Griese signs with Denver for $39 mil.

DENVER (AP) Former Michigan quarterback, Brian Griese, who emerged last season as one of the NFL”s best young quarterbacks, agreed yesterday to a new six-year contract with the Denver Broncos.

The deal is worth $39 million and includes a signing bonus of just over $12.5 million.

Griese, who quarterbacked Michigan”s championship in 1997, threw for 2,688 yards with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions in 10 games last season and led the NFL with a quarterback rating of 102.9. He missed six of Denver”s final seven games, including their playoff loss in Baltimore with a separated right shoulder and had reconstructive surgery on Jan. 10.

“It was extremely important to get it done quickly and quietly,” said Ralph Cindrich, Griese”s agent. “A quarterback is a leader on the team who stands in the shoes of a coach. If there”s a problem with a contract, there”s a tendency to lose your teammates.”

Shocker! Randolph follows Richarson

MARION, Ind. (AP) Zach Randolph is ignoring the wishes of his mother and high school coach to enter the NBA draft after just one season as a reserve at Michigan State.

Randolph yesterday became the second Michigan State player in two days to announce an early jump to the NBA. Sophomore shooting guard Jason Richardson announced Tuesday that he also is going pro.

“It is my dream and that is what I”m doing it for,” Randolph said at a news conference in his hometown. “Nothing is promised to you, so you have to take advantage of your opportunities.”

Randolph said he would turn pro regardless of where he was drafted, but both he and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said they expected him to be drafted in first round.

The 6-9 Randolph averaged 10.8 points and 6.7 rebounds in less than 20 minutes a game last season. Izzo, who also attended the news conference at St. Paul Baptist Church, said he played Randolph off the bench to get more scoring from his reserves.

“He did what we asked him to do. Even though it was only one year, it was still a worthwhile year for me and the team,” Izzo said.

Kentucky reports football violations

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky has sent more documentation to the NCAA claiming former football recruiting coordinator Claude Bassett broke rules.

The school had reported more than three dozen violations in a 35-page report sent to the NCAA in February.

A letter dated March 12 and addressed to NCAA director of enforcement Mark Jones, revealed more apparent violations revealed in an interview March 5 with former Memphis Melrose High School prospect Mondre Dickerson.

Last week, Kentucky received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA saying it was starting a preliminary investigation of the football program based on the information self-reported by the school.

Dickerson, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive lineman made an official visit to Kentucky in November 1999. He told Kentucky officials in his interview that during the trip, Bassett paid for hotel room “incidentals,” gave him Kentucky apparel and took him on a $200 shopping spree.

Record score set in 32-0 soccer rout

COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Australia”s soccer team set a world record for scoring yesterday, and forward Archie Thompson had the most goals for one player in one game.

What”s unclear, though, is what those record totals are.

The scorekeeper might have lost count during Australia”s victory over American Samoa in a 2002 World Cup qualifying match.

The score was either 31-0 or 32-0, and Thompson alone scored 13 or 14 goals.

FIFA, the sport”s governing body, is waiting for the referee”s official report to determine what the new entries in the record book should say.

Either way, Australia would break its own mark for most one-sided international game in FIFA history, established Monday in a 22-0 win over Tonga.

And Thompson broke a 93-year-old FIFA record. Denmark”s Spohus Nielson scored 10 goals against France in the 1908 Olympics.

“Breaking the world record is a dream come true for me that sort of thing doesn”t come along every day,” said Thompson, who scored eight of his goals in the first half. “But you have to look at the teams we are playing and start asking questions. We don”t need to play these games.””

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