By the NFL for the 2006 season, Dolphins running back Ricky Williams (above),who violated the league's substance abuse policy for the fourth time. Williams,28, tested positive for an unspecified substance in December, and on April 25the league declared him ineligible. (He can apply for reinstatement after nextseason.) "I'm disappointed with the decision, but I respect it," saidWilliams, who last year rushed for 743 yards. Last week the Toronto Argonautsclaimed his CFL rights; the Dolphins haven't said if they'll grant Williamspermission to play in Canada.
By USC, backup quarterback Mark Sanchez, after he was arrested for allegedlysexually assaulting a female student on April 26. Sanchez, 19, a redshirtfreshman who was expected to compete with junior John David Booty for theTrojans' starting job this season, was released after posting $200,000 bail; asof Monday no charges had been filed. (He is due back in court on May 17.)Sanchez is banned from class and football activities until the investigation iscomplete. "This process is like, You're guilty until proven innocent,"USC coach Pete Carroll said. "You'd think the facts would come outfirst."
By the Vikings, running back Onterrio Smith. The 25-year-old was Minnesota'sleading rusher in 2004, but he was best known for being caught at an airport inMinnesota last year with the Original Whizzinator, a device designed to deliverclean urine to deceive drug testers. Smith was suspended all of last season forviolating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and last week it was reported thatthe league would not reinstate him for the 2006 season.
Guilty to distributing performance-enhancing drugs, Patrick Arnold. The39-year-old chemist is known in sports-supplement circles as the person whointroduced androstenedione to the U.S. in the 1990s, and he is also believed tohave been the source of the Clear, one of the steroids parceled out by BALCOfounder Victor Conte. Arnold, 39, was indicted in November on charges ofconspiring with Conte to distribute the designer steroid THG. Arnold hadmaintained his innocence, but last week he reached a deal with federalprosecutors in San Francisco that will require him to serve three months inprison and three months of house arrest.
After 40 years in the booth, ABC play-by-play man Keith Jackson (above, in1974), the voice of college football. Jackson, 77, began calling games for ABCin 1966, and his twangy baritone and down-home witticisms (linemen were"big uglies," big plays elicited a "Whoa, Nellie!" and nightgames were played under a "possum-huntin' moon") were the soundtrack ofthe sport for the next four decades. Jackson nearly retired in 1998, but thistime, he says, he's gone for good. "This is the perfect time," he toldThe New York Times. "I don't want to die in a stadium parking lot."
That he will return for a 16th season with the Packers, quarterback BrettFavre. After throwing a career-worst 29 interceptions and leading Green Bay toa 4-12 record last season, the three-time MVP, 36, contemplated retirement. Hisindecision frustrated some fans, but last week he finally told coach MikeMcCarthy he was coming back. "I can see why you're asking," McCarthysaid when asked if this will be Favre's last season, "but we haven'tdiscussed that."
By the owner of the Montgomery (Ala.) Maulers of the National Indoor FootballLeague, her entire team. On April 26 several players demanded that owner JamieLaMunyon pay as much as $1,000 in back salary. LaMunyon's response: "I havecut all the football players. Fans will see a whole new team.... Maybe they canwin a game." LaMunyon hired a team of local players to play the OsceolaOutlaws in Kissimmee, Fla., last Friday. The new Maulers lost 72--12, droppingtheir record to 1--5.
By the NBA, permission for Lakers star Kobe Bryant (right) to change his jerseynumber from 8 to 24 next season. Last week Bryant, who has worn 8 in each ofhis first 10 NBA seasons, refused to explain his reason for the switch, saying,"It's the playoffs, man." (Bryant wore 24 until he was a senior in highschool, when he switched to 33, a number the Lakers have retired to honorKareem Abdul-Jabbar.) Bryant's jersey was the fourth-most popular in the NBAthis year and the most popular in 2003. Fans who have purchased a number 8Bryant jersey will need to update their wardrobes--unless they do what one L.A.fan did during the Lakers-Suns series (page 48) and tape a 24 over the 8.
For his alleged role in a bank fraud and money-laundering scheme, Olympic goldmedalist Tim Montgomery. The sprinter, his coach Steven Riddick and 11 otherpeople were indicted for allegedly depositing $5 million in stolen orcounterfeit checks in banks over a three-year period. Montgomery, 31, isaccused of depositing three fake checks totaling $775,000. His lawyer said hisclient will plead not guilty. Montgomery is serving a two-year doping banissued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last year after evidenceincriminating him surfaced in the BALCO investigation.
Games it took the Cardinals' Albert Pujols to hit 14 home runs, the fewest everby a major leaguer.
Consecutive victories by the Devils, tying the NHL record for longest winningstreak spanning the regular season and playoffs.
Pick with which Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks was taken by the Lions in the2006 NFL draft.
Pick with which Nebraska safety Josh Bullocks, Daniel's twin, was taken by theSaints in the 2005 NFL draft.
Officially recognized 900 series in the 111-year history of certified leaguebowling after Mark Wukoman, 50, of Franklin, Wis., rolled 36 straight strikesin his Saturday-night league on April 22.
LAST WEEK the University of Kansas announced that it would no longer use itsJayhawk logo on official letterhead and business cards because the bird is"too fun and informal." Perhaps the Jayhawk could get a reprieve if hechanged his look. Here's our suggestion.
THROUGHOUT Steve Howe's 12-year professional baseballcareer, one thing never changed: No matter how much he abused his body withdrugs and booze, he could always pitch. In February 1991, nearly four yearsremoved from his last big league appearance, he showed up unannounced atYankees camp looking for a tryout. Wearing Don Mattingly's spikes and a uniformthat belonged to a nonroster outfielder who hadn't yet arrived at springtraining, Howe, then 32, showed there was still some life in his left arm,topping 90 mph and throwing the same wicked slider that he rode to the 1980 NLRookie of the Year award.
Howe, who died last Friday of injuries suffered in apickup truck accident, signed with the Yankees after that tryout, but thatstint, like each of his others in the majors, ended in controversy. After going3--1 with a 1.68 ERA in '91, Howe was banned for life (his seventh suspension)halfway through the '92 season for pleading guilty to attempting to possesscocaine. In '93 he returned, his suspension overturned by an arbitrator, andpitched until '96, when the Yankees released him. Howe--who in recent yearsowned an energy-drink company--left the game with good stats (91 saves, a 3.03ERA), numbers that would have been far more impressive had he not lost fiveseasons in his prime. "He was extremely talented, very confident on themound and had an incredible arm," Howe's former Dodgers teammate MikeScioscia said. "Obviously, he didn't reach his potential because of otherthings that crept into his life."
A 13-year-old prodigy's LPGA debut gives her terminally ill mom a remarkablegift
LAST THURSDAY evening 13-year-old Dakoda Dowd and hermother, Kelly Jo, were dancing to a Pink song in a parking lot near the ReunionResort golf course in Orlando. They often do silly things together; they calltheir outings, which range from pedicures to a Lenny Kravitz concert,"mother-daughter days." This one, though, was special. Their dancecapped a whirlwind day in which Kelly Jo, 41, who has cancer and is notexpected to live more than a few months, saw a longtime dream realized. Herdaughter had just played in an LPGA tournament.
And played very well. Dakoda, who carries a handicap of1.9 and has won more than 185 junior tournaments, got into the Ginn Open with asponsor's exemption. Wearing a hat adorned with her mom's initials, Dakodabirdied her first hole en route to a first-round 74 that left her ahead ofrecent major winners Karrie Webb, Jeong Jang and Karen Stupples. She followedthat with an 82, missing the cut by eight strokes but earning the admiration offans and her competitors. Her playing partners, Kate Golden and Tracy Hanson,dubbed her Nubby, after her habit of biting her fingernails. "I feelgreat," Kelly Jo said after tournament officials presented the Dowds with areplica of the glass bowl that goes to the winner. "I saw my girl play withthese amazing women. My dream came true."
BOB ROSATO (WILLIAMS)
HEINZ KLUETMEIER (WILLIAMS INSET)
JERRY WACHTER (HOWE)
CLOSERLOOK - Howe saved 18 for L.A. in 1983.
EVERETT COLLECTION (JACKSON)
FRED HARPER (ILLUSTRATION)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BRYANT)
DARREN CAROLL (DOWD)
US PRESSWIRE (DOWD AND MOTHER)
FAMILYBOND - Kelly Jo got a greenside hug from Dakoda after her opening-round74.