By Major League Baseball, a policy requiring first- and third-base coaches to
wear head protection. The move was prompted by the death of Mike Coolbaugh, who
was struck in the neck by a line drive while coaching first base in a minor
league game last summer (SI, Sept. 24). General managers will decide at next
month's winter meetings what type of protection—helmets, liners, hard caps—will
By Vikings coach Brad Childress, his decision to dock receiver Troy Williamson
(below) one paycheck for missing a game to attend his grandmother's funeral.
After discussing his options with Childress, Williamson decided to miss
Minnesota's win over the Chargers on Nov. 4 to help plan and attend services
for his maternal grandmother, who helped raise him. Vikings coach Brad
Childress said the decision to fine him one seventeenth of his salary—or
$25,588—was a "business principle," and he also cited the example of
two NFL players who recently played shortly after family members died. But
after meeting with several veteran players, Childress changed his mind.
Williamson said he would donate the returned check to charity in his
For nine months for betting on tennis matches, Alessio Di Mauro. The
30-year-old, who is the No. 124 player in the world, was also fined $60,000. He
was found to have made 120 bets online since last November; none were on his
own matches, and officials said that no match results were affected. "If we
do not have a sport with integrity, we do not have a sport," said ATP
president Etienne de Villiers. His coach said Di Mauro (above) was unaware of
the sport's ban on betting. "And we're talking about very small figures—$15
to $22 at a time that Alessio bet on an online site, like many colleagues,"
said the coach, Fabio Rizzo.
By the NFL, a policy that calls for the ejection of a player who delivers a
helmet-to-helmet hit. Supervisor of officials Mike Pereira sent a memo to all
32 teams last Saturday that read, "Officials will be reminded this week to
pay strict attention to these rules and disqualify the fouling player if the
action is judged to be flagrant." Two players—Redskins safety LeRon Landry
and Eagles defensive tackle LeJuan Ramsey—were fined for spearing defenseless
players on Nov. 4.
By an Italian police officer during a fight at a highway rest stop, a fan of
soccer team Lazio. An official called the shooting a "tragic error,"
and Lazio's game the day of the shooting against Inter Milan was postponed. The
victim, a 26-year-old deejay, was apparently struck by a stray bullet after a
policeman fired a pistol into the air as Lazio fans en route to Milan fought
with traveling Juventus supporters.
By the WNBA's new Atlanta franchise, Dennis Rodman (below), who had expressed
an interest in coaching. Rodman, 46, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that
he wanted to coach in the women's league and called Atlanta "the ideal
situation, starting from scratch." But Atlanta businessman Ron Terwilliger,
who owns the unnamed team, said that the cross-dressing former NBA star lacked
the experience—and the genetic makeup—he was looking for. "We'd prefer to
have a women's coach since it's a women's league," he said.
By an Illinois woman, a lawsuit against the St. Louis Cardinals accusing the
team of negligence for putting a message on the scoreboard during a game that
said the woman's daughter had a sexually transmitted disease. For a fee the
Cardinals allow fans to have messages displayed on the scoreboard. During a
2006 game one message read that the woman's then 16-year-old daughter "has
an STD! Eww!" (The message was sent by a female classmate.) The suit seeks
$25,000 in damages.
At age 87 of pulmonary disease, Frank Viola, a legend in the world of New York
City pigeon racing. After World War II pigeon racing was a popular pastime in
the city, and Viola, whose family kept racing pigeons during his childhood in
Brooklyn, was known as one of the sport's top flock raisers and trainers. He
fed vitamins and specially prepared food to his birds, which he sometimes
acquired for thousands of dollars, and he was renowned for his ability to judge
a pigeon's talent. In the early 1990s he began the Frank Viola Invitational, a
400-mile race in which birds were released in Ohio and flew back to New