- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
| DIED |
Of pneumonia at age 91, Hall of Fame running back Steve Van Buren. A first-round pick out of LSU by the Eagles in 1944, he led Philadelphia to three playoff appearances and two NFL championships (in '48 and '49) in his eight-year career. Van Buren (above)—whose father was a fruit inspector in Honduras when Van Buren was born, and who picked up football during high school in New Orleans—had a combination of speed and power unusual for his time. When he retired, the 6'1", 205-pound seven-time All-Pro held the NFL career rushing records for yards (5,860), attempts (1,320) and touchdowns (69). Van Buren famously loathed the forward pass and its influence on the game. "The fellow who threw the first pass must have been all through as a football player," he once said, "or just too tired that day to run with the ball."
| RETURNING |
For his 64th season with the Dodgers, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully. He made the announcement on Sunday, one day after Los Angeles completed a nine-player trade with the Red Sox that brought star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (along with Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto) to Southern California—a deal that Scully, 84, said was crucial to his decision. "They want to win and they want to win now, so I want to hold on with two hands and see how far they're going to take this ball club," he said. "Put it all together—the little boy in me, the opportunity to see how far these owners take it—it would be pretty hard to walk away from." Scully (above) confirmed that he would continue to call games played only in California and Arizona, though he said he might make an exception for next year's scheduled series at Yankee Stadium.
| TAKING |
A leave of absence from his duties as the men's basketball coach at Saint Louis University, Rick Majerus. Majerus, 64, has had heart problems for more than 20 years—he left Utah, where his 1997--98 team was the NCAA runner-up, in 2004 due to chest pains—and is on blood-thinning medication. Doctors inserted a stent into his heart last year, and as of Monday he was in the hospital undergoing treatment. "His health is the most important issue right now, and our hope is for a full and complete recovery," athletic director Chris May said in a statement. Majerus, who hopes to return next season, is 95--69 with the Billikens since he took over the program in '07. Last year he led the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance since '00. Former Army coach Jim Crews, who joined Majerus's staff last year as an assistant, will take over on an interim basis.
| AGREED |
To a series of rules governing his off-field behavior, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. Bryant, 23, whom Dallas selected in the first round of the 2010 draft out of Oklahoma State, was recently charged with a Class A misdemeanor in Desoto, Texas, for allegedly assaulting his mother. (Angela Bryant, 37, has filed an affidavit of nonprosecution, asking that the case against her son not proceed.) The team's rules, which took effect at the conclusion of training camp on Aug. 23, include a midnight curfew and a ban on both alcohol and strip clubs. He may attend nightclubs that have been preapproved by the team, but only with his own security detail, which must accompany him at all times and drive him to all team activities. He will also attend twice-weekly counseling sessions. Bryant had been detained by police, but not charged, after an alleged fight at a Miami Beach nightclub last January. In March 2011 he was issued a criminal-trespass warning when he refused to leave a Dallas mall after being temporarily banned for inappropriate attire and language. Since the beginning of last year, Bryant has also been sued three times for unpaid debts. The lawsuits were settled when he paid his debts.
| CUT |
From the LSU football team, aspiring kicker and former women's soccer goalie Mo Isom. Isom (above), a former Tigers homecoming queen who finished her four-year college soccer career last season as the most decorated goalkeeper in school history, was attempting to become the first female football player in the SEC—and second in the FBS, after former Colorado and New Mexico kicker Katie Hnida. She tried out for the team in the spring—as a freshman soccer player she had scored on a 90-yard free kick, and had made 50-yard field goals on the LSU practice fields—but coach Les Miles cut her from the roster, expressing concern about her ability to tackle, though he encouraged her to try again in the fall. Isom did, but she fell short. "I am heartbroken, but my head is held high," she wrote last week on Twitter.