Returned To MLS, striker Landon Donovan, who joined the Los Angeles Galaxy last week after three months in Germany. After leading the San Diego Earthquakes to two MLS titles, Donovan, 23, jumped to Bayer Leverkusen in November, saying he wanted to play against the best competition in Europe. Instead the Redlands, Calif., native spent most of his time on the bench; he didn't score in nine matches. "The situation in Germany definitely didn't go as planned," said Donovan, who helped lead the U.S. to a 2--0 win over Guatemala on March 27 but sat out the Galaxy's season opener last Saturday. "[The decision to return] became very simple."
Sued By three boys who allege they were attacked after asking for an autograph, Colts receiver Marvin Harrison. The boys say they approached Harrison the day before the Pro Bowl at a Waikiki resort. While they waited for Harrison to finish a cellphone call, two unidentified acquaintances of the player said he would not sign for them. According to the suit, when he got off the phone, Harrison, whose agent did not return calls from SI, allegedly "violently and physically attacked" them without provocation, placing one of them in a "potentially deadly choke hold." The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Sued By the Illinois Native American Bar Association, the University of Illinois, to stop it from using Chief Illiniwek as its mascot. The Chief (below)--a student dressed in authentic Illini buckskin and a headdress--has performed at home football and basketball games as far back as 1926, but the school decided to leave him home for the Final Four. (Illiniwek hasn't performed at an NCAA tournament game since 1989, the last time Illinois made the Final Four.) Before the suit, which doesn't seek monetary damages, the NABA spent a year trying to persuade Illinois to retire Illiniwek. In November the NCAA asked 31 schools to explain why they felt it necessary to use Indian mascots or nicknames. The self-evaluations are due on May 1.
Arrested Outside the Edward Jones Dome for attempting to scalp Final Four tickets, Kevin O'Connor, 48, the basketball coach at North Platte (Neb.) Community College. Members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches are given the opportunity to purchase Final Four tickets at face value of up to $170 (SI, March 21). O'Connor was allegedly trying to resell his tickets before the national semifinals last Saturday. With four traditional powers in the Final Four, tickets were at a premium, with floor seats reportedly being resold for more than $2,000. (O'Connor's asking price was unknown.) O'Connor was charged with violating two city ordinances--scalping and resisting arrest--and as of Monday was waiting for his court date to be determined.
April 10, 2005
Died At age 84, Pope John Paul II, whose lifelong love of sports continued throughout his reign as pontiff. As a young man Karol Wojtyla played goalkeeper for the local soccer team in Wadowice, Poland, and he also hiked and skied--activities he enjoyed during his papacy. Shortly after becoming pope in 1978, he had a 25-meter swimming pool built at his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, and he swam in it until well into his 80s. He also granted audiences to athletes such as Muhammad Ali, soccer star Ronaldo and the Harlem Globetrotters. The day after the pope's death all Italian soccer matches were canceled. At the Bahrain Grand Prix the Ferrari team painted the nose cones of its two cars black, and the race's top finishers did not spray champagne on the podium out of respect.