By an outbreak of Mycoplasma gallisepticum, a potentially lethal pathogen, Auburn's eagle mascots. Neither Tiger, a 25-year-old golden eagle who performed at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics, nor Spirit, a three-year-old bald eagle, is healthy enough to carry on the three-year-old ritual of circling Jordan-Hare Stadium before home games; nor is there time to train a new bird for the 2003 season.
The Rainier Beach (Wash.) High football staff as an unpaid assistant, Rick Neuheisel. After being fired from his $1.5 million-a-year job as coach of the University of Washington for betting on college basketball games, Neuheisel called to offer his services to coach Mark Haley, whom he had come to know during recruiting. Neuheisel attended his first Vikings practice on Aug. 20, one day before he filed a wrongful termination suit against Washington. Though one woman called the high school to complain that his presence ran contrary to "character-building," Neuheisel, who will work mainly with quarterbacks, told his lawyer after the initial practice that he'd "never had a better day."
In what has been ruled a suicide, William Swan, 55, chairman of the board of trustees at St. Bonaventure. After a scandal involving an ineligible basketball player last season led to the resignation of the school president and the firing of the AD and the basketball coach, Swan became despondent. He was found hanging in his basement on Aug. 20. According to a law-enforcement source, Swan, a St. Bonaventure alum and former mascot who spearheaded the school's postscandal review, left a note saying "that he let his colleagues down, that he let the university down and that he apologized to his family."
From flying with the Romanian soccer team on its Aug. 18 trip to Ukraine, photographer Gabriela Arsenie. Romanian superstition holds that it is bad luck for women to travel with the national team. Among other things considered forbidden in the country's soccer circles: the team bus's going in reverse and players' stepping on the field with their left foot first.