Of stab wounds following an on-campus altercation, Florida International running back Kendall Berry (above), whose six rushing scores led the Golden Panthers in 2009. According to witnesses, two men were seen arguing around 9 p.m. last Thursday on the school's West Miami--Dade campus, just outside of a recreation center where the football team trains. Paramedics responded to the scene, but the 22-year-old junior died en route to a hospital. On Friday police announced that Quentin Rashad Wyche, who was in FIU's training camp last summer, turned himself in and was charged with second-degree murder.
By Cal Poly--Pomona, the 2010 men's NCAA Division II basketball championship, one year after the Broncos were taken down in overtime by a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Findlay (Ohio) in the title game. Last Saturday, Cal Poly (which had struggled to a 7--5 start this season before ripping off 21 wins in its last 22 games) avoided a repeat of last year's heartbreak by using a smothering zone defense that forced No. 2--ranked Indiana (Pa.) to miss its first seven shots while the Broncos raced to an 11-point lead that they would never relinquish. By triumphing 65--53, Cal Poly became the first unranked team in 31 years to win the D-II title.
April 4, 2010
Of pancreatic cancer at age 80, Baron Mikel Scicluna, pro wrestling villain par excellence in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. A native of Malta, Scicluna first wrestled in North America as Mike Valentino because promoters didn't think fans would be able to decipher his surname (sikh-CLOO-nah). In epic battles with good guys such as World Wide Wrestling Federation champion Bruno Sammartino, the 6'3", 275-pound Scicluna (a '96 inductee to the organization's Hall of Fame) deployed his patented tactic: whacking his foe's face with a roll of coins that he had hidden in his trunks. Speaking to SI from Pittsburgh, where both men made their home after leaving the ring, Sammartino recalled his foil as "a decent human being, a good guy, family man and father," and celebrated Scicluna's stamina. "He was big-boned with really good muscle tone and he trained hard. We'd go at it for an hour sometimes, and he'd never let up. He gave the people a heck of a lot of action."
By Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi of Japan (right), the 2010 men's world figure skating championship. One month after finishing third in Vancouver, the 24-year-old outscored Patrick Chan of Canada and France's Brian Joubert (who won the worlds in '07) to become Japan's first male champion. Notable in Takahashi's victory in Turin, however, were the absences of Vancouver Olympics gold medalist Evan Lysacek, who is competing on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, and silver medalist Yevgeny Plushenko of Russia, who is injured. In total, the world figure skating championships lacked five of the 12 medalists from February's Olympic Games, including two gold medalists. On Saturday, Japan completed a sweep of the individual competitions as Mao Asada, the Vancouver silver medalist, won the women's competition.
At age 79 of complications from Lewy body dementia, Parkinson's disease and congestive heart failure, former NFL linebacker Cliff Livingston, who appeared in four title games and went on to play the Marlboro Man in ads. Livingston was a key reserve on the Giants' 1956 championship team and again on the '58 runners-up, who lost to the Colts in what became known as the Greatest Game Ever Played. (His solo stop on fourth-and-one at the Giants' one-yard line helped New York come back from an early deficit before losing in OT.) Livingston would start for the Giants on two more title-game teams, in '59 and '61, then had brief tenures in Minnesota and Los Angeles. In L.A. he parlayed his athleticism into a second career as a movie stuntman and his good looks into stints as the face of Marlboro cigarettes (following in the cleats of former Giants teammate Charlie Conerly) and Schlitz beer.
Near his rented home in Franklin Lakes, N.J., and charged with a range of offenses, including driving under the influence of drugs, leaving the scene of an accident and child endangerment, 1985 NL Cy Young Award winner Dwight Gooden, whose past struggles with drug and alcohol addiction have been well documented. According to multiple reports, the 45-year-old retired pitcher was driving his five-year-old son, Dylan, to school around 9 a.m. on March 23 when his 2007 Chrysler Aspen rear-ended a Mercedes. Gooden allegedly left the scene of that accident and was pulled over minutes later, at which point his son was found unrestrained in the backseat and Gooden was charged with driving under the influence. Last Thursday Gooden's agent issued a statement claiming his client had been using Ambien (which he'd been prescribed, in part, due to lack of sleep following the birth of his infant daughter, Milan) at the time of the accident and that he had been sober since 2006. Gooden entered a plea of not guilty one day after his arrest.
Miles from Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, making the Bulldogs' commute to the men's basketball Final Four the event's shortest since 1959, when Louisville played at home.
Consecutive horse races (as of last Thursday) called by track announcer Terry Wallace, who has handled every event at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., since '75.
Odds, according to a 2000 Golf Digest study, of two golfers in a foursome acing the same hole, a feat pulled off last week by Charles White, 56, and Kitty Tinker, 71, at the Bernardo Heights Country Club in San Diego.
Weight, in pounds, of Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell when he arrived at off-season workouts last week.
Weight in '09 of Oakland's left tackle, Mario Henderson.
Average attendance at University of Utah women's gymnastics events in '09--10, the first time that a sport other than basketball has led NCAA women in that statistic.
THEY SAID IT
Duke men's basketball coach and lifelong Cubs fan, on establishing standards for his Blue Devils: "Just judge people for who they are right now. We're not the Yankees. We're not, thank goodness, the Cubs."