MANY PEOPLE like to bet on college sports, but not all of them like to gamble.The FBI said in a criminal complaint last week that Harvey (Scooter) McDougle,a running back for the University of Toledo, had conspired with a Michigan manto take the guesswork out of Rockets football. The FBI says McDougle acted as aliaison with other athletes in an attempt to ensure that the team would, orsometimes would not, beat the point spread in certain games, including the 2005GMAC Bowl (which the Rockets won 45--13). McDougle, who led the team in rushingin 2004 but played sparingly the last two years due to injuries, was arrestedand charged with conspiring to bribe to affect the outcome of a sportingevent.
"That doesnot sound like the Scooter I know," Ted Rath, a senior linebacker on lastyear's Toledo team, told the Detroit Free Press. "If you're part of theUniversity of Toledo football team ... you have to be the type of young manthat has morals."
But the complaintpaints a picture of a program that was easily infiltrated by a professionalgambler identified as "Gary." "Players such as McDougle, whom'Gary' trusted, would also be asked to recruit other players to join thescheme," it reads. "In payment for their efforts in the point-shavingscheme the players would be paid by cash, merchandise, groceries and otherthings of value by 'Gary.'" (McDougle allegedly admitted to the FBI that hereceived cash and a car, though he denied changing his play to affect anoutcome.) McDougle and "Gary" were also said to be involved in"attempting to influence basketball games with [Toledo] basketballplayers."
The Toledo Bladeidentified "Gary" as Ghazi Manni, 50, who emigrated from Iraq nearly 30years ago. Manni admitted that he was "Gary" but denied any wrongdoing.Toledo issued a statement saying that McDougle—who was released on bond andfaces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine—had been suspended and that theschool would cooperate with the investigation.
To 14 years in prison in Venezuela, former closer Ugueth Urbina, for theattempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch outside Caracas in 2005.Urbina, 32, was accused of helping a group of men attack the laborers withmachetes and douse them with gasoline after they were caught swimming inUrbina's pool without permission. Urbina (above, in '05) has deniedinvolvement, saying he was sleeping at the time of the attack. Urbina lastpitched in the majors with the Phillies in 2005.
For divorce, Jennifer Lynn Steinbrenner Swindal, daughter of Yankees ownerGeorge Steinbrenner and wife of the Boss's once presumed successor, SteveSwindal. In 2005 the owner told reporters that his son-in-law, a Yankeesgeneral partner, would run the team after he stepped aside. But lately Swindal,52, has had some setbacks. In February he was charged with misdemeanor DUI inSt. Petersburg. (He pleaded not guilty and had a pretrial hearing scheduled forApril 5.) In divorce papers his wife reportedly said their 23-year marriage is"irretrievably broken" and asked that her share of the Steinbrennerfamily business empire "be protected." The Yankees would not comment onSwindal's standing with the team.
In the $1 million Florida Derby, 2--1 favorite Scat Daddy, one of the topcontenders for the Kentucky Derby. The colt, trained by reigning Eclipse Awardwinner Todd Pletcher, has won five of his eight lifetime starts. This victorywas an easy one: Scat Daddy pulled away from the field down the stretch andbeat Notional by 1 1/4 lengths. Scat Daddy was one of five Pletcher-trainedwinners at Gulfstream Park last Saturday. "The Derby?" said EdgarPrado, Scat Daddy's jockey. "He looks pretty good to me."
The starting centerfielder for the Triple A Memphis Redbirds, former pitcherRick Ankiel. After he hit a respectable .267 with a home run in 30 at bats withthe big club this spring, the Cardinals sent Ankiel, 27, to the minors on March18. Ankiel (below) spent the rest of the preseason tearing up minor leaguepitching, hitting .344 with 10 RBIs. Said Redbirds manager Chris Maloney,"I've said it before and I'll say it again: He's something special outthere."
By the Tribune Co., that it will sell the Cubs after this season. On Monday themedia conglomerate, which owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, NewYork's Newsday and several other newspapers and TV stations, accepted an $8.2billion buyout offer from real estate investor Sam Zell. As part of the dealthe company said it would sell the Cubs, which Tribune bought for $20.5 millionin 1981. "This transition will not impact our on-field performance,"said Cubs president and CEO John McDonough. "We expect to compete andwin."
With the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League, pitcherDanny Almonte. In 2001 Almonte pitched a perfect game in the Little LeagueWorld Series and led his Bronx team to a third-place finish. It was laterdiscovered that his age documents had been falsified and he was 14, two yearsolder than the Little League maximum (SI, Sept. 3, 2001). Almonte, now 20, ledJames Monroe High to New York City public school championships in 2004 and '06.Now he'll make $600 a month with the Miners. "There are not too many younglefties with his quality of stuff sitting out there," manager Mike Pintosaid.
At age 90 of complications from Alzheimer's disease, Homer Harris, a formerdefensive lineman at Iowa and the Big Ten's first black football captain.Harris (right) was a standout at Seattle's Garfield High in the 1930s and wasnamed the Hawkeyes' MVP as a junior in 1936. The following year he was votedcaptain by his teammates. After college Harris had a dermatology practice inSeattle for 46 years.
At age 83 of congestive heart failure, Twins radio play-by-play man HerbCarneal. Carneal got his first radio job right out of high school and began hisbig league career in 1954, calling games for the Philadelphia Athletics andPhillies. In '62, the year after the Washington Senators moved to Minneapolisand became the Twins, Carneal joined them, and his silky baritone and Virginiadrawl were synonymous with the team ever since. He was inducted into thebroadcasting wing of the Hall of Fame in 1996.
The ABA championship, the Vermont Frost Heaves, whose president and G.M. is SIsenior writer Alexander Wolff. The Heaves, who were a league-best 30--6 duringthe regular season in their first year of existence, beat the Texas Tycoons143--95 in the title game last Thursday in Barre, Vt. A victory parade was heldthere the next day—complete with a potluck supper at the end of the route—andWolff toasted the team at a champagne brunch last Saturday. "When we beganthis, we were asking each of you for your Social Security number," Wolfftold his players. "And here we are, asking for your ring size." Formore on the Frost Heaves and to see video highlights of their championshipseason, go to vermontfrostheaves.com.
They Said It
STEPHEN JACKSON, Warriors guard, on teammate BaronDavis:
"Baron is just as important as our uniforms. We can't play withoutuniforms. We can play without Baron, but we'd rather not."
93 Consecutive wins for the softball team atNorthampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa., one game longer than the NorthCarolina women's soccer team's streak and one of the longest in any sport atany college level.
9 U.S. men's skiing titles won by Bode Miller, tyinghim with Dick Durrance and Tiger Shaw for the most ever; Miller's latest wasthe Super G at the U.S. championships last Saturday.
73 Games it took the Grizzlies, who beat the Lakersand the Trail Blazers last week, to have back-to-back wins this season, thelongest drought in the NBA.
219 Career points for the Penguins' Sidney Crosby, thefifth-highest total in NHL history for a player's first two seasons in theleague.
2 Games played on Sunday by Lakers guard JordanFarmar, who also suited up for the NBA Development League's Los AngelesD-Fenders and is the first to play in the NBA and the D-League on the sameday.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Hong Kong police are searching for the men who planteddevices in the turf at a racetrack that would shoot poison darts at horses.