DEEMED Legal by the NFL, hair pulling. A recent league
officiating tape features footage of Dolphins running back Ricky
Williams being tackled by his dreadlocks--as he has been on
several occasions this year. According to NFL officiating
director Mike Pereira, who narrated the tape, "You've got the
hair being pulled, and the locks are like the shirt, I guess. If
you pull the locks, it's O.K. If you're going to wear your locks
out like that, you're the one that's at risk." Williams has said
he doesn't plan to cut his locks or tuck them into his helmet.
DIED After a long illness, Laszlo Papp, 77, the first boxer to
win a gold medal at three Olympics. The Hungarian, who sported a
Clark Gable mustache and had a brutal left hook, was an Olympic
champ as a middleweight in London in 1948. After getting gold as
a light middleweight in 1952 and '56--when he beat future world
champion Jose Torres--Papp turned pro and won the European
middleweight championship while running his record to 27-0-2 with
15 KOs. Just as he was about to get a shot at world middleweight
champ Joey Giardello in '65, Papp was summoned home by the
Hungarian government, which revoked his passport on the grounds
that boxing for financial gain was "incompatible with socialist
principles." Papp went on to coach Hungary's Olympic team and
later ran a boxing school. In 1989 the World Boxing Council named
Papp an honorary world champion, and two years later designated
him the best middleweight of all time.
SUED Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski by teammate Marcus
Williams, whose left eye socket Romanowski broke during a
practice in late August. Williams, 25, a reserve tight end, will
miss the season because of the injury and is seeking what his
lawyer termed "a large amount of damages" for what the suit calls
"battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress."
Romanowski allegedly tore off Williams's helmet before punching
him. (Before the suit Romanowski, 37, acknowledged the attack and
said, "It was a classless move by me.... I hold myself
accountable.") Romanowski has also missed the past three
games--the first missed games of his 16-year career--because of
symptoms from multiple concussions. He said on ESPN last week
that the concussions may lead him to retire.
DIAGNOSED With acute myelogenous leukemia, John Henry Williams,
the only son of Ted Williams. John Henry, 35, recently returned
to his home in L.A. after hitting .153 (11 for 72) for the
independent Baton Rouge Riverbats this year. His illness was
diagnosed at UCLA Medical Center, and he has begun chemotherapy.
He and his younger sister, Claudia, have been in a legal battle
with their half-sister, Bobby Jo Ferrell, over treatment of their
father's remains (SI, Aug. 18). Claudia, who was tested last week
to see if she was a match for a bone marrow transplant, said of
her brother's situation, "It's not good, not good at all,
considering his age."