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Lions send rep to home of Sanders’

The Associated Press


Wednesday, August 11, 1999

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Detroit Lions have sent a representative to Wichita, Kan., to meet with the father of recently retired running back Barry Sanders.

Allen Hughes, director of security for the Lions, has been at Sanders’ father’s home for two days, apparently in hopes of setting up further talks between Sanders, his family and the team’s front office, The Detroit News reported in Wednesday’s editions.

”I hope it’s the start of something good,” William Sanders said, confirming Hughes’ visit.

Asked if any talks will be a drawn-out affair, the elder Sanders said: ”I hope with all my heart it’s not time-consuming.”

Hughes, who retired from the Detroit Police Department as an inspector, has headed the Lions’ security department for four years. He is a former member of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Sanders, second on the NFL’s career rushing list, announced his retirement July 28, the day before the team reported to training camp at Saginaw Valley State University.

At the time, Sanders said his desire to quit football outweighed his desire to play. When camp opened July 29, Sanders was in London on a European vacation.

The newspaper said it was believed he will return this week. Sanders has a home in Rochester Hills. He also spends considerable time at his parents’ home in Wichita, it said.

William Sanders said Hughes was sent to Wichita by Lions vice chairman William Clay Ford Jr., son of owner William Clay Ford. The younger Ford talked to Sanders’ father by telephone July 29 and told him he would do what he could to talk to Sanders and get him back in uniform with the Lions.

”I think he represents Bill Ford,” William Sanders said of Hughes. ”He (Ford) impressed me as being a fine gentleman.”

Hamilton hires auditors

CINCINNATI (AP) – Hamilton County will hire auditors to oversee building contracts for the Cincinnati Reds’ new baseball stadium.

County commissioners on Monday authorized hiring Price-Waterhouse Coopers for $10,000 and are discussing a possible audit of the Cincinnati Bengals’ new football stadium, said Brooke Hill, a spokeswoman for both projects.

Roger Silbersack, chief deputy auditor for the county, praised the decision.

News reports have questioned some of the county’s spending for the $400 million football stadium, including office furnishings and a $200,000 payment to a subcontractor for recruiting minorities. The stadium is to open next August.

Construction on the $300 million baseball stadium is to begin next year and be completed in 2003.

The stadiums will replace 29-year-old Cinergy Field, now home to both teams. In 1996, Hamilton County taxpayers approved a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for construction.