Wednesday, September 29, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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For The Record

Alabama-Birmingham's Mascot Goes Down In Blaze Of Complaints

Complaints have forced the University of Alabama at Birmingham to sideline the symbol of its athletic teams, a rough-and-tumble Norseman who drew fire for being too mean, too masculine and too white.

"He was - I hate to use the word - too Aryan," said Grant Shingleton, UAB sports information director.

It was at a January basketball game that officials introduced "Blaze," a moustached, Caucasian warrior decked out in bright green with a silver battle helmet. But the complaints began pouring in from students and UAB fans, and Blaze's career burned out before football season. There were no organized protests, just lots of calls to university offices.

"Some people objected . . . because it was too white or too male or too violent or scared little children," Shingleton said.

Blaze replaced the previous mascot, Beauregard T. Rooster. Beauregard, who replaced a dragon, was criticized as being effeminate.


Larry Holmes, making the most of a strong right hand against a clumsy opponent, scored a unanimous decision over journeyman Jose Ribalta in Bay St. Louis, Miss. The 43-year-old former heavyweight champion, bidding for another shot at the title, ran his record to 59-4 in the 10-round bout.

-- A fighter knocked out in the first round by heavyweight Randall "Tex" Cobb is accusing his promoter of fixing fights.

Sonny Barch, a journeyman heavyweight, said Rick "Elvis" Parker of Orlando, Fla., fixed his Sept. 15, 1992, fight with Cobb, according to a story in this week's Sports Illustrated. The story said another bout on the same card, involving former NFL defensive end Mark Gastineau, also was fixed.

Parker denied he fixed any fights. "Never, ever, ever, ever in any fights I've been associated with have I paid anyone to take a fall or take a dive for anyone," he told SI.

Pro basketball

A.C. Green jumped from the Los Angeles Lakers to Phoenix, signing a five-year contract with the defending Western Conference champions worth $15.085 million.

Green's contract includes a one-year termination clause that will allow him to become a free agent again after this season. The salary: $1.885 million this season, increasing to $2.451 million, $3.017 million, $3.583 million and finally $4.149 million.

-- Golden State Warrior guard Sarunas Marciulionis tore a knee ligament playing basketball at a local college Monday and is likely to miss the entire season.

Horse racing

A jockey who took a fog-shrouded shortcut to capture a first-place purse has paid the piper in court in Lake Charles, La., prosecutors said.

Four years after he hid his mount in the mist and then slipped ahead of the other racers, Sylvester Carmouche was sentenced to 720 hours of community service, a three-year suspended jail term, two years of probation, a $500 fine and court costs.

The penalty followed his plea on Monday to a perjury charge and a conviction in 1991 for attempted theft after taking the purse in a 1990 race at Delta Downs.

-- A trainer suspected of giving an energy-boosting drink to a trotter before a $245,0000 race was suspended from competing in Pennsylvania for 10 years and barred for life from the Meadow Lands, Pa., track.

William Keeping was charged with giving what is known in racing circles as a "milkshake" to Native Born, who won $10,000 by finishing third in a qualifying heat for the $245,000 Adios in August.

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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