By the NFL for the 2006 season, Dolphins running back Ricky Williams (above),
who violated the league's substance abuse policy for the fourth time. Williams,
28, tested positive for an unspecified substance in December, and on April 25
the league declared him ineligible. (He can apply for reinstatement after next
season.) "I'm disappointed with the decision, but I respect it," said
Williams, who last year rushed for 743 yards. Last week the Toronto Argonauts
claimed his CFL rights; the Dolphins haven't said if they'll grant Williams
permission to play in Canada.
By USC, backup quarterback Mark Sanchez, after he was arrested for allegedly
sexually assaulting a female student on April 26. Sanchez, 19, a redshirt
freshman who was expected to compete with junior John David Booty for the
Trojans' starting job this season, was released after posting $200,000 bail; as
of Monday no charges had been filed. (He is due back in court on May 17.)
Sanchez is banned from class and football activities until the investigation is
complete. "This process is like, You're guilty until proven innocent,"
USC coach Pete Carroll said. "You'd think the facts would come out
By the Vikings, running back Onterrio Smith. The 25-year-old was Minnesota's
leading rusher in 2004, but he was best known for being caught at an airport in
Minnesota last year with the Original Whizzinator, a device designed to deliver
clean urine to deceive drug testers. Smith was suspended all of last season for
violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and last week it was reported that
the league would not reinstate him for the 2006 season.
Guilty to distributing performance-enhancing drugs, Patrick Arnold. The
39-year-old chemist is known in sports-supplement circles as the person who
introduced androstenedione to the U.S. in the 1990s, and he is also believed to
have been the source of the Clear, one of the steroids parceled out by BALCO
founder Victor Conte. Arnold, 39, was indicted in November on charges of
conspiring with Conte to distribute the designer steroid THG. Arnold had
maintained his innocence, but last week he reached a deal with federal
prosecutors in San Francisco that will require him to serve three months in
prison and three months of house arrest.
After 40 years in the booth, ABC play-by-play man Keith Jackson (above, in
1974), the voice of college football. Jackson, 77, began calling games for ABC
in 1966, and his twangy baritone and down-home witticisms (linemen were
"big uglies," big plays elicited a "Whoa, Nellie!" and night
games were played under a "possum-huntin' moon") were the soundtrack of
the sport for the next four decades. Jackson nearly retired in 1998, but this
time, he says, he's gone for good. "This is the perfect time," he told
The New York Times. "I don't want to die in a stadium parking lot."
That he will return for a 16th season with the Packers, quarterback Brett
Favre. After throwing a career-worst 29 interceptions and leading Green Bay to
a 4-12 record last season, the three-time MVP, 36, contemplated retirement. His
indecision frustrated some fans, but last week he finally told coach Mike
McCarthy he was coming back. "I can see why you're asking," McCarthy
said when asked if this will be Favre's last season, "but we haven't
By the owner of the Montgomery ( Ala.) Maulers of the National Indoor Football
League, her entire team. On April 26 several players demanded that owner Jamie
LaMunyon pay as much as $1,000 in back salary. LaMunyon's response: "I have
cut all the football players. Fans will see a whole new team.... Maybe they can
win a game." LaMunyon hired a team of local players to play the Osceola
Outlaws in Kissimmee, Fla., last Friday. The new Maulers lost 72--12, dropping
their record to 1--5.
By the NBA, permission for Lakers star Kobe Bryant (right) to change his jersey
number from 8 to 24 next season. Last week Bryant, who has worn 8 in each of
his first 10 NBA seasons, refused to explain his reason for the switch, saying,
"It's the playoffs, man." ( Bryant wore 24 until he was a senior in high
school, when he switched to 33, a number the Lakers have retired to honor
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.) Bryant's jersey was the fourth-most popular in the NBA
this year and the most popular in 2003. Fans who have purchased a number 8
Bryant jersey will need to update their wardrobes--unless they do what one L.A.
fan did during the Lakers-Suns series (page 48) and tape a 24 over the 8.
For his alleged role in a bank fraud and money-laundering scheme, Olympic gold
medalist Tim Montgomery. The sprinter, his coach Steven Riddick and 11 other
people were indicted for allegedly depositing $5 million in stolen or
counterfeit checks in banks over a three-year period. Montgomery, 31, is
accused of depositing three fake checks totaling $775,000. His lawyer said his
client will plead not guilty. Montgomery is serving a two-year doping ban
issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last year after evidence
incriminating him surfaced in the BALCO investigation.