At age 71 on Oct. 14 following a heart attack, Larry Siegfried (above), a guard who helped the Celtics win five NBA titles in six seasons. A star on Ohio State's 1960 NCAA championship team, Siegfried was picked third overall by the Cincinnati Royals in the '61 draft but chose to play for George Steinbrenner's ABL Cleveland Pipers. After the Pipers folded in '63, Boston coach Red Auerbach gave Siegfried a tryout at the urging of former Buckeyes teammate John Havlicek. Siegfried was the third-leading scorer (13.7 points per game) on the '66 champs. After retiring in 1972, he worked as a prison counselor in Ohio, and as a motivational speaker. Friend and former teammate Rick Weitzman told The Boston Globe that Siegfried was "one of the best pure basketball minds that I have come across."
For sale at auction, the gold medal won by U.S. sprinter Tommie Smith in the 200 meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Smith set a world record in his victory, but he was expelled from the Games, along with bronze medalist and teammate John Carlos, after the two men bowed their heads and raised their black-gloved fists in an iconic salute to the Black Power movement during the medal ceremony. The 66-year-old Smith, who lives in Georgia, also put his spikes from the race up for sale. Bidding for the medal and the shoes will start at $250,000, and closes on Nov. 4.
For $476 million, storied English soccer club Liverpool FC, to John Henry and New England Sports Ventures (NESV), the owners of the Red Sox. The sale ended the acrimonious three-year reign of Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr., who were reviled by the Scousers' faithful for the debts they accumulated and for the team's failures on the pitch. The deal went through after Hicks and Gillett withdrew the temporary restraining order blocking the sale that they had obtained in a Texas court, and it came at the deadline for repayment of the club's $448.5 million in debts. Both Hicks and Gillett insist that the sale price undervalues the team, but Liverpool, led by club chairman Martin Broughton, went to the High Court in London to win approval for the transaction. The team, which has won 18 Premier League championships, is off to its worst start since 1953 (1-3-2).
A pair of mascots in the SEC: In a pregame ceremony at Georgia before the Bulldogs chewed up Vanderbilt 43--0 last Saturday, Uga VIII (above), a 13-month-old English bulldog, took over for Uga VII, who died of heart problems in November at the age of four; and last Thursday at Ole Miss, which has been without a mascot for seven years, university officials announced that Rebel Black Bear had been chosen in a campuswide vote to replace Colonel Reb, the Southern gentleman whose uniform and nickname were rooted in nostalgia for the Confederacy. Uga VIII is the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of the original Uga, who roamed the sidelines at Sanford Stadium from 1956 through '66. Rebel Black Bear recalls the work of the late William Faulkner, who wrote a short story called The Bear and who was a longtime resident of Oxford. The bear won't make his sideline debut until 2011, which means he missed Alabama's 23--10 win over Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa last Saturday.
From the neck down, Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, who collided with Army kick returner Malcolm Brown late in the fourth quarter of the Scarlet Knights' 23--20 overtime victory at the Meadowlands on Saturday. LeGrand, a junior from Avenel, N.J., hit Brown in the shoulder with the top of his helmet, fracturing the C3 and C4 vertebrae. He was rushed to Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center, where he underwent surgery to stabilize his spine. With head injuries in football under increased scrutiny, LeGrand's accident is a grim reminder that the game remains dangerous in myriad other ways. (Since 1977 there have been an average of 9.3 spinal injuries a year at all levels of the sport.) There is no prognosis yet for whether LeGrand will walk again. Said a shaken Greg Schiano, the Scarlet Knights' coach, "We're going to believe. Eric LeGrand is going to walk onto that field with us."