Leading Off

Bert can't stay on

Modesto bull rider Ted Bert couldn't last the required eight seconds Friday in the ninth round of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, but he's second in average going into today's final round. The leader is Wesley Silcox of Payson, Utah, who won Friday's go-round with an 86.5 score aboard Scoundrel. Bert, who won Thursday's go-round, couldn't handle Voodoo Child on Friday. Only three of 12 bull riders scored.

49ers hire Dolich as their new COO

The San Francisco 49ers hired veteran sports executive Andy Dolich to be their chief operating officer Friday, but owner John York claimed the move wasn't a precursor to a major organizational shakeup for the struggling franchise. Dolich, the president of business operations for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies, will have control of all non-football aspects of the 49ers, including the drive to build a new stadium in Silicon Valley. Dolich spent 14 years with the Oakland Athletics from 1980-94 before his stint with the Grizzlies.

Kidd being sued

A 23-year-old model has filed a lawsuit accusing New Jersey Nets star Jason Kidd of groping and threatening her at a Manhattan nightclub two months ago. A spokesman for the former Cal standout denied the allegations as a "false" and "defamatory" attempt to get money from the player who earns almost $20 million per year. The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, said Kidd "battered and assaulted" the woman in the Lower West Side club Tenjune on Oct. 10 when he "grabbed her buttocks and crotch on multiple occasions." A spokesman for the New York City Police Department confirmed Oct. 17 that the woman had filed a criminal complaint against the NBA All-Star, accusing him of the acts now alleged in the lawsuit that was filed Thursday.

Norman, Evert plan to exchange vows

Chris Evert and Greg Norman are engaged, less than a year after divorces from longtime spouses. The couple got engaged Sunday night, said Tami Starr, director of Chris Evert Charities in Boca Raton, Fla. "They're not sure of a wedding date yet," Starr said. "They're both extremely happy they've found each other." Evert, who won 18 Grand Slam singles tennis titles, wore a large diamond on her ring finger at a news conference Friday to announce a new tennis center at Pearl Valley Golf Estates, which is hosting the South African Open. Norman is playing in the tournament. The 52-year-old Australian won the British Open in 1986 and 1993.