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Monday, February 27, 2006
Leinart, Bush, Redick among finalists for Sullivan award

Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Heisman Trophy winners Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, Duke's high-scoring guard J.J. Redick and Winter Olympics bust Bode Miller are among 10 finalists for the Sullivan Award, given annually to the nation's top amateur athlete.

The 2005 winner will be announced April 12 in New York.

Bush and Leinart helped Southern California win back-to-back national championships in 2004 and 2005. USC played for a third straight national title in January but lost to Texas and quarterback Vince Young, who is also a finalist for the award.

In 2005, Bush won the Heisman after gaining an electrifying 2,890 all-purpose yards, outdistancing Young in the voting. Leinart won the 2004 Heisman, and was also a finalist for the Sullivan Award.

Young rushed for 200 yards and three scores, including the game-winner, in the 41-38 win over USC in the Rose Bowl.

The three players are expected to be among the top picks in the NFL draft in April.

Last year, Miller became the first American man to win the overall World Cup title since 1983. He went into Turin as the most hyped athlete in the games. But he went 0-for-5 in his quest for a medal, quickly turning into a huge disappointment.

Miller downplayed his failures on the Olympic stage in Turin, saying, "It's been an awesome two weeks," Miller said. "I got to party and socialize at an Olympic level."

Redick, the All-American and 2005 ACC player of the year, set the league scoring mark Saturday. He passed Wake Forest's Dickie Hemric and now has 2,590 career points.

The other finalists are: Seimone Augustus (women's basketball); Kerron Clement (track and field); Steven Lopez (taekwondo); Chellsie Memmel (gymnastics); and Laura Wilkinson (diving). The last five winners of the award have been Olympians. Paul Hamm, the gold-medal winning gymnast in Athens, won last year.

The award is named after James E. Sullivan, the founder of the Amateur Athletic Union based in Orlando, and has been presented annually since 1930.