That he will not play this season and may retire, Jets running back Curtis Martin (above). The NFL's fourth-leading career rusher (14,101 yards), Martin, 33, who hasn't played since Week 12 of the 2005 season, had surgery to remove torn cartilage from his right knee last December. He has been trying to rehabilitate it, but said, "this is something beyond my threshold of pain." Martin didn't say he was definitely retiring but acknowledged, "It doesn't look like it's too bright as far as me having a further career."
By a federal grand jury, track coach Trevor Graham, on three counts of lying to federal agents in the BALCO investigation. Graham—who coached Tim Montgomery, Justin Gatlin and Marion Jones—helped launch the probe in 2003 when he anonymously sent the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency a syringe containing a previously undetectable steroid sold by BALCO founder Victor Conte. Graham had immunity during his interviews with agents, but it did not cover false statements. He faces 15 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.
With killing former heavyweight champ Trevor Berbick, his 20-year-old nephew, Harold Berbick, and an 18-year-old accomplice. Berbick, who beat Muhammad Ali in Ali's final fight and held the WBC belt in 1986, was found dead in Jamaica on Oct. 28 with wounds to the back of his head (SCORECARD, NOV. 6). Berbick, who authorities believe was 51 when he was killed, had reportedly been in a long-running land dispute with his nephew.
By the NCAA, quarterback Rhett Bomar, who was kicked off the Oklahoma football team in August for accepting payment from a Norman car dealership for work he didn't do. The NCAA said last week that Bomar, who transferred to Sam Houston State, must sit out the rest of the current season and donate $7,406.88—the amount he earned in violation of NCAA rules—to charity. Bomar, 21, will have two seasons of eligibility left beginning next year. "The first day I met him, he admitted he made a bad mistake," says Sam Houston coach Todd Whitten. "We knew he'd have to pay a penalty, and he's doing that."
By former baseball analyst Harold Reynolds, ESPN, for wrongful termination. Reynolds, who worked for the network for 11 years, signed a six-year, $6 million contract with ESPN last March. He was fired four months later amid reports that he had been accused of sexual harassment, but in his suit Reynolds claims he was told he was let go "for cause" but wasn't told what the cause was. The complaint does mention an "innocuous hug" Reynolds gave a female intern, who apparently filed a complaint with the network three weeks later. "At the end of the day," Reynolds says, "my integrity, reputation and family are my top priorities, and for those reasons I need to set the record straight." He is seeking $5 million.
For 50 games for violating baseball's substance abuse policy, free-agent reliever Guillermo Mota (above). The righthander, who went 4--3 with a 4.53 ERA for the Indians and the Mets this season, tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug; he's the first active player to receive the 50 game ban that was instituted this season for first-time offenders. "I used extremely poor judgement," said Mota. Under the policy Mota would be suspended for 100 games for a second offense and banned for life for a third.
For six games by MLS, FC Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala, who attacked Colorado Rapids players after a playoff loss on Oct. 28. After Pablo Mastroeni scored on a penalty kick to beat Dallas 5--4, Sala punched Colorado's Hunter Freeman and Jovan Kirovski while they celebrated on the field. "He punched me from the back—coward," said Kirovski. "I was minding my own business. It's a disgrace." Sala (right), who was fined $3,500, will serve the ban next season.
The left leg of Penn State coach Joe Paterno, during a sideline collision during a loss to Wisconsin last Saturday. During the third quarter Paterno, 79, was bowled over by Badgers linebacker DeAndre Levy and Nittany Lions tight end Andrew Quarless, who had just caught a pass and was being forced out of bounds. Paterno spent most of the third quarter seated on the bench before being carted off the field; defensive coordinator Tom Bradley filled in for him after he left the game. Paterno had surgery to repair a fractured left tibia and torn knee ligaments. As of Monday, Paterno planned to coach at Penn State's home game against Temple this Saturday.
Guilty to federal wire fraud, J. Todd Stirling, the former coach of the now-defunct Danbury Trashers of the United Hockey League. Stirling, 34, is one of 29 people charged in connection with an investigation of team owner James Galante, who allegedly attracted players by giving them or their wives no show jobs in his companies, which included a trash hauling business (SCORECARD, JUNE 19). Stirling admitted that he signed and faxed fraudulent salary reports. The added compensation allowed the Trashers to skirt the league's $275,000 annual salary cap by $475,000.
That he will miss the final Champ Car race of the season, this Sunday in Mexico City, driver Paul Tracy, who broke his right shoulder blade in a boozy ATV joyride on Oct. 28. Tracy, 37, who is fifth in the series point standings, was at a party near Las Vegas when he and some friends decided to jump sand dunes in a cart. On one jump Tracy's cart flipped over and landed on top of him. "I was at a party and had a little too much to drink," said Tracy, the 2003 Champ Car World Series winner. "It sounded like a good idea at the time, but it didn't pan out that way."
By Elena Dementieva, the use of male models as ball boys at this week's WTA Championships in Madrid. Organizers decided to use the models (above, with Maria Sharapova) after the men's Madrid Masters came under fire for using female models as ball girls last month. After practice, Dementieva, 25, who is ranked No. 8 in the world, said, "I don't think they really know what they have to do on the court because they are too busy watching the players." Others were less critical. Justine Henin-Hardenne joked, "I'm very excited, but I'm married, so I can look but not touch."
8 Consecutive season-openers lost by the Hawks, an NBA record; Atlanta was beaten by the 76ers 88--75 on opening night this year.
$61.7 million Amount the Knicks are paying Allan Houston, Jalen Rose, Maurice Taylor, Shandon Anderson and Jerome Williams—who aren't playing for them.
11 teams (the Jazz, Bucks, Magic, Sonics, Pistons, Clippers, Hornets, Bulls, Raptors, Hawks and Bobcats) with payrolls under $61.7 million.
6 Consecutive games in which Penguins rookie Evgeni Malkin scored a goal to start the season, the NHL's longest streak to begin a career since 1917.
Throwing a T Party
Talk about getting Stern: This season NBA refs have shorter fuses and quicker whistles
IF NBA COMMISSIONER David Stern had one complaint with his players' on-court behavior it was that they griped too much. Last month Stern announced a zero-tolerance policy toward whining—and sent a memo detailing what will no longer be allowed: profanity, disrespectful actions and "excessive complaining." The question was, Would the NBA have the guts to toss stars out of games?
Yes, it would. Rasheed Wallace (17 T's last season) was tossed in Detroit's opener, and Carmelo Anthony (10 T's a year ago) was ejected from Denver's game the next night when he almost casually flung his headband as he walked to the bench after picking up a foul. "It's [garbage]," says Wallace, who holds the record for technicals (41) in a season. And it's not just the chronic complainers getting busted: In the first six days of the season, there were 57 technicals, up from 20 in the same period last year. "[Officials] are going to be open, always, to very positive dialogue," said Heat coach Pat Riley. "But if you come at 'em and you do things that sort of mock and humiliate them or you cuss at them, it's going to be automatic."
SILAS SIMMONS 1895--2006
IN SEPTEMBER former Negro leaguer Silas Simmons told The New York Times that he might have been good enough to play in the majors but before Jackie Robinson, "it was useless to try." Alas, by the time Robinson came along, in 1947, Simmons was 51 years old and had been out of the game for almost 20 years. Simmons, who is believed to be the longest-living professional baseball player ever, died last week at the age of 111. The lefthanded pitcher, who baffled hitters with his "slowball" for several teams during a career that lasted roughly two decades, was born in Middleton, Del., in 1895—the same year as Babe Ruth.
Baseball historians were unaware that Simmons, who has outlived all of his five children, was still alive until a genealogist found him this year in a nursing home in St. Petersburg. Last month the Society of American Baseball Research presented him with a plaque recognizing him as the oldest living baseball player, and the Devil Rays—whose games he occasionally attended with his church group—gave him a jersey with the number 111 on the back. He also found himself frequently asked about his playing days. "I played against some fellas who were great ballplayers," he'd say. "That's what I remember."