By David Mitchell, Sports Writer

Saturday, July 17, 2004

It's looking more and more like Bill Whittemore's next game will be played in the Arena Football League.


The former Kansas University quarterback was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent May 18, but the NFL franchise cut Whittemore on June 30. By that time, the Canadian Football League season already was under way, and Whittemore's agent has been unable to find a home for the quarterback north of the border.

"We should know on the Canada deal by the end of next week," agent Tom Mills said. "If that doesn't happen, we would pursue the Arena League option."

The CFL matter is complicated by the fact that a Canadian franchise, which Mills could not name, already has the rights to Whittemore in that league. But five weeks into the season, that unnamed team has not required Whittemore's services and wasn't likely to barring injuries.

Even if Whittemore does catch on in Canada, at this late date it likely would be in a backup role. The rookie might have a better chance to play in the Arena League, which doesn't start play until October. Three teams in the indoor league already have expressed interest in the Tennessee native.

"He has such a desire to play, we might be willing to wait a few months rather than just be on the sidelines in the CFL," Mills said.

The Arena League doesn't have a draft. Players are invited to workouts in September before the season begins.

Whittemore started 10 games as a senior last fall and completed 159 of 263 passes for 2,385 yards and a school-record 18 touchdowns.

Jones case continued: Former Kansas University lineman Adrian Jones was granted a continuance Thursday in municipal court, city prosecutor Jerry Little said.

Jones, a fourth-round draft pick of the New York Jets, was arrested May 8 and was charged with driving under the influence. Jones' case was continued to Aug. 26. At that time, he could enter a plea or ask for a diversion or his trial date will be set.

More on McCoy: KU announced Thursday that senior lineman John McCoy would miss the season after his Army Reserve Unit was called up. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound converted linebacker was at the top of the depth chart at defensive end after spring drills.

"He had a tremendous spring," KU defensive coordinator Bill Young said. "We really thought he was going to have an outstanding year. We're sorry to see him go, but we're awfully proud of him."

Senior starter David McMillan (6-3, 240) returns at defensive end, but the other end is up for grabs after the departure of McCoy. Junior-college transfer Jermail Ashley (6-5, 250) likely will be the leading candidate to fill that spot.

Another junior-college transfer, Minnesota West's Charlton Keith (6-5, 230), was expected to add needed depth, but the transfer must first complete summer school in Minnesota. Minnesota West coach Jeff Linder has not returned calls from the Journal-World.

Young said freshman Anthony Collins (6-6, 250) would get a long look in preseason camp, which begins when players report Aug. 6. Senior Greg Tyree (6-0, 245) also could be in the mix after moving from linebacker in the spring.

Other possibilities at end could include linebackers Zach Mims (6-3, 235) and Brandon Perkins (6-1, 225).