At age 71, in a plane crash about 125 miles southeast of Prague, former Blues rightwinger Jaroslav Jirik, the first Eastern bloc player in the NHL. Jirik (above) was an experienced pilot whose one-seater crashed shortly after takeoff from the Brno Medlanky airport. The direct cause of the accident remains unknown. St. Louis signed Jirik along with two other Czech players in 1969, but only Jirik was granted permission to leave. (On Jan. 1 of that year Czechoslovakia had been divided into the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic.) The reason was his age—Jirik was 30, and the others were in their 20s and considered more valuable. The 5'11", 170-pound Czech spent most of that year in the minor leagues but played in three games with St. Louis without scoring a point. He was invited to stay another season but returned home for five more years with ZKL Brno before retiring. In 450 career games he had 300 goals.
Of its 2009 ACC football title, fined $100,000 and given four years' probation, Georgia Tech, after an NCAA investigation last week revealed major violations in its football and men's basketball programs. The basketball team's recruiting days and official visits were also reduced for the next two years. After questioning Tech players, the NCAA concluded that athletic director Dan Radakovich had broken rules by informing then head football coach Paul Johnson that wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and safety Morgan Burnett would be interviewed about receiving improper benefits. Burnett was absolved of wrongdoing, but according to the NCAA, Thomas received $312 worth of clothing from former Yellow Jackets QB Calvin Booker (who was then working for a sports agent). The basketball violations stem from a youth tournament held on campus in '09 and '10 run by a Georgia Tech graduate assistant, violating NCAA scouting rules.
For $280 million to Joshua Harris, 90% of the Philadelphia 76ers, pending league approval. After nearly six weeks of negotiations, Ed Snider and Comcast-Spectacor sold the team they bought in 1996 for $130 million. Along with Harris, several other investors have been reported as part owners. The 76ers, valued at around $330 million, ranked 25th in attendance last season.
A mistrial, on the second day of the federal perjury trial of former major league pitcher Roger Clemens last Thursday. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, who scheduled a hearing on Sept. 2 to determine if a new trial will be held, called off the proceedings after prosecutors played a video that included references to the testimony of Laura Pettitte, wife of Clemens's former teammate Andy Pettitte. Walton had declared Laura's testimony inadmissible because she did not have direct knowledge of the conversation between Clemens and her husband, in which Clemens allegedly admitted to using human growth hormone. The video was paused as Walton called the attorneys to the bench, but a transcript of Laura's statement remained frozen on the screen in the courtroom. At the request of Clemens's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, Walton ruled that the jury might be influenced by the text and called the mistrial.
For the first time since fracturing two vertebrae last Oct. 16 on a kickoff return against Army, former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand. The 6'2" Avenel, N.J., native tweeted a smiling picture of himself with his mom, as he stood with the aid of a hydraulic lift. Paralyzed and given a 5% chance of regaining full neurological function when first injured, LeGrand (above) has made great progress in recent weeks, standing for seven minutes on July 13 and using his neck and shoulder muscles. His therapist said watching the women's U.S. soccer team elevated his blood pressure, helping him to fully stand. LeGrand, who can now feel sensations throughout his body, moves in a wheelchair controlled by his chin. This spring he took a class via Skype and hopes to attend a Rutgers football game in the fall.
As president of HBO Sports, Ross Greenburg, winner of 51 Emmys and eight Peabody awards and a driving force behind the network's innovative sports programming. Greenburg, 56, who joined HBO as a production assistant in 1978 and became an executive producer in '85, launched such landmark franchises as Real Sports, 24/7 and Hard Knocks, and oversaw production of numerous documentaries. In announcing his departure, Greenburg cited fatigue from dealing with the business of boxing, long the showcase sport of HBO but an increasingly embattled area for the network, especially after it lost the May 7 Manny Pacquiao--Shane Mosley fight to Showtime. "I felt at times like a ticket agent at an airport, and all the flights were canceled," he said of the struggle to make top matches. Greenburg, who says that he walks away after his 33 years at HBO having "accomplished everything I hoped for," plans to continue developing sports programming, including documentaries.
THEY SAID IT
Marlins reliever, after he was caught on camera dozing in the bullpen during last Saturday's game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field:
"I was in Venezuela for five minutes."
Price fetched at auction by Sheffield FC, the world's oldest soccer club, for its printed and handwritten versions of the game's original rules, which were drafted in 1858.
Price fetched at the same auction for the original draft of Jane Austen's unfinished novel The Watsons.
Times that Mariners opposing batters were mistakenly walked on just three called balls within a nine-day stretch—first the Padres' Cameron Maybin on July 2, then the Angels' Bobby Abreu on July 10.
Distance in yards of the hole in one by six-year-old golfer Reagan Kennedy at The Links at Ireland Grove in Bloomington, Ill.
Distance in yards of the goal Earthquakes goalie David Bingham scored in a July 12 friendly against West Bromwich Albion, the longest ever by an MLS player.
American Express points awarded to Jin Mosley in her divorce settlement from former world welterweight champ Shane Mosley. Also included: half of the boxer's purses won during their marriage and three title belts.
ERIC LEGRAND/TWITTER.COM (LEGRAND)