Sept. 26, 2011
Sept. 26, 2011

Table of Contents
Sept. 26, 2011

  • Still questioning whether Cam Newton has what it takes to make it as an NFL quarterback? The No. 1 pick is off to a record-setting start with the Panthers. Now he could use a few wins



| DIED |

This is an article from the Sept. 26, 2011 issue

At age 73 of congestive heart failure, Basketball Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt, one of the architects of the modern game. In 1969 the Rhode Island native was hired as head coach at Providence. In 10 years his teams tallied a 209--84 record, made five NCAA tournament appearances and reached the 1973 Final Four. Gavitt (above) was a driving force in uniting the major basketball powers of the Northeast into the Big East in 1979 and served as the conference's first commissioner, holding that position until 1990. During his tenure the Big East became a powerhouse when it sent three teams to the 1985 Final Four. Gavitt also served as coach of the 1980 U.S Olympic basketball team and later became president of USA Basketball, where he oversaw the rule change that allowed NBA player participation and resulted in the formation of the 1992 Dream Team.

| DIED |

At age 78 of pneumonia, Philadelphia boxing icon George Benton. A master technician, Benton (below) defeated future world champions Freddie Little, Jimmy Ellis and Joey Giardello and was never knocked down during a 21-year pro career. He also never got a title shot despite being a top middleweight contender in the 1960s. After a gunshot wound ended his fighting career in 1970, Benton turned to training, studying under Eddie Futch. Benton worked the corner for Joe Frazier in the Thrilla in Manila and for Leon Spinks when he upset Muhammad Ali, and he later trained Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor and Mike McCallum. Benton was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001.


By the NCAA for improper use of recruiting services, Oregon's football program, which went public with the news only hours before its 56--7 win over Missouri State on Saturday. The inquiry is a result of reports that surfaced earlier this year alleging that the Ducks paid Houston-based scout Willie Lyles $25,000 in March 2010, a month after Oregon received a letter of intent from Lache Seastrunk, a highly touted Texas recruit who transferred to Baylor this fall. The Ducks contend that the payment to Lyles's company, Complete Scouting Services, was legitimate. Oregon released several of the scouting reports provided by Lyles in June, including his 2010 National High School Evaluation Booklet, which profiled 140 athletes, many of whom were members of the class of 2009. Of those players, 133 played high school ball in Texas and only 22 went on to receive FBS scholarships.


For bankruptcy, the Dallas Stars, which reportedly will be sold to Vancouver-based businessman Tom Gaglardi. The Stars are the fifth major pro sports team to file for bankruptcy in the past two years and the second owned by Tom Hicks. Though the Stars have had 14 straight winning seasons, they have missed the postseason the past three years and currently owe lenders $448.5 million. Hicks bought the Texas Rangers in 1998, but last year he sold the team to Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan after defaulting on $525 million in loans and filing for bankruptcy. Hicks was also co-owner of Liverpool FC from 2007 to '10.

| SUED |

For slander by NFL wide receiver Braylon Edwards, South, a restaurant and bar in Birmingham, Mich. Edwards (right) is requesting $14 million in damages, claiming that a statement released by the restaurant, which said that the receiver was directly involved in a bar fight on Aug. 1, caused him to lose a contract with an unnamed team worth a guaranteed $15 million. Instead he signed a one-year deal with the 49ers worth $3.5 million—$1 million guaranteed—only days after the incident. Two of Edwards's friends were charged with felonious assault after allegedly stabbing an employee of the restaurant. On Sunday, Edwards left San Francisco's 27--24 loss to Dallas after injuring his right knee in the first quarter.

| DIED |

At age 81, Walter Bonatti, one of the world's most accomplished mountaineers and the youngest member of the Italian team that in 1954 made a first ascent of K2, the world's second-highest mountain. Controversy surrounded the excursion after Bonatti, who was 24 during the attempt, did not reach the summit, claiming that the two lead climbers moved camp and left him behind to prevent him from upstaging them. Bonatti attempted many dangerous expeditions by himself, creating new paths. The southwest pillar of the Petit Dru mountain in the Alps was nicknamed the Bonatti Pillar after his 1955 trek up the difficult new route. In 1965 he became the first person to stage a solo winter ascent of the Matterhorn's north face. He retired from climbing at 35 to become a photojournalist.



Consecutive losing seasons for the Pirates (clinched with a 3--2 home loss to the Cardinals on Sept. 14), extending their record for a major league franchise in North America.


Estimated damages to the College Football Hall of Fame as a result of flooding brought on by the theft of a brass fitting on the building's sprinkler system.


Amount the stolen fitting would fetch at a scrap yard, according to police.


Score by which Pulaski Academy in Little Rock was leading Cabot High on Sept. 9 before Cabot ran its first play; Pulaski won the toss, scored on its first drive and then made three successful onside kicks, going on to score each time.


Amount that a Texas-based design center paid to customers after Josh Hamilton's grand slam against the Indians on Sept. 14, the result of a promotion that promised all floors and counters bought to that point September would be free if the Rangers slugger hit a bases-loaded homer during the month.

WON the Navistar Classic to become the youngest player to win an LPGA event, Lexi Thompson, 16. Lexi turned pro at 15 years, four months and eight days, putting her in fast company.

Ricky Rubio joined the Spanish pro league, ACB, in 2005 at 14 years, 11 months and 24 days.

Freddy Adu made his MLS debut with D.C. United in 2004 at 14 years, 10 months and one day.

Joe Nuxhall pitched for the Reds in 1944 at 15 years, 10 months and 11 days.

Bep Guidolin took the ice for the Bruins in 1942 at 16 years, 11 months and three days.


Who would you pick first if you were building a team from scratch?

Tom Brady, Patriots QB 24%

Peyton Manning, Colts QB 18%

Aaron Rodgers, Packers QB 14%

Adrian Peterson, Vikings RB 7%

Michael Vick, Eagles QB 6%


Players voted overwhelmingly to put the ball in a quarterback's hands, as seven of the top 10 vote getters (and 10 of the top 15) play QB. Peterson was the only ballcarrier to pick up more than four votes, and Lions DT Ndamukong Suh (4%) was the only defensive player to crack the top 10. In a Facebook poll online, QBs also led the way, with Rodgers (47%) topping Brady (19%)—though Suh finished third with 17%.

Based on 272 NFL players who responded to SI's survey