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For the Record

Dec. 10, 2007
Dec. 10, 2007

Table of Contents
Dec. 10, 2007

SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
SI Fantasy Plus
SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
Sportsman of the Year
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
HOCKEY
PRO BASKETBALL
  • With his childlike enthusiasm and spectacular athleticism, rebounding and dunking savant Dwight Howard, in only his fourth year, has quickly turned the NBA into his own Magic kingdom

SPORTS MEDICINE
THE STORY OF THE BEST NAME IN SPORTS
  • Members of the Rolle clan, descended from freed slaves in the Bahamas, have left their mark on football, baseball, basketball, track and other college and pro sports in the U.S.

Departments

For the Record

Announced
By Andy Pettitte (below) that he will put off his retirement and pitch for the Yankees in 2008. The 35-year-old lefty, who was 15--9 with a 4.05 ERA last year, declined a $16 million option last month, saying he needed more time. After being lobbied by teammates Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, Pettitte decided to return. Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman said the $16 million option was a standing offer.

This is an article from the Dec. 10, 2007 issue

Extended
After a review of the tape of Oklahoma's Nov. 23 game against Mississippi State revealed dozens of scoring errors, the double-double streak of Sooners center Courtney Paris (right). The junior was originally credited with 16 points and eight rebounds in the Sooners' 88--73 win at the Caribbean Challenge in Canc√∫n, Mexico, when in fact her totals should have been 16 and 10. The discrepancy was noticed by a member of Oklahoma's staff, and it led to a review that found 36 mistakes made by volunteers. (None affected the score.) "I'm happy for Courtney that her streak continues and that if it ends, it will be determined on the court and not on paper," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.

Sentenced
To 18 and 21 months in prison, two of Michael Vick's dogfighting co-defendants. Judge Henry Hudson's sentence—handed down to Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips—might not bode well for Vick, who will face sentencing on Dec. 10. In exchange for a guilty plea Vick's lawyers negotiated a proposed sentence of 12 to 18 months, and prosecutors agreed to recommend the lower end, but Hudson does not have to accept that deal. "You may have thought this was sporting, but it was very callous and cruel," Hudson told Phillips, who received 21 months.

Elected
To the Baseball Hall of Fame, former commissioner Bowie Kuhn. He was one of five selections of the Veterans Committee. Kuhn, who died earlier this year, was the sport's fifth commissioner, serving from 1969 to '84. He presided over a tumultuous time that included strikes in 1972 and '81. His adversary, former players' union head Marvin Miller, was named on only three Veterans Committee ballots, far short of the nine needed for election. "I think it was rigged, but not to keep me out. It was rigged to bring some of these [candidates] in," Miller said. "It's not a pretty picture."

Died
After being knocked out in a mixed martial arts bout, Sam Vasquez, 35. The cause of death was not released; Vasquez had been hospitalized since the Oct. 20 fight in Houston in which he was floored by Vince Libardi, 21. The featherweight (145-pound) bout, which was stopped in the third round, was Vasquez's third. He is believed to be the first fighter to die from injuries suffered in a sanctioned mixed martial arts event.

Died
Of heart disease at age 74, Hall of Fame jockey Bill Hartack (below), who rode five Kentucky Derby winners. Hartack won his first Derby aboard Iron Liege in 1957 after Bill Shoemaker, on Gallant Man, misjudged the finish line and stood up in the irons short of the wire. Hartack won the race four more times in the 1960s, and he also won the Preakness three times and took the 1960 Belmont. He came from hardscrabble beginnings—his mother died when he was young, and he only escaped following in the footsteps of his father, a miner, when a friend suggested he try riding horses. Hartack was often brusque and impatient with reporters and officials, but he was held in awe by his peers. "When I first came to this country and met him, it was like meeting a superstar," said fellow Hall of Fame rider Angel Cor dero. "He was very smart. And he was amazing with the whip."

Died
At age 79, Ralph Beard, whose involvement in a gambling scandal overshadowed his status as one of the best basketball players of the 1940s and '50s. In 1949 Beard, a guard at Kentucky, and two teammates took money (Beard got $700) to shave points in two games, including an upset loss to Loyola in the NIT. (Beard, who scored 15 points, maintained that he didn't shave points.) Before the scandal came to light in 1951, Beard had led Kentucky to two national championships, won a gold medal at the 1948 Olympics and started in the NBA All-Star Game as a rookie. He accepted responsibility and was given a suspended sentence, but the NBA banned him for life. In 2002 Bob Cousy, who played against Beard in college and the NBA, offered his assessment: "Lightning fast. In my judgment he would have been a Hall of Famer."

Go Figure

12 Starting quarterbacks with which Tampa Bay's Jon Gruden has won games in his career, the most of any active NFL coach.

2 Division I QBs who have rushed for 1,000 yards and passed for 3,000 in the same season: Texas's Vince Young in 2005 and Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour this year.

32,000 People who watched David Beckham and the L.A. Galaxy beat the Wellington Phoenix in Wellington last Saturday, the largest crowd ever for a soccer game in New Zealand.

102.1 Points averaged by the Cavaliers in their first 15 games this season.

75.3 Cleveland's scoring average in three games without LeBron James, all losses, since James injured his finger on Nov. 28.

23 TD passes this year by Peyton Manning; he and Dan Marino are the only NFL QBs to have at least 20 in each of their first 10 seasons.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

eBay banned a collector from selling a jock strap that Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell wore during the World Series because it is "adult-oriented" material.

They Said It

ANDRE IGUODALA
76ers forward, on how much his 5--11 team has struggled this season:

"We suck in practice, too."

PHOTOROBERT BECK (PETTITE)PHOTODARREN CARROLL (PARIS)PHOTOMIKE THOMAS/AP (OWENS)PICTURE THIS NOV. 29 Terrell Owens celebrates the Cowboys' win over Green Bay.PHOTOGREGORY SMITH/AP (IGUODALA)PHOTONEAL BARR (HARTACK)