After 12 NFL seasons, Buccaneers fullback Mike Alstott (below). A second-round draft pick in 1996, Alstott, 34, spent his entire career with Tampa Bay and helped turn one of the NFL's worst franchises into a Super Bowl winner in 2003. He's the team's alltime leader in touchdowns (71) and a four-time All-Pro, and his hard-nosed style made him one of the franchise's most popular players. Alstott spent the '07 season on injured reserve with a neck injury, the second he'd suffered since '03. "Though mentally I feel like I can continue, physically I can't," he said.
From the Wake Forest football team, running back Luke Caparelli, after he allegedly threatened to "blow up campus" in a posting on his Facebook page. On Jan. 13 Caparelli, 19, a reserve who played in two games last season, wrote a note detailing his dislike for the "spoiled" Wake Forest community, saying that he would have an Uzi "locked and loaded in his bag." Police searched his dorm room the next day and found no weapons; a detective's affidavit says Caparelli acknowledged writing the message but said he didn't plan to harm anyone. A school spokesman said Caparelli is no longer enrolled but would not say if he had been expelled.
By St. Louis archbishop Raymond Burke, Saint Louis University coach Rick Majerus, after Majerus expressed his support for abortion rights. Majerus, who took the job at Saint Louis last April (SI, Jan. 21), declared that he was pro-choice during a television interview at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Burke called on SLU, a Jesuit institution, to discipline the coach because his comments were contrary to church beliefs. "These are my personal views," Majerus, who is Catholic, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I'm not letting him change my mind." Burke has no authority over SLU, and as of Monday, Majerus had not been disciplined.
A suspension by the NCAA, USC guard O.J. Mayo, who had faced sanctions for violating NCAA rules. Mayo accepted free tickets to the Jan. 21 Nuggets-Lakers game from Denver's Carmelo Anthony, a longtime friend. The NCAA considered the gift an improper benefit and planned to suspend Mayo. But last week USC coach Tim Floyd (below, with Mayo), who earlier had said he didn't know how Mayo got the tickets, told the NCAA that he gave Mayo permission to attend the game. The NCAA ordered Mayo to donate the $460 value of the tickets to charity. "I'm glad this is over with now," Mayo said. "It was an eye-opening process."
To life in prison, one of the men who pleaded guilty to the 2003 murder of Reds prospect Dernell Stenson. In November of that year Stenson, 25, who was playing in the Arizona Fall League, was kidnapped outside a Scottsdale nightclub by two men; his captors drove him to a nearby town in his SUV, and Stenson was shot several times when he tried to escape from the vehicle. In 2006 David Griffith, 24, and Reginald Riddle, 23, pleaded guilty to the murder. Last month Griffith was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Last Friday, Riddle also received a life sentence, though he will be eligible for parole in 25 years.
Of planning to defraud the IRS out of $360,000, George Herman Ruth of Indianapolis, who claims to be a nephew of Babe Ruth. Between January 2003 and December '04, Ruth, 54, who was serving a 33-month sentence at Fort Dix Correctional Institution for mail fraud at the time, and another inmate filed 178 false individual income tax returns containing fraudulent claims for refunds. Ruth is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2.
From Temple, with a bachelor's degree in sport and recreation management, former boxer and actor Randall (Tex) Cobb (left). Cobb, 54, had a career record of 43-7-1 and made an unsuccessful bid to take Larry Holmes's heavyweight title in 1982. As an actor he appeared in action flicks as well as Raising Arizona and Ace Ventura. Said Cobb, who graduated magna cum laude, after the ceremony, "It was nice to have that opportunity to wear a robe, to step up there and not have to worry about bleeding."
They Said It
Chicago manager, fielding reporters' questions at the annual Cubs Convention:
"You guys better hurry up and ask me quick, because one more Bloody Mary and you're not going to understand anything I say."
$37,500 Amount that Patriots nosetackle Vince Wilfork has been fined by the NFL for on-field incidents this season; he was hit with his fourth sanction, $5,000, for unnecessary roughness during the AFC Championship Game.
12.88 Seconds by which Ethiopia's Meseret Defar shattered the world indoor two-mile record at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games; her new mark is 9:10.50.
$218,311,394 The Yankees' 2007 payroll, an MLB record.
$159,504,607 Combined payroll of Tampa Bay, Florida, Washington and Pittsburgh, the four lowest-spending teams.
125,000 Pairs of shoes donated through Monday to the charity Samaritan's Feet after IUPUI's Ron Hunter coached barefoot against Oakland University to aid the group's efforts to help children in Africa.
12 Shootout wins by the Oilers in their first 52 games, tying the NHL season mark, set by Dallas in 2005--06.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A Benedictine monastery in Phoenix is renting out rooms during Super Bowl week at the rate of $300 per night for double occupancy.
MARTIN MORROW/WIREIMAGE.COM (ALSTOTT)
DUSTIN SNIPES/ICON SMI (MAYO)
LARRY PIERCE/STEAMBOAT SKI & RESORT CORP./AP (PICTURE THIS)
PICTURE THIS JAN. 22 The 34th Cowboy Downhill in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
JOSEPH V. LABOLITO/TEMPLE UNIVERSITY (COBB)
DAVID KOHL/AP (PINIELLA)