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Three days apart, of suspected cardiac arrest related to an enlarged heart, Chicago Bears defensive end Gaines Adams (above), 26, and Southern Indiana basketball center Jeron Lewis, 21 (below). Adams, a Clemson All-America who was the No. 4 overall draft pick by the Buccaneers in '07, had been traded in October to Chicago, for whom he made the last of his 93 career tackles. He was at his Greenwood, S.C., home when he experienced heart problems on Sunday morning and died less than an hour after being admitted. Lewis, a senior starter for the Division II Screaming Eagles who was averaging 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds, collapsed while going after a loose ball against Kentucky Wesleyan last Thursday night and died at a hospital that evening. Neither Adams nor Lewis was believed to be aware of his condition.
To succeed Lane Kiffin at Tennessee, Louisiana Tech football coach and athletic director Derek Dooley, son of Vince Dooley, the winningest coach in Georgia history. A former walk-on receiver at Virginia, Derek caught 41 passes alongside All-America Herman Moore before he moved on to practice law in Atlanta for two years. He returned to football as an assistant and was largely responsible for recruiting the LSU class that won a national title in 2003. The younger Dooley was 17--20 in three years at the Louisiana Tech helm.
At Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, former St. Louis Blues forward Mike Danton, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to conspiracy to commit murder. Danton, 29, served five years of a 7½-year sentence, during which he took correspondence classes at SMU, before being paroled last September. He will try out for the Huskies' hockey team (Canada's version of the NCAA allows former pros to play under certain circumstances) and hopes to suit up for the second half of this season.
Team USA midfielder Clint Dempsey (right). On Sunday the 26-year-old was with his Premier League club, Fulham, for whom he has scored a team-leading six goals in 21 games this season, when he went down with what doctors believed to be a posterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee. Dempsey, who scored in each of the U.S.'s final three games at the 2009 Confederations Cup last June, joins fellow Yank starters Charlie Davies (broken leg) and Oguchi Onyewu (torn knee ligament) on the disabled list. Pending MRI results on Monday, Dempsey could miss the World Cup in South Africa this June.
For life from the Dominican Winter Baseball League, after he attempted to punch an umpire during a playoff game, former major leaguer Jose Offerman, 41. Offerman's offense occurred while he was serving as interim manager of the Licey Tigers, whom he'd led to a league championship a year earlier. Last Saturday, while arguing the ejection of his catcher, he swung at the head of the first base umpire and was removed by stadium police. No charges have been filed yet but four Americans who officiated the game resigned in the wake of the incident. Offerman, a two-time All-Star and .273 career hitter, played 15 seasons with seven teams (his longest stint was with the Dodgers) before moving on to three years of independent and minor league ball, including one with the Long Island Ducks, for whom he was playing in 2007 when he was arrested and suspended for assaulting an opposing pitcher and catcher with a bat.