Scandal-ridden Riptide ownership changes hands

Jeremy Brice says via e-mail that he has sold the Oregon Riptide basketball team to Christopher Sears 'and associates.'

As reported July 14 by the Portland Tribune, Brice is on probation for a 2002 sex offense in California and is registered in Oregon as a nonpredatory sex offender. Brice had planned to use Warner Pacific College for Riptide home games, but the school, after being told of Brice's legal status by the Tribune, chose not to continue negotiations with him to host the American Basketball Association team.

'The ABA approves of the transfer to Chris,' writes Joe Newman, ABA co-founder and chief executive officer. 'The Riptide will play this season. We have investigated (the Riptide) and the league will not impose any sanctions and we will have no further comment on the situation other than at this point I think it is a nonstory.'

Writes Brice: 'I am no longer associated with the Riptide due to the negativity and black cloud over my name.'

Neither Newman nor Brice would discuss the credentials of Sears, who was announced May 4 as assistant to the team president, Brice. Sears also had been listed as assistant general manager.

Hilton's itching for a fight

Fighting will not break out at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower as previously expected. The Oregon Boxing and Wrestling Commission is close to approving a license for Showcase Promotions of Portland, but the new group has postponed its plans to host a pro boxing card at the hotel Thursday. Showcase wants to have Thursday night fights every couple of months at the hotel, but the group had sold fewer than 100 tickets for the planned debut and decided not to go ahead with it.

Mighty Casey now a target

Beyond the state of Oregon, and possibly the Northwest, reaction to baseball coach Pat Casey's new contract at Oregon State isn't all joy and kudos. Greg Hansen, columnist for the Arizona Daily Star, writes that he is 'sorry to see Oregon State crush college baseball's salary structure.' Noting Casey's new base salary of $230,000 a year, Hansen writes: 'What does Arizona now tell Andy Lopez, who earns $96,615 and has a better coaching history than Casey?'

Lopez is 168-123-1 (.575 winning percentage) in five years with the Wildcats (Casey is 391-253-4, .606, in 12 seasons with the Beavers). In 24 seasons, Lopez has taken three schools (Florida, Pepperdine and Arizona) to 12 College World Series, winning the 1992 title with the Waves. Arizona slipped to 27-28 last season.

Hawks produce more champs

Glen Wesley of the NHL champion Carolina Hurricanes wasn't the only former Winter Hawk to win a title this season. Colin Forbes, 30, and Jakub Klepis, 22, helped Hershey win the American Hockey League's Calder Cup title.

- Tribune staff

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