To donate a kidney to former teammate Ron Springs, 50, ex--Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls, 46. Springs (inset, in 1983), who lost his right foot to diabetes, is confined to a wheelchair and in need of a kidney transplant. His son, Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs, offered to donate one of his kidneys, but his father didn't want him to jeopardize his career. When Walls (above, in 1982)—the only man to lead the NFL in interceptions three times—found out he was a match, he made his offer to Springs, who rushed for 2,519 yards in eight NFL seasons. "If you saw your friend wasting away, what would you do?" Walls told the New York Daily News. "Are you going to ignore it?"
To the estate of deceased NFL center Mike Webster, more than $1.5 million in disability benefits because football left him brain damaged and unable to work. The Hall of Famer retired in 1991 after playing 245 games, the most by a center. A federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that the NFL board responsible for doling out benefits ignored "unanimous medical evidence" that Webster left the game disabled. Webster, who was at times homeless after his career, died of a heart attack at age 50 in 2002.
By the German Olympic committee, to compensate former athletes who were victims of East Germany's systematic doping program in the 1970s and '80s. A total of 167 athletes will receive one-time payments of approximately $12,200. The athletes said they had been given the drugs often without their knowledge, in some cases when they were still teens. Many became ill, and several females said they became infertile. The head of the Olympic committee, Michael Vesper, said he had a "moral responsibility" to compensate the victims.
By the wife of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier, a secondary recruiting violation. For years Jerri Spurrier has sent handwritten notes to the families of players who signed to play for her husband—a violation of NCAA rules. South Carolina self-reported the violation, which is not expected to result in any punishment. Spurrier said he didn't know who called the school's attention to the infraction. "Anybody can turn anybody in just like anybody can sue anybody in America," he said.
December 25, 2006
After 23 seasons as the football coach at Air Force, Fisher DeBerry (above). Only two coaches have been at the same school longer: Penn State's Joe Paterno (41 years) and Florida State's Bobby Bowden (31 years). DeBerry led the Falcons to a 169-109-1 record and three WAC titles, but Air Force hasn't had a winning season since 2003. School officials reportedly wanted him to shake up his staff, so DeBerry, 68, decided to retire instead. "There comes a time in every man's life when I think you have to look at the big picture and decide what's the best thing for your family," DeBerry said.
In the face of Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall, Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens. In last Saturday night's game, which the Cowboys won 38--28, Owens had five catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns. He also spent a lot of time jawing with Hall, and at one point spat at him. "I got frustrated, and I apologize for that," Owens, who was fined $35,000, told the NFL Network. "He kept bugging me and getting in my face." Said Hall, "I lost all respect for him."
For $6.35 million for sexual battery upon a minor and other charges, Dolphins rookie wide receiver Marcus Vick. In the lawsuit a 17-year-old girl alleges that she and Vick had a sexual relationship in 2004 and '05. (In 2004 Vick pleaded no contest to contributing to the delinquency of a minor for giving liquor to the girl, who is not named in the suit.) According to the complaint, Vick "made repeated misrepresentations to plaintiff Jane Doe, including that defendant Marcus Vick was in love with her" and "that a sexual relationship between an adult male of his age and a female child of her age was acceptable."
After losing the Division I (formerly I-AA) championship game, several hundred UMass students. The Minutemen lost 28--17 to Appalachian State last Friday in Chattanooga. Shortly after the game ended, 1,800 UMass students took to the streets on campus, and some began lighting fires, smashing windows and throwing objects—including a bike—at police, who dispersed the crowd with tear gas and pellet guns. Eleven people, including 10 students, were arrested, and two police officers suffered minor injuries.
That he was present when his bodyguard was killed in a fight at a Chicago club, troubled Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson. Early last Saturday morning, less than 12 hours after he apologized for being a "deterrent" following an arrest on gun charges, Johnson (left) reportedly was bumped by a man on the dance floor at the Ice Bar. When Willie B. Posey, 26—a childhood friend of Johnson's—intervened, he was allegedly shot by the other man. Police are still looking for the shooter. After Johnson's Thursday arrest (his third arrest in 18 months), G.M. Jerry Angelo issued a warning: "At some point a player has to be held accountable for his actions." Johnson was inactive for Sunday's win over the Buccaneers.
By Indiana University of Pennsylvania, its new nickname: the Crimson Hawks. The school has been without a mascot since September, when it dropped Indians in response to an NCAA rule banning teams with mascots offensive to Native Americans from postseason competition.
Of an Asian Games silver medal for failing a gender test, Santhi Soundarajan. The 25-year-old from India was second in the women's 800 meters. After another competitor complained, Soundarajan was ordered to undergo an examination by a panel that included a gynecologist, an endocrinologist, a psychologist and a genetic expert. Following the exam, the Olympic Council of Asia ordered the medal returned. Soundarajan passed a gender test at last year's Asian track and field championships.
In a glam era of tennis, Lindsay Davenport produced victories—not drama
LINDSAY DAVENPORT announced last week that she and her husband, investment banker Jon Leach, are expecting their first child early next summer. If motherhood should occasion the end of Davenport's playing days—she hasn't officially announced her retirement—it will mark a fitting end to an underrated career. Davenport rushed home from the 1994 French Open to attend her high school graduation; such conventional sensibilities never deserted her. Playing in an era that saw women's tennis try (with mixed success) to marry sport with sex, attitude and entertainment, Davenport was cast as the den mother, the adult who looked on amusedly as Anna Kournikova invited the wolf whistles and the Williams sisters became seduced by Hollywood.
Her timing was both a blessing and a curse. Though unfailingly thoughtful and well-spoken, Davenport was never comfortable with her celebrity. "The more attention the other girls want," she once told SI, "the better for me." Yet the prevailing glam culture deprived Davenport of her due as a player. She won three majors and 51 titles (nearly as many as Venus and Serena Williams combined). Davenport, 30, battled injuries for most of 2006 and fell out of the top 20. A raft of other players have already filled the vacuum in the rankings. The loss of dignity and professionalism that attends her absence will be harder for women's tennis to replace.
0 Times Tiger Woods finished lower than second in his last 11 stroke-play events of the year; he won eight titles and was runner-up three times.
4,974 Career completions by the Packers' Brett Favre, who on Sunday passed Dan Marino to become the NFL's alltime leader.
71 Losses by the Lions in the last six seasons, the second-highest six-year total in NFL history; the Buccaneers lost 74 between 1983 and '88.
52 League-leading points total for the Penguins' Sidney Crosby, 19, the second teenager (after Wayne Gretzky in 1980) in NHL history to hold an outright lead in the scoring race.
New Kid on the Hill
After a season of learning, Steven Nyman wins his first World Cup downhill
A YEAR AGO U.S. Alpine ski racer Steven Nyman raced the World Cup ski circuit for the first time, turning the experience into a seasonlong tutorial. When he crashed on the classic Lauberhorn Downhill in Wengen, Switzerland, his first thought was, I get to come back and race this hill again next year. "The whole year was a learning experience," says Nyman. "This year I'm prepared."
It shows. Last Saturday, Nyman, 24, won the downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, the first World Cup victory of his career. It came two weeks after his first podium finish, a third (behind countryman Bode Miller) in Beaver Creek, Colo. Nyman spent two months last summer in Maui working with trainer Scott Sanchez (who also trains Nyman's ex-girlfriend, 2006 Olympic giant slalom gold medalist Julia Mancuso), pumping his 6'4" frame to 220 pounds, up from 210. His ski company, Fischer, assigned him technician Leonhard Mussi, whom Nyman calls its "Number 1 guy." Adds Nyman, "When they told me he was working with me, I was like, 'Wow, for them to give me this guy, they believe in me.'"
Nyman was raised in Orem, Utah, and during high school did work for his father's landscaping company on Robert Redford's Sundance, Utah, home. In 1969 Redford starred in a movie that Nyman is now living: Downhill Racer.