By Major League Baseball, a policy requiring first- and third-base coaches towear head protection. The move was prompted by the death of Mike Coolbaugh, whowas struck in the neck by a line drive while coaching first base in a minorleague game last summer (SI, Sept. 24). General managers will decide at nextmonth's winter meetings what type of protection—helmets, liners, hard caps—willbe mandated.
By Vikings coach Brad Childress, his decision to dock receiver Troy Williamson(below) one paycheck for missing a game to attend his grandmother's funeral.After discussing his options with Childress, Williamson decided to missMinnesota's win over the Chargers on Nov. 4 to help plan and attend servicesfor his maternal grandmother, who helped raise him. Vikings coach BradChildress said the decision to fine him one seventeenth of his salary—or$25,588—was a "business principle," and he also cited the example oftwo NFL players who recently played shortly after family members died. Butafter meeting with several veteran players, Childress changed his mind.Williamson said he would donate the returned check to charity in hisgrandmother's honor.
For nine months for betting on tennis matches, Alessio Di Mauro. The30-year-old, who is the No. 124 player in the world, was also fined $60,000. Hewas found to have made 120 bets online since last November; none were on hisown matches, and officials said that no match results were affected. "If wedo not have a sport with integrity, we do not have a sport," said ATPpresident Etienne de Villiers. His coach said Di Mauro (above) was unaware ofthe sport's ban on betting. "And we're talking about very small figures—$15to $22 at a time that Alessio bet on an online site, like many colleagues,"said the coach, Fabio Rizzo.
By the NFL, a policy that calls for the ejection of a player who delivers ahelmet-to-helmet hit. Supervisor of officials Mike Pereira sent a memo to all32 teams last Saturday that read, "Officials will be reminded this week topay strict attention to these rules and disqualify the fouling player if theaction is judged to be flagrant." Two players—Redskins safety LeRon Landryand Eagles defensive tackle LeJuan Ramsey—were fined for spearing defenselessplayers on Nov. 4.
By an Italian police officer during a fight at a highway rest stop, a fan ofsoccer team Lazio. An official called the shooting a "tragic error,"and Lazio's game the day of the shooting against Inter Milan was postponed. Thevictim, a 26-year-old deejay, was apparently struck by a stray bullet after apoliceman fired a pistol into the air as Lazio fans en route to Milan foughtwith traveling Juventus supporters.
By the WNBA's new Atlanta franchise, Dennis Rodman (below), who had expressedan interest in coaching. Rodman, 46, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution thathe wanted to coach in the women's league and called Atlanta "the idealsituation, starting from scratch." But Atlanta businessman Ron Terwilliger,who owns the unnamed team, said that the cross-dressing former NBA star lackedthe experience—and the genetic makeup—he was looking for. "We'd prefer tohave a women's coach since it's a women's league," he said.
By an Illinois woman, a lawsuit against the St. Louis Cardinals accusing theteam of negligence for putting a message on the scoreboard during a game thatsaid the woman's daughter had a sexually transmitted disease. For a fee theCardinals allow fans to have messages displayed on the scoreboard. During a2006 game one message read that the woman's then 16-year-old daughter "hasan STD! Eww!" (The message was sent by a female classmate.) The suit seeks$25,000 in damages.
At age 87 of pulmonary disease, Frank Viola, a legend in the world of New YorkCity pigeon racing. After World War II pigeon racing was a popular pastime inthe city, and Viola, whose family kept racing pigeons during his childhood inBrooklyn, was known as one of the sport's top flock raisers and trainers. Hefed vitamins and specially prepared food to his birds, which he sometimesacquired for thousands of dollars, and he was renowned for his ability to judgea pigeon's talent. In the early 1990s he began the Frank Viola Invitational, a400-mile race in which birds were released in Ohio and flew back to NewYork.
24 Rebounds for Kansas State freshman Michael Beasley,who set the Big 12 single-game record in his debut, against Sacramento Statelast Friday.
0 Points for Illinois freshman Jeff Jordan in his firstgame; Michael's son played three minutes in a win over Northeastern.
48--0 Score of last Saturday's Virginia-Miami game, theHurricanes' worst shutout loss ever at the Orange Bowl.
19 TV stations in China that aired last Friday'sshowdown between Yao Ming's Rockets and Yi Jianlian's Bucks.
136 Points scored by Navy (72) and North Texas (64)last Saturday, an NCAA Division I-A single-game record.
63 Points Navy (35) and North Texas (28) scored in thesecond quarter.
8 Scoring drives of two or fewer plays (four each).
5 Third downs faced by Navy in the entire game.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A pheasant hunter in Iowa was shot in the calf withmore than 100 pellets when he laid down his shotgun to retrieve a bird and hisdog stepped on the trigger.
They Said It
Lakers coach, on his decision to make Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher captainsthis year:
"I was sitting on the john one day, and I said, 'That's a goodidea.'"
RICH GABRIELSON/WIREIMAGE.COM (WILLIAMSON)
ENRIQUE MARCARIAN/REUTERS (DI MAURO)
PHIL COALE/AP (PICTURE THIS)
PICTURE THIS NOV. 9 Stunt pilot Skip Stewart at an airshow in Pensacola, Fla.
LINDA MATLOW/WIREIMAGE.COM (RODMAN)
JORDAN MURPH/ICON SMI (JACKSON)