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National | According to the New York Daily News, NFL owners might vote on a plan to expand the playoffs next season at their meetings in Phoenix.

Issue: "Beginning of the end," March 29, 2003

According to the New York Daily News, NFL owners might vote on a plan to expand the playoffs next season at their meetings in Phoenix. The playoffs would increase from six teams to seven for each conference if the plan is approved next week, the newspaper reported, citing anonymous sources. The current playoff format has been in place since 1990.... St. Louis pitcher Rick Ankiel may be wild, but the Cardinals still want him. Even with the control problems that derailed his promising career the past two years, the team is tantalized by Mr. Ankiel's left arm. They figure to find some role for him on their pitching staff. Mr. Ankiel, an 11-game winner as a 20-year-old rookie in 2000, will probably start off as a specialist in the bullpen.... UCLA completed its housecleaning when it fired Steve Lavin-a move that shocked nobody, not even Mr. Lavin. Although Mr. Lavin led the Bruins to a 145-78 record over the last seven years, this year's 10-19 mark was UCLA's first losing record in 55 years. Football coach Bob Toledo was let go in December after seven years on the job.... Sergei Fedorov's disclosure in a hockey magazine that he'd been married to Anna Kournikova came to the surprise of no one, except Ms. Kournikova who tried to hide the marriage to advance her commercial appeal. A Slovakian newspaper quoted the tennis star saying she had clauses in her endorsement deals requiring her to remain unattached.... Mississippi State joined the bloated list of SEC schools under the investigation or penalty of the NCAA. The NCAA will now investigate possible violations in the Bulldogs football program.

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