Bode Miller will trade his skis for a tennis racket after the Olympics and World Cup season. Miller will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open through a national playoff system announced yesterday by the U.S. Tennis Association.
Tennis aficionados around the country can compete for a spot in the Grand Slam. The winner of the men's and women's championship will receive a wild-card entry into the U.S. Open qualifying tournament.
Miller won the 1996 Maine state singles title in high school, and his family owns the Tamarack Tennis Camp in Easton, N.H. He plans to compete in one of the 16 sectional qualifying tournaments this spring. Registration through the USTA begins Feb. 1.
Meanwhile, Miller and Lindsey Vonn lead a list of U.S. skiers earning spots for the Vancouver Games. The announcement of the team was delayed until yesterday to see if any extra spots opened up. Some did and the Americans received four extra spots, bringing the total on the men's and women's teams to 22 skiers.
Also, Austria's Reinfried Herbst won the World Cup slalom in Schladming, Austria. Miller was not in the top 10.
In other Olympics-related news:
* The U.S. Olympic Committee has filed a federal lawsuit to get the State College-based International Institute for Sport and Olympic History to drop "Olympic" from its name.
* Mark Kerrigan, the 45-year-old brother of two-time Olympic figure-skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan, was sent to Bridgewater (Mass.) State Hospital for a psychological evaluation. Daniel Kerrigan, 70, died Sunday after what authorities said was a violent struggle with his troubled son. He pleaded not guilty to assault Monday.
* Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley had arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist.
* Cornell has hired Mississippi offensive coordinator Kent Austin as its head coach, a source said.
* Two more Michigan State players - defensive tackle Oren Wilson and receiver Myles White - face misdemeanor assault and conspiracy charges connected to a Nov. 22 fight on campus, bringing the total to 11.
* SMU defensive lineman Torlan Pittman has been suspended following his arrest on a rape charge.
*Eight players were honored at the Small-College Coaches Association luncheon: Lincoln's Darrel Mosley, University of the Sciences' Adewale Adefemi, Chestnut Hill's Larz Jeter, Gwynedd Mercy's Matt Johnson, Eastern's Alex Johnson, Ursinus' Remy Cousart and Neumann's Na'Sheed Linton and Brittany Whetts.
* Britain's David Haye will make the first defense of his WBA heavyweight title against John Ruiz on April 3 in Manchester, England. Ruiz, a 38-year-old American, is the WBA's No. 1 contender and former champion.