Three days apart, of suspected cardiac arrest related to an enlarged heart, Chicago Bears defensive end Gaines Adams (above), 26, and Southern Indiana basketball center Jeron Lewis, 21 (below). Adams, a Clemson All-America who was the No. 4 overall draft pick by the Buccaneers in '07, had been traded in October to Chicago, for whom he made the last of his 93 career tackles. He was at his Greenwood, S.C., home when he experienced heart problems on Sunday morning and died less than an hour after being admitted. Lewis, a senior starter for the Division II Screaming Eagles who was averaging 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds, collapsed while going after a loose ball against Kentucky Wesleyan last Thursday night and died at a hospital that evening. Neither Adams nor Lewis was believed to be aware of his condition.
To succeed Lane Kiffin at Tennessee, Louisiana Tech football coach and athletic director Derek Dooley, son of Vince Dooley, the winningest coach in Georgia history. A former walk-on receiver at Virginia, Derek caught 41 passes alongside All-America Herman Moore before he moved on to practice law in Atlanta for two years. He returned to football as an assistant and was largely responsible for recruiting the LSU class that won a national title in 2003. The younger Dooley was 17--20 in three years at the Louisiana Tech helm.
At Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, former St. Louis Blues forward Mike Danton, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to conspiracy to commit murder. Danton, 29, served five years of a 7½-year sentence, during which he took correspondence classes at SMU, before being paroled last September. He will try out for the Huskies' hockey team (Canada's version of the NCAA allows former pros to play under certain circumstances) and hopes to suit up for the second half of this season.
Team USA midfielder Clint Dempsey (right). On Sunday the 26-year-old was with his Premier League club, Fulham, for whom he has scored a team-leading six goals in 21 games this season, when he went down with what doctors believed to be a posterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee. Dempsey, who scored in each of the U.S.'s final three games at the 2009 Confederations Cup last June, joins fellow Yank starters Charlie Davies (broken leg) and Oguchi Onyewu (torn knee ligament) on the disabled list. Pending MRI results on Monday, Dempsey could miss the World Cup in South Africa this June.
For life from the Dominican Winter Baseball League, after he attempted to punch an umpire during a playoff game, former major leaguer Jose Offerman, 41. Offerman's offense occurred while he was serving as interim manager of the Licey Tigers, whom he'd led to a league championship a year earlier. Last Saturday, while arguing the ejection of his catcher, he swung at the head of the first base umpire and was removed by stadium police. No charges have been filed yet but four Americans who officiated the game resigned in the wake of the incident. Offerman, a two-time All-Star and .273 career hitter, played 15 seasons with seven teams (his longest stint was with the Dodgers) before moving on to three years of independent and minor league ball, including one with the Long Island Ducks, for whom he was playing in 2007 when he was arrested and suspended for assaulting an opposing pitcher and catcher with a bat.
By the sports network that broadcast the Jan. 7 Flyers-Penguins game, producer Lowell MacDonald Jr., who failed to deliver replay video that would have allowed a goal by the visitors. In the second period of that game Philadelphia forward Simon Gagne appeared to score a goal that would have pushed Philly's lead to 6--3, but on-ice officials ruled against the tally because video evidence was lacking. FSN Pittsburgh eventually aired an angle validating the goal—"Oh, we saved that one," one announcer joked—but officials by then had dropped the puck. (NHL rules require immediate sharing of any such replay.) Five days after the Flyers' 7--4 victory FSN indefinitely suspended MacDonald, whose father scored 140 goals for the Pens in the 1970s.
By recently elected Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams, a two-year-old case in which former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison (who is second on the NFL's alltime receptions list with 1,102) had been fingered as the alleged shooter. Last January, citing witnesses who were not deemed credible, then D.A. Lynne Abraham opted not to further investigate the nonlethal shooting of Philadelphia resident Dwight Dixon. Now the FBI—in the wake of a lengthy report in the February 2010 issue of GQ—is investigating whether that incident is linked to a second shooting of Dixon (whose car was parked near two businesses owned by Harrison) in July 2009. A comatose Dixon died two months later.
Penalty minutes assessed against a total of more than 30 players, including former NHL All-Star Jaromir Jagr, following a series of brawls in a Kontinental Hockey League game in Chekhov, Russia.
Minutes played before the game was canceled because of the donnybrook.
Consecutive conference wins by John Calipari, dating back to his days at Memphis and extending to his current tenure at Kentucky. The Wildcats' 72--67 victory at Auburn last Saturday broke the NCAA record, set in Lexington by Adolph Rupp from 1950 to '55.
Foreign-born NBA players who have notched 20,000 career points after Germany's Dirk Nowitzki hit that milestone on Jan. 13, joining Patrick Ewing (Jamaica), Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) and Dominique Wilkins (France).
Percent of field goals made during the first two rounds of the NFL playoffs—on pace to become the worst postseason performance by placekickers in 31 years.
THEY SAID IT
Lakers coach, on whether the controversial actions of Clippers owner Donald Sterling (left) are responsible for a franchise curse, the latest manifestation being No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin's season-ending knee surgery: "I'm of that generation that believed in karma. If you do a good mitzvah, maybe you can eliminate some of those things."
SCOTT BOEHM/GETTY IMAGES (ADAMS)
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN INDIANA/AP (LEWIS)
ACTION IMAGES/ZUMAPRESS.COM (DEMPSEY)
NOAH GRAHAM/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (STERLING)