.

Speaking in the Yankees' clubhouse, Stottlemyre said he interpreted Steinbrenner's statement following the Yankees' elimination by the Los Angeles Angels as a slap at Torre. Steinbrenner said Tuesday: "I congratulate the Angels and their manager on the great job they've done."

"I laughed when I saw it," Stottlemyre said. "My first thoughts were, 'What about Joe? Joe had done a hell of a job, too.' To congratulate the other manager and not congratulate your own after what he'd done this year, I laughed.

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous," he said. "I've been here with Joe for 10 years and this has by far been the toughest year for him, and it's the best job he's done."

* COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Two days after one of the best games of his career, Penn running back Kyle Ambrogi committed suicide, the university and police said.

The 21-year-old senior, who died at his suburban Havertown, Pa., home Monday, had been battling depression, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

"I thought he was getting better. I can't believe it happened. I can't cry yet," Ambrogi's brother, Greg, a sophomore defensive back on the team, said.

In Penn's 53-7 rout of Bucknell, Kyle Ambrogi, a backup, carried five times for 18 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns. Greg Ambrogi scored a touchdown after recovering a fumbled snap in the second quarter. . . .

Boston College lineman Mathias Kiwanuka is "highly unlikely" to play against Wake Forest on Saturday because of a right knee injury that may have happened when he was hit after the whistle against Virginia last weekend.

Kiwanuka said he has a sprained or slightly torn medial collateral ligament in his right leg.

* HOCKEY: Gilbert Brule, Columbus's first-round draft pick, will miss six weeks with a broken sternum. The center was injured Friday night on a hit by Flames defender Roman Hamrlik. . . .

Minnesota forward Marian Gaborik's groin injury could keep him out of the Wild lineup for another 10 days. Gaborik has not played this season.

* COURTS: Former WBA flyweight champion Eric Morel was sentenced to two years in prison for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl. Morel pleaded no contest in June in Dane County, Wis., to second-degree sexual assault of a child in 2002.

-- From News Services

Two days after scoring 2 TDs in a win against Rutgers, Penn senior running back Kyle Ambrogi (31) committed suicide.