At age 39 after a long battle with brain cancer, former NFL running back Craig(Ironhead) Heyward (above). After dropping nearly 100 pounds, Heyward--who hada size-8 3/4 head--went from being a Chicago Bears castoff in 1994 to a1,000-yard rusher for the Atlanta Falcons the next season. He lost his job toJamal Anderson in 1996, though, and signed with the Rams. He was with the Coltsin 1998 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Heyward, a hard partyer earlyin his career, underwent a transformation when he began treatment. "I wishI could take all of today's athletes and have them go see those kids in thehospital," Heyward said in 1999. "It would allow them to appreciatelife so much more. Their whole attitude would change. Mine has."
Of cancer at age 84, Ted Schroeder, who won the Wimbledon singles title in1949. He also won singles and mixed-doubles titles at the U.S. NationalChampionships, a precursor to the Open. Schroeder never turned pro, but hecontinued to follow tennis. (He regularly attended Wimbledon.) He was often acritic of the sport and, occasionally, its players, whom he thought were greedyand undisciplined.
By gunmen in Baghdad, apparently for wearing shorts, Iraq's national tenniscoach and two of his players. Coach Hussein Ahmed Rashid and players Nasser AliHatem and Wissam Adel Auda were gunned down by unknown assailants in an areawhere leaflets had recently been distributed by militant Muslims warning thatshorts were prohibited. The incident came a week after 15 taekwondo athleteswere kidnapped in western Iraq; kidnappers have demanded $100,000 for theirrelease.
By Virginia, its sixth men's lacrosse national championship. The Cavalierscompleted a 17-0 season by beating UMass 15-7 on Monday in front of 47,062 fansin Philadelphia. Matt Poskay and Matt Ward each scored five goals, and Ward setan NCAA record with 16 goals in the tournament. "The whole undefeated thingsnuck up on us, but to come in here as expected and do this is a very specialmoment for our program," said Virginia coach Dom Starsia.
From calling recruits or visiting them off-campus for one year, Kelvin Sampson,the new Indiana basketball coach. Sampson (above) was punished by the NCAA lastweek for making 233 illegal calls to recruits (his assistants made 344 more)while at Oklahoma, where he coached for 12 years until taking the IU job inMarch. (The NCAA also placed Oklahoma on probation for two years.) Indiana knewof the NCAA investigation when it hired Sampson, who as president of theNational Association of Basketball Coaches chaired an ethics summit in 2003.(The violations took place between 2000 and 2004.) The school released astatement saying Sampson was a "man of integrity who made an error injudgment."
Notice that she may sue the state of New Jersey over leaked information thatimplicated her in a gambling ring, Janet Jones, the wife of Phoenix Coyotescoach Wayne Gretzky. Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet also filed notice; inboth cases damage claims would exceed $50 million. Tocchet was placed on anunpaid leave of absence by Phoenix when he was charged in February with runninga ring that took in $1.7 million in a five-week period leading up to the 2006Super Bowl (SI, Feb. 20). Jones, who has not been charged, is believed to havewagered a large sum--reportedly nearly $100,000--through Tocchet.
Twenty-sixth in his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, former Red Soxoutfielder Mike Greenwell (right). After a 12-year career during which he hit.303, Greenwell retired at age 32 in 1996 and indulged his other passion."I had 20 offers to go back and play the next year," Greenwell said."But I wanted to go racing." He spent 10 years driving late-model carsin the South, winning 37 races, before he got the opportunity to drive a truckowned by Bobby Dotter in The City of Mansfield (Ohio) 250 last Saturday. (Therace was won by Ron Hornaday Jr.) "I was just hanging on and hoping Ifinished on the lead lap," said Greenwell. "I'm tickled to death that Idid."
By the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, a "scoremanagement" policy aimed at preventing football teams from running up thescore. This fall if a team wins by more than 50, its coach will be suspendedfor the next game. Some are calling it the Jack Cochran Rule, after the coachof New London High, which won four games by at least 50 points last season. ButTony Mosa of the CIAC said, "It's not focused on any one particularperson." No other state punishes teams for blowout wins.
Length of the Salisbury men's lacrosse team's winning streak, which was snappedwhen Cortland State beat the Sea Gulls 13-12 on Sunday to win the Division IIInational title.
The Royals' record against the Indians in 2006.
The Royals' record against other opponents.
Winning time of co-world record holder Justin Gatlin in his 100-meter race atthe Prefontaine Classic on Sunday.
Winning time of co-world record holder Asafa Powell in his 100-meter race atthe Prefontaine Classic; the two record holders, who have each run 9.77, haveno plans to run head-to-head.
Frost Heaves Watch
SI senior writer Alexander Wolff will file periodicupdates on his new ABA team, the Vermont Frost Heaves, which begins play inNovember.
I drove with my family to the Montreal suburbs lastweek to fetch the Frost Heaves' mascot. He's a moose, and in light of what afrost heave is, we're calling him Bump. A Day-Glo orange sign saying just thatgraces the back of his jersey, and half an ABA basketball sits yarmulke-likeatop his head. Bump is the creation of Jean-Claude Tremblay, who has designedhundreds of such creatures, including Youppi! of the late Montreal Expos, andChamp, the mascot of our neighbors, the Class A New York--Penn League VermontLake Monsters. Mascots are the cash cows (or lions or tigers or bears) of minorleague sports, for they attract the essential kids-with-parents demographic. Asthe Vermont Expos, the Lake Monsters had the worst record in the minors in 2003and still drew 100,000 fans, thanks largely to the lovable, Loch Nessian Champ.No wonder management renamed the team after his kind.
• For more on the team, go towww.vermontfrostheaves.com.
After a six-hour battle, a Florida angler hauls in arecord-breaking hammerhead
JUST BEFORE noon on May 23, Bucky Dennis was alone onhis 23-foot skiff in the Gulf of Mexico off of Boca Grande, thinking aboutgetting out of the South Florida sun. The 36-year-old fishing guide was hopingto hook a shark, but he hadn't seen one and was about to pack it in when henoticed another guide driving his boat in a tight circle, apparently to keepsharks away from some tarpon he had released after catching. When Dennis droveover to check it out, he saw two sharks under the other guide's boat. Dennistossed in a line baited with a 25-pound stingray and before long felt atug.
Nearly six hours later--and 12 miles away--Dennisfinally reeled in a great hammerhead measuring 14'6" and weighing 1,280pounds. The shark had dragged Dennis's boat out to sea (and out of cellphonerange), but Dennis had some help from fishermen who heard about the battle bywalkie-talkie. They took the helm of his boat and sunk a steel gaff into theshark while the 5'9", 180-pound Dennis did all the reeling. Pendingcertification, it would be a world record for a great hammerhead. "The rodstayed in my hand the entire time," Dennis told The New York Times. "Iwas thinking, Please don't let it get off, please don't let nothinghappen."
Ricky Williams is the latest troubled pro to see ifthe grass is greener in Canada
WHEN HE was introduced as the newest Toronto Argonautlast week, Ricky Williams said he has "learned to notice a good thing whenit comes and not let it slip by." Indeed, the Dolphins' running back seizedthe chance to play in the CFL like a drowning man grabbing a life preserver.Instead of going unpaid during his yearlong suspension from the NFL forviolating its substance-abuse policy, Williams, 29, will earn $240,000 with theArgos and be the CFL's highest-paid runner.
The 48-year-old CFL has long been a proving ground forplayers trying to land a job in the U.S., but Williams is one of several to useit as a haven from the NFL's drug rules. (The CFL does not have mandatorytesting.) Last month former Vikings running back Onterrio Smith, who was bannedfrom the NFL last season for a drug violation, signed with the Winnipeg BlueBombers. And Toronto has two other players who have been suspended for NFL drugviolations: receiver R. Jay Soward (banned in 2002) and offensive tackleBernard Williams (1995).
While those players may have found a permanent home inthe CFL, Williams, who is still under contract with Miami, received permissionto head north only after promising the Dolphins he'll return to them in 2007."It's really an uplifting feeling to be in this kind of environment,"he said. And, he added, you "make more money playing football than you dositting at home."
TODD PONATH/AP (HEYWARD)
DAVID A. BROWN (DENNIS AND SHARK)
GOOD FOR THE JAWS? Dennis's catch dragged his boat 12 miles.
MIKE HEALEY (MASCOT)
JAY LAPRETE/AP (GREENWELL)
TY RUSSELL/AP (SAMPSON)
ADRIAN WYLD/CP/AP (WILLIAMS)
MOVIN' ON UP Williams is under contract with two teams.