The wrong Richards
Ex-Cowboys WR not involved in parole violation
Updated: Friday June 22, 2001 1:20 AM
HOUSTON (AP) -- A bus driver who told co-workers he was former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Golden Richards was arrested after completing his shift as a bus driver and charged with violating parole.
The Dallas Cowboys reported on their Web site Wednesday the "real" Golden Richards said he was not in any way the man driving the bus in Houston.
"I have no idea what is going on," Golden Richards said from Salt Lake City. "People in Salt Lake City know that's not me."
The Cowboys said Houston police e-mailed a picture of the man arrested and it did not resemble the 1978 picture of Richards in the team's files.
The man arrested was identified as Gordon "Golden" Richards. Cowboys records show the receiver drafted out of Hawaii in the second round in 1973 was John Golden Richards. Golden was not a nickname.
The charges against the fired bus driver stem from three home burglary convictions in Freeport dating to 1996, authorities said. Metropolitan Transit Authority police arrested the man Tuesday.
"He was finishing his route and ended it at the Buffalo Bayou facility, which is also our police headquarters," Metro spokeswoman Julie Gilbert said.
Gilbert said Wednesday the bus driver had told co-workers he played for the Cowboys and that had led to earlier stories about his being a driver.
Golden Richards, the football player, caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Robert Newhouse with 7:04 left in a 27-10 victory over Denver in the 1978 Super Bowl. He played for two seasons with the Chicago Bears after being released by the Cowboys in 1978. Richards retired in 1980 after failing to make the Denver Broncos.
Metro police said they were investigating the bus driver after receiving a tip that he lied about his criminal history on his employment application.
Gilbert said Metro hires a private company for background checks on prospective employees, but the man's criminal history was not spotted. Metro police made a more detailed check and found the parole violation warrants.
The driver will be fired for putting false information on his application, Gilbert said.
The dismissal comes about seven months after Metro president Shirley DeLibero was suspended without pay for 30 days for falsely claiming to have two college degrees. At the time, the drivers' union criticized her for firing employees for making false claims while doing the very same thing.