By Saints rookie Reggie Bush (above), that he received improper benefits worthabout $100,000 while he played at USC. Last week Yahoo.com reported that NewEra Sports & Entertainment, a marketing start-up that had hoped to landBush as its first client, gave the running back's family cash, let them live ina San Diego--area house without paying and paid for hotel accommodations. Bushspurned New Era and signed with Mike Ornstein, another marketer. An attorneyfor New Era alleged that Ornstein also gave the Bushes cash and covered theirtravel bills. (Ornstein could not be reached.) The NCAA and the Pac-10 areinvestigating, and if NCAA violations are found, the Trojans may have to vacatetheir 2004 national title. "I'm not worried about any of theseallegations," said Bush, who could be forced to forfeit his 2005 HeismanTrophy. "Once the smoke clears, everybody's going to see we did nothingwrong."
By Frankie Andreu, a former U.S. Postal Service cycling teammate of LanceArmstrong's, that he used EPO before the 1999 Tour de France. Andreu, who isnow retired, and another teammate, who remained anonymous, came clean to TheNew York Times. Andreu said he never saw Armstrong take a banned substance, butin a separate interview with the paper WADA chairman Dick Pound said, "Theywere on the same team, weren't they? I think you have to draw one conclusionfrom that." Armstrong called Pound "kind of a blowhard" and labeledthe Times story "a pretty nasty attempt ... to link me to doping."
Tiger Woods's five-tournament winning streak ... sort of. Woods lost to ShaunMicheel, the 77th-ranked player in the world, at the World Match PlayChampionship in Virginia Water, England, last Thursday, his first defeat sincehe finished second at the Western Open in July. But Woods's streak, which beganwith the British Open, is still alive in the eyes of the PGA Tour, since theMatch Play is not a PGA event.
By the Reds, vouchers for two free tickets to any game next season to fans whovolunteer to participate in a simulated terrorist attack at Great AmericanBallpark. The Sept. 30 exercise will be conducted by the Department of HomelandSecurity and is designed to test how well the Cincinnati region is prepared fora terrorist strike. Volunteers will pretend to be fans who must be evacuatedfrom the stadium.
After 15 NHL seasons, Flyers captain Keith Primeau (above), because of aconcussion he suffered last October. Primeau, 34, endured a series of headinjuries--including two during the 2004 playoffs, when he kept playing and ledPhiladelphia to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. He suffered headachesand dizziness after two days of skating at training camp last week, and theFlyers' medical staff refused to clear him to play. Said Primeau, a two-timeAll-Star who finished with 266 goals, "This decision will allow me to livea normal life and hopefully with time few reminders of my injuries."
Guilty to charges of aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, formerOhio State running back Maurice Clarett. The plea arrangement calls for Clarettto spend at least 3 1/2 years in prison. Clarett entered the plea on Monday,the day jury selection was to begin in a case in which he was charged withholding up two people outside a bar on New Year's Eve. Last month Clarett waspulled over and four loaded guns were found in his car. His plea covered bothcases. "I'd like to apologize for my behavior, and I accept the time thatwas given to me," Clarett told the court.
To Cuba, Thai boxer Manus Boonjumnong, as punishment for his playboy lifestylesince winning the light welterweight gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. One ofThailand's biggest sports celebrities, Boonjumnong, 26, has squandered most ofthe $600,000 the Thai government awarded him after the Athens Games on"gambling, drinking and girlfriends," said Thaweep Chantaroj, presidentof the country's amateur boxing association. Chantaroj sent Boonjumnong (right)to Cuba--without money--to train and "straighten himself out" inpreparation for the 2008 Olympics. "He is our best boxer," saidChantaroj, "but he will only be a winner if he stays with theprogram."
Of offering a $25,000 bribe to a former business partner, ex--NBA star KarlMalone. In a breach-of-contract lawsuit, Sidney Ray Davis says that in 1998 heand the Mailman went elk hunting in Idaho without the proper state permits.After Malone was questioned about the trip by officers from the IdahoDepartment of Fish and Game, he allegedly tried to pay Davis to take the blamefor the trip. (Malone was never charged.) Malone's lawyer said he"adamantly denies" the bribe attempt; a ruling on a motion to dismissthe suit is expected later this month.
Of prostate cancer, at age 79, Frank Sleeper, a business reporter for fourdecades for the Press Herald of Portland, Maine, and a longtime SPORTSILLUSTRATED correspondent. Despite his business background, Sleeper, who alsocontributed to TIME, LIFE and FORTUNE, reported on scores of Maine sportsstories for SI from the late 1950s until last year--including the 1965 MuhammadAli--Sonny Liston title fight in Lewiston. Before the bout Sleeper interviewedAli during a jog they took along the Maine Turnpike. Sleeper, a Harvardgraduate who earned master's degrees from Princeton and American University,also wrote several books on Maine history.
Consecutive successful stolen base attempts by Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, whobroke Willie Wilson's single-season AL record; the major league record is heldby Vince Coleman, who stole 44 straight in 1989.
Players who have hit for the cycle in order--single, double, triple,homer--after Gary Matthews Jr. of the Rangers and Chone Figgins of the Angelsdid it last week.
Weeks since Miami was unranked in the AP football Top 25; the Hurricanes fellout last week for the first time since 1999, ending the nation's longest streakof poll appearances.
ATP rank of Italian player Andrea Agazzi, who entered the rankings the sameweek Andre Agassi retired.