By Danny Woodhead of Chadron (Neb.) State, the NCAA all-division record for single-season rushing yards. The junior ran for 252 yards and four touchdowns in the Eagles' Division II playoff win over West Texas A&M last Saturday, bringing his season total to 2,740. (The previous mark was 2,653 by Kevin Gailliard of American International in 1999.) Woodhead (above), who runs a 4.43 40, still has time to add to his record. His 12--0 team will face Northwest Missouri in the D-II quarterfinals on Saturday.
For inviting North Dakota to a hockey tournament, Dartmouth director of athletics Josie Harper. After receiving complaints from Native American students about North Dakota's nickname, the Fighting Sioux, Harper wrote in the Dartmouth student paper that she was sorry for "the pain [the tournament] will cause.... Let me state clearly that UND's position is offensive and wrong." North Dakota, which is suing the NCAA for the right to keep using its nickname, is scheduled to play at Dartmouth on Dec. 29.
By the University of Miami, head football coach Larry Coker. Coker was 59--15 with a national championship and three BCS bowl game appearances in six seasons as the Hurricanes' coach—but 12 of the 15 losses came in the last three years. This season the Hurricanes were 6--6 and had 13 players suspended after a brawl with Florida International. "We need a new start," said Miami president Donna E. Shalala. Coker was one of several high-profile coaches let go in recent days: Mike Shula (Alabama), Chuck Amato (N.C. State) and Dirk Koetter (Arizona State) were also fired.
For violating a team rule by wearing a headband, Bulls center Ben Wallace. Two minutes into a win over the Knicks last Saturday, Chicago coach Scott Skiles yanked Wallace, who stayed on the bench until he removed the offending garment with two minutes left in the quarter. He was benched again at the start of the second half when he put the headband back on. Wallace, who signed a four-year, $60 million deal in the off-season, has struggled in his first season with the Bulls. In the game before he was benched, he was held without a point or a rebound in a loss to Philadelphia.
December 4, 2006
The title game of the women's U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam between No. 13 Arizona State and No. 18 Rutgers, following the death of Sun Devils forward Aubree Johnson's 15-year-old brother. According to police, Jordan Johnson, who was in St. Thomas to watch his sister play, died in his sleep of unknown causes. The Scarlet Knights could have forced Arizona State to forfeit by showing up for the game, but the team chose not to, so neither team will be given a loss.
To the track last week, former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi, 40, who lost both his legs in a 2001 crash. Zanardi (above), a two-time CART champ, took a modified BMW-Sauber for a spin on Thursday in Valencia, Spain. (The car had a hand-operated throttle.) His best lap averaged 177 mph, and his time on the 2.5-mile Cheste circuit was less than a second slower than that of BMW-Sauber's test driver. "It was really fun," Zanardi said. "If another opportunity presents itself, I would definitely not step back from taking it."
To their soccer game on the London Underground after their bus got stuck in traffic, members of Coventry City. The Sky Blues, who play in the Championship (one level below the Premiership), were forced to scramble last Saturday when it became apparent they weren't going to make it to their game against Queens Park Rangers on time. "We bought 23 single tickets at Hanger Lane station, and our unsung hero was midfielder Jay Tabb, who knew we had to change at Hammersmith," manager Micky Adams said. "I felt a bit sorry for him, as I did not even put him in the team." Adams also said the players "took a bit of stick" from fans of rival teams on the train, but they made it to the park 40 minutes before kickoff and won 1--0.
By Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, 74, his team's Thanksgiving-night game against Denver. Hunt, who has lobbied the NFL for a holiday game in Kansas City for more than 30 years, was hospitalized in Dallas with a partially collapsed lung. To make matters worse, the hospital did not have the NFL Network, so Hunt couldn't watch the game on TV. "Lamar fought so hard to get this game, and for him not to be here, the least we could do is win it for him," receiver Dante Hall told the Kansas City Star. "Sometimes, a happy heart will make you feel better. Hopefully we did that for him."
At age 64, one day after he learned he had leukemia, former pitcher Pat Dobson (left), who was part of the last major league staff with four 20-game winners. In 1971 Dobson went 20--8 for the Orioles, whose Dave McNally, Jim Palmer and Mike Cuellaralso hit the milestone. (The only other team with four 20-game winners was the '20 White Sox.) Dobson, who pitched for six teams in his 11-year career, had a record of 122--129. For the past nine years he worked for the Giants as a scout and a special assistant to the general manager. "He had a great curveball," said Frank Robinson, a former Baltimore teammate. "He didn't give in to anybody."
WILLIE PEP 1922--2006
IT WAS never easy to get Willie Pep out of the ring. In a career that lasted from 1940 until 1966, Pep, who died last week, fought 242 times—and won 230. (At one point Pep, who twice held the featherweight belt, was 135-1-1.) In 1950, though, he did miss a fight. He was busy getting married to Dolores von Frenckell, a 22-year-old showgirl who first caught his attention by decking an overly friendly bartender in a Hartford nightclub.
Pep's marriage to Dolores lasted less than a year, but somehow that seemed right. Pep's eccentricities and foibles were almost as noteworthy as his ring accomplishments. He was married six times. He spent a lot of time gambling, and not well. He spent five months in a body cast—in the middle of his career—after surviving a plane crash that killed three people. He piqued the interest of police when a photo of him dining with a just-whacked mobster surfaced. Through it all, Pep—who was named the fifth-best fighter of the 20th century by the AP—never lost his ability to mesmerize boxing buffs. (Jimmy Cannon wrote, "He was an artist in a trade generally practiced by manual laborers.") Nicknamed Will o' the Wisp, he didn't pack a heavy punch but was almost impossible to hit. "He was a moonbeam," said boxing historian Bert Sugar. "You couldn't catch him."
3 NFL teams that have won after trailing by 21 points with less than 10 minutes to go: the 2003 Colts, the 1985 Vikings and the Titans, who rallied from a 21--0 deficit to beat the Giants on Sunday.
9,528 Wins by jockey Russell Baze, two short of Laffit Pincay Jr.'s career record; Baze, 48, was scheduled to ride six times at Bay Meadows in San Mateo, Calif., on Wednesday.
1,496 Games played by Detroit's Chris Chelios, who passed Phil Housley for the most by a U.S.-born NHLer.
16 Touchdowns scored by the Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson in his last five games, breaking his own NFL record of 15, set earlier this year.
Undefeated. Bound for a BCS bowl. (First time!) Star runner Ian Johnson (left) back in the lineup, flak jacket and all. Life is good in Idaho. After two Broncos were penalized for excessive celebration against Utah State, coach Chris Petersen said, "I know where they're coming from."
QB's sweet season got sweeter as he rallied now No. 24 Hawaii to its ninth straight win (over Purdue) and moved within three TDs of the NCAA single-season record (54). Aloha, dark horse Heisman candidate.
West Coast Keepers
Led by fabulous Finn Vesa Toskala, San Jose is the league's hottest team, but the Sharks have a ways to go to catch Anaheim. Jean-Sebastien Giguere (left) is 13--1, and with 40 points, the once-again mighty Ducks are tied for the NHL's best record.
His 123-yard performance against the Browns gave him 573 for his last three games—just 39 short of the league record, set by Houston's Charley Hennigan in 1961. The Bengals rolled 30--0, and Johnson boasted to the Akron Beacon Journal about his status in Browns Town. "We in Cleveland," he said, "but they still love number 85."
The Falcons' State
How about despair? After a fourth straight loss, Michael Vick (below) flips off the crowd. (Two hands!) Things are foul in Atlanta. Owner Arthur Blank: "We have three first-round draft choices at wide receiver [Michael Jenkins, Ashley Lelie, Roddy White], and none of them can catch the ball."
QB's disappointing season got disappointinger when he helped Texas lose to A&M for the first time in seven games, throwing three interceptions before leaving with a pinched nerve. No BCS. No Heisman.
East Coast Ballers
Even with injured Richard Jefferson (right) back in the fold, the Nets are playing miserably. (They've lost five in a row.) That's life in the awful Atlantic, where 5--8 New Jersey is still tied for the division lead with equally dismal Boston and Philadelphia.
Ever since his alma mater, Michigan, lost to Ohio State, the Browns receiver (below) has been prickly. (Edwards splurged on a rented helicopter to get to the game.) First he knocked Cleveland comrade Brian Russell for a nine-week-old hit on Johnson, then lit into teammates on the sideline. "We don't need that," said fullback Terrelle Smith. "That's not part of the solution."