At age 45, former Steelers guard Terry Long. Once the NFL's smallest offensive lineman (he was 5'11" in height and weighed 272 pounds), Long had a troubled life since at least 1991, when he left the game after eight years with the Steelers. His career ended with a failed steroid test, a suspension by the NFL and an attempt to commit suicide by ingesting rat poison. In March, Long, who was living in Franklin Park, Pa., was indicted on federal charges of arson and mail fraud for allegedly setting fire to a Pittsburgh chicken processing plant he owned, in order to collect on an insurance policy. (He filed for bankruptcy on the day he was indicted.) He attempted suicide again after the indictments, and on June 7 he was rushed from his home to the hospital with an unspecified health problem. The Allegheny County coroner's office hasn't listed a cause of death pending the results of toxicology tests.
By the Devil Rays on Monday, outfielder Alex Sanchez, who earlier this season was the first player suspended under baseball's new, stricter steroid policy. Sanchez, 28, was hitting .346 with two home runs in 43 games this season, but he had struggled defensively and recently complained about being demoted to a backup role. "He expressed the desire that he wanted to play every day," said manager Lou Piniella. "We can understand that, but he wasn't going to do it here. He talked about wanting to go elsewhere; now he's going to get an opportunity." In April, Sanchez served a 10-game ban for failing a steroid test during spring training.
June 19, 2005
By a Brazilian judge on Monday, bail for Edson Cholbi Nascimento, the son of soccer great Pelé. Nascimento, 35, is awaiting trial on charges that he was part of a cocaine trafficking gang in the port city of Santos. Nascimento, who's known as Edinho, the name he used when he played goalie for Pelé's former club team Santos (he retired in 1999), was among some 50 suspects arrested in a drug crackdown last week. He is now charged with criminal association with drug traffickers and faces up to 15 years in prison. "It's regrettable," Pelé said, "because I've always fought intensely against drugs, and I didn't notice this in my own house."
By former top-ranked tennis pro Yevgeny Kafelnikov, $10,745 for placing ninth in the World Series of Poker's Seven-Card Stud event last Saturday. Kafelnikov, 31, who was exonerated by the ATP in 2003 after an investigation into allegations of match-fixing, quit tennis last year to become a pro poker player. Last October he won $10,000 playing Omaha Hi-Lo at the Russian Open in Moscow. "You need guts in poker, as in tennis," he said last year. "And if you don't believe in your ability, you don't win. In tennis I believed in myself. That's why I had so much success."
By UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, plans for a restaurant at Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn., about 40 miles from his school. The 300-seat establishment, to be called Geno Auriemma's Fast Break and scheduled for an early 2006 opening, will feature Italian, Mexican and American cuisine; last week Auriemma joked that it "will have some Duke graduates working at tables." The NCAA, however, isn't amused by a coach doing business with a casino--even though there is no sports book at Mohegan Sun and Auriemma isn't violating any NCAA rules. Said NCAA spokesperson Gail Dent, "We would discourage our membership from doing this because the association could possibly lead to sports-wagering behavior."
Late body slammer
Andre the Giant