Robert E. Mulcahy

said he was fired as Rutgers' athletic director after refusing a request by university president

Richard L. McCormick

to resign.

"When I asked if I had done anything wrong and was told 'No,' I felt there was no reason for me to offer my resignation," Mulcahy said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press yesterday. "In effect, he terminated me."

Mulcahy said he had no idea that McCormick would ask for his resignation when he was summoned to the president's office about 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Mulcahy said he did not try to talk McCormick out of his decision after the president said the university was looking to go in a different direction with its athletic department.

The firing, which will be effective on Dec. 31, came less than a month after an independent committee appointed to review the university's athletic program criticized Mulcahy, McCormick and other officials for failing to exercise proper oversight.

The 72-year-old Mulcahy will have to be paid the remaining 1 1/2 years on his contract.

Olympics

* It would cost nearly $4.7 billion to stage the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Chicago, bid organizers estimate, making it a bargain when compared with the ballooning budget for the London Games. London now estimates the overall cost for the 2012 Games will be about $16.5 billion, three times the original estimate.

* Belarusian hammer throwers Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan were stripped of their silver and bronze medals from the Beijing Olympics because of high levels of testosterone.

Sport Stops

* Chris "Flash" Richardson, a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, died in his sleep Wednesday while on tour in Japan, an official with the team said. He was 28. Although the cause of death was not yet confirmed, Richardson likely died of natural causes, said Globetrotters spokesman Brett Meister. Richardson played at UNLV.

* Bobby Labonte has been released from his contract with Petty Enterprises, which has been unable to find sponsorship for the former NASCAR champion and is in danger of closing its storied organization if it can't work out a merger with Gillett-Evernham Motorsports.

Philly File

* Philadelphia's Steve Cunningham (21-2, 11 KOs) lost his IBF cruiserweight title by dropping a split decision to Poland's Tomasz Adamek (36-1, 24 Kos) in a 12-round bout at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

* Assistant Chris Riley, formerly the head football coach at Cardinal Dougherty, has been named to replace the retired Mel Hinton at Northeast. *