- The Washington Times - Monday, March 18, 2002

With the scheduled opening of Maryland's on-campus Comcast Center less than six months away, plans are proceeding nicely for the historical Walk of Fame that will greet visitors entering the building.
Jack Zane, who is serving as Walk of Fame executive director in the latest of several major assignments at the university, met recently in Atlanta with officials of Murphy and Orr, a company that specializes in displays for museums and halls of fame. The firm put together a collage of pictures and memorabilia representing what the finished tribute to Maryland's greatest athletes and athletic moments will look like.
Maryland's Walk of Fame, which is sponsored by the university's M Club, will cover four floors in and around the main lobby. Said Zane: "Anyone who comes into Comcast Center will pass through it."
Although the first sports-related event at Comcast likely will be Midnight Madness heralding the start of men's basketball practice Oct.15, athletic department personnel will take up residence with the start of the school year in September. All athletic offices will move from Cole Field House except those for football and golf, which have separate facilities, and swimming, which will remain adjacent to the natatorium in Cole.
Zane continues to sift through items discovered and donated. In addition to photos, trophies and the like, plans are to have TV displays introducing younger fans to the school's athletic history.
Cole certainly will be missed by older fans, but Zane's Walk of Fame should be one of the biggest and best attractions at Comcast.

Feet of clay?
Another former Olympic gold medalist apparently has turned out to be not quite golden. Wolfgang Schwarz, who won the 1968 men's figure skating for Austria, was arrested and charged with obtaining visas for seven women smuggled into the country to work in brothels.
Schwarz, 54, was interrogated, a police spokeswoman said, and his initial statements conflicted with information provided by the victims. A Vienna newspaper said Schwarz had denied the charges.

Keeping the faith
Aren't the Olympics supposed to promote good will? A Christian group from Georgia has accused Salt Lake Olympic organizers of discrimination when they ordered it to take its message and Jesus pins away from venues at the Paralympics.
Representatives of Action Ministries International, an organization of Christian athletes, were told by an E Center security guard that group members could not wear their red jackets with religious insignia or speak to people inside the venue.
"This is my eighth Olympic ministry, and I have never experienced this level of censorship in any part of the world during the Olympic Games," Action Ministries leader Dave Guinn said. "It's just plain discrimination."
The Salt Lake Organizing Committee denied it was discriminating against the West Point, Ga.-based group. SLOC spokeswoman Nancy Volmer said it received several complaints from ticketholders about Action Ministries handing out pins and proselytizing.

Heavy load
A mare named Hostile Raider finished last in a field of nine last week at the Meadows track near Pittsburgh, but you would have to say she had a good excuse. The following day, the 4-year-old pacer gave birth to a colt undoubtedly surprising the heck out of her owner and trainer, who had no idea she was pregnant.
The mare and foal will stay at the racetrack for about 10 days, then move to a breeding farm for about six months to nurse, trainer Bradley Buxton said. Usually, pregnant horses stop racing and are sent to the farms three or four months before delivery.
"What's a miracle is that the mare is 100 percent healthy and the baby is 100 percent healthy," Buxton said.

Brown's latest gig
There's a new assignment for James Brown, the District native who went from being a basketball star at DeMatha High School and Harvard to a TV and radio network biggie.
Brown, 50, was hired last week by Sporting News Radio to do a weekday sports gig from 10 a.m. to noon. He has spent eight years as Fox's Sunday NFL pregame anchor, winning a couple of Emmys along the way.

Eminently quotable
New York Yankees outfielder Shane Spencer, on the team being booed by some fans at spring training games: "Of course they will boo. They don't need to hold it back anymore [as many did out of sympathy toward New York after September 11]. It should be back to normal. It's fun to be booed." …
Yankees manager Joe Torre, on the same subject: "They can hate us as long as they respect us. Usually, the better you do, the more you get booed. So I guess I'm looking forward to getting back to that." …
Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, on contraction: "It's a good thing they didn't have it in the '50s. I was on some pretty bad [Chicago Cubs] ballclubs. We might have been contracted by the All-Star break."


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