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For the Record

Aug. 15, 2011
Aug. 15, 2011

Table of Contents
Aug. 15, 2011

LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
  • Even three years removed from his last snap, Plaxico Burress insists he will still feast on opposing secondaries

  • There's a new beast of the AL East on the way—not this year, but in the not too distant future

  • Ten boxers emerged from the Olympic trials and—thanks to a new coach—they've got a fighting chance in 2012

PRO FOOTBALL
TOOMER'S OAKS
Departments

For the Record

Injured

This is an article from the Aug. 15, 2011 issue

When he was accidentally blindsided by 5'7", 157-pound Penn State wide receiver Devon Smith on the sideline during a practice play on Sunday, 84-year-old Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno (above). According to the school, Paterno (who broke his left leg in a similar incident during a 2006 game against Wisconsin) suffered injuries to his right arm and hip, including at least one hairline fracture, but was able to walk off on his own. A team doctor said that he didn't expect Paterno to require surgery before this, his 46th season. The coach, however, was forced to run Monday's coaches' meeting by speakerphone from Mount Nittany Medical Center. The team, meanwhile, postponed its preseason media day, which had been planned for Thursday.

Banned

From broadcasting high school sporting events on its airwaves, Texas's new Longhorn Network, which is scheduled to launch on Aug. 26. Several Big 12 schools have complained that airing high school football games, as the network had planned, would have given Texas an unfair recruiting advantage, and last week the conference's board of directors voted 9--0 (with Texas abstaining) to institute a one-year moratorium on airing all high school athletic events in hope that the NCAA would make a similar ruling. The ADs also came to an agreement that the broadcasting of any conference games would require approval from the opposing school. The network, which was formed in January, will land the Longhorns $300 million from partner ESPN over the next 20 years. Texas's desire to create its own lucrative television channel was a sticking point in its decision to remain in the Big 12—the Longhorns' departure likely would have dissolved the conference. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is said to be exploring creating its own network.

Died

In suspected heat-related incidents, Georgia high school football players Forrest Jones, an offensive lineman, and Don'terio Searcy, a defensive lineman, both 16 years old. Jones, of Locust Grove High, collapsed after football practice on July 25 from what is believed to have been heatstroke or heat exhaustion. He died eight days later, on the same day that Searcy, of Fitzgerald High, was found dead in his cabin at football camp. (No specific cause has been given in Searcy's death.) Following the incidents, outdoor daytime practices at all of Atlanta's public high schools were canceled.

Added

To baseball's list of "potentially contaminated nutritional supplements," S.W.A.T.S. brand deer-antler spray, which has become a popular steroid alternative in an increasingly antidoping major and minor league baseball climate. The substance, which is harvested from immature deer antlers and administered under the user's tongue, has developed a following for its claim to contain an insulinlike growth factor, IGF-1, which is banned by both MLB and the World Anti-Doping Agency but which is undetectable in urine tests. It is believed that S.W.A.T.S.'s spray may yield positive urine tests for methyltestosterone, a banned substance that is clinically used to treat testosterone deficiency and breast cancer.

Investigated

By Major League Baseball, the gambling habits of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was accused in a story that first appeared in Star magazine of having taken part in two illegal poker games. According to the report, Rodriguez was present at a Beverly Hills mansion for a high-stakes game that was accompanied by the open use of cocaine and at a separate Florida game where one player was alleged to have brought in thugs to intimidate his way out of paying tens of thousands of dollars in losses. Rodriguez's publicist repudiated the article, citing "numerous factual inaccuracies." (In 2005 an A-Rod rep denied reports that the Yankees had warned Rodriguez about his poker playing.) On Sunday the New York Post reported that while Rodriguez now faces questioning from MLB officials, he is unlikely to be suspended even if he is tied to the games.

THEY SAID IT

Mike Shanahan

Redskins coach, on the immigration problems faced by his Australian-born punter Sav Rocca, who as of the start of training camp had yet to be granted a work visa:

"I told him to get married to an American. That'll make it easier."

Go Figure

3--5 mph

Decrease in bat speed for ballplayers who take practice swings with a doughnut, according to The Wall Street Journal.

109

People thanked by Deion Sanders in his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech.

$20

Amount for which Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton sold his '99 Mercedes-Benz SL500 convertible to a team cafeteria worker last week, a day before leaving for a new job in Arizona.

2

Consecutive years in which the Orioles have planned a bobblehead night for a pitcher who by the date of the game was playing in the minors. The latest: Brian Matusz, on Aug. 6.

764

Distance in miles between Carlsbad, Calif., where tennis's Mercury Insurance Open was held last week, and Carlsbad, N.Mex., where Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski traveled after not verifying the event's location.

$270,000

Child support owed by the dozen or so people arrested last week in Operation Iron Snare, a sting in which deadbeat parents were baited with the promise of tickets to an Alabama-Auburn football game.

PHOTOCAROLYN KASTER/AP (PATERNO)PHOTOMITCHELL LAYTON/GETTY IMAGES (SHANAHAN)