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UCONN Football Player Dies After Stabbing at On-Campus Dance

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment
Jasper Howard, 20, from Miami
Jasper Howard, 20, from Miami

STORRS, Conn. — A Connecticut football player who was an expectant father was stabbed to death early Sunday after an on-campus dance, just hours after helping his team to a homecoming victory.

Howard and another student were stabbed at a UCONN dance. They were taken by ambulance to Windham Community Memorial Hospital where he died. Jasper Howard, 20, of Miami, and another student were stabbed during a fight after a fire alarm was pulled during a university sanctioned dance at the UConn Student Union just after 12:30 a.m., police said.

Police had not identified a suspect or released the name of the other victim.

Read more…

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Crazy Finish At Michigan High School Football Game

October 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Quick lesson in high school football. The game isn’t over until the official blows the whistle on the final play.

Canton (Michigan) Plymouth High learned that the hard way earlier this month. Read more…

Michael Crabtree Finally Sign with 49ers

October 7, 2009 Leave a comment

After months of holding out, wide receiver Michael Crabtree has agreed to a contract with the San Francisco 49ers, league sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Crabtree will get a six-year deal that he can void to five years if he meets undefined performance clauses, a league source told ESPN’s Michael Smith.

The 22-year-old Crabtree is expected to report to the team’s training facility Wednesday.

Crabtree and agent Eugene Parker met into the early-morning hours Wednesday with 49ers owner Jed York, general manager Scot McCloughan and Paraag Marathe, vice president of football operations. The two sides had gone almost three weeks without talking.

San Francisco selected Crabtree with the 10th pick in this year’s draft and could use the wideout’s game-breaking ability in the passing game. That said, he has a lot of catching up to do to learn the offense after missing all of training camp.

He also sat out the 49ers’ offseason minicamps and organized team activities while recovering from a foot injury, but was a regular presence for rehabilitation and strengthening workouts at the team’s training facility.

Coach Mike Singletary, whose 49ers lead the NFC West and at 3-1 are off to their best start since 2002, said Monday he would welcome Crabtree whenever he joins the team.

Just when you thought the situation with San Francisco 49ers holdout Michael Crabtree(notes) couldn’t get any weirder, it does. He and his agent finally met face-to-face with the Niners yesterday to discuss getting him signed this year and he apparently brought along a fella named Stanley Kirk Russell, who is otherwise known as a classic from the rap world, MC Hammer, according to USA Today.

What was the Hammer doing there? Nobody seems to know what his role was in the proceedings but he’s apparently a friend of Crabtree’s agent.

The rumor is the talks went well and Crabtree may join the team soon, though Crabtree did not want to talk to the press about it. He reportedly sprinted away from reporters when he saw them. He needs to sign the dotted line before Nov. 17 in order to be allowed on the field this season. Seems pretty clear now that a deal will be done by then.

Crabtree caught 97 passes for 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns last year during his sophomore season at Texas Tech. He finished his college career with 231 receptions for 3,127 yards and 41 TDs.

Source: USA Today & ESPN

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Vick, Nike Sign New Deal

September 30, 2009 7 comments

NEW YORK — Michael Vick is back with Nike two years after the company severed ties over the quarterback’s involvement in a dogfighting ring.

“Mike has a long-standing, great relationship with Nike, and he looks forward to continuing that relationship,” his agent, Joel Segal, said Wednesday.

Segal would not reveal terms of the agreement. Nike declined a request for comment.

The deal was announced during a panel discussion at the Sports Sponsorship Symposium by Michael Principe, the managing director of BEST, the agency that represents Vick.

The endorsement is the latest step forward for Vick as he seeks to rehabilitate his career and his image after serving 18 months in federal prison. On Sunday, Vick played his first regular-season game since December 2006. Read more…

NFL Star Thomas Jones on Life and Love (and Megan Good)

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment

 

Forget all the stereotypes you’ve heard about Black ball players. In his quiet and humble way, New York Jets’ Thomas Jones is redefining what it means to be a sports star as he takes care of his family and friends, finishes his Masters degree in education and builds a strong and monagmous relationship with actress girlfriend Megan Good.  

ESSENCE.COM: Mr. Jones, you are more than meets the eye. What would people be surprised to know about you and what are some of the stereotypes you face as an athlete?

THOMAS JONES: Well, the three main stereotypes I hear about athletes that aren’t true are we aren’t intelligent, that we are greedy and that we don’t give back. I am finishing my Masters in Education and have always worked just as hard in school, as on the field. I never hear anything about my scholarship, but if I say something in the moment it’s everywhere. At the end of the day, everyone can’t do this job, so it’s easy to say we’re greedy, but we put our lives on the line. It’s like getting into a car accident every week when we’re on the field. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being in the limelight, and we have to try extra hard to keep ourselves out of trouble. It’s hard. Trouble tries to find you. Read more…

Update: USC RB Stafon Johnson Expected To Make ‘Full Recovery’

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

UPDATE: Official USC football site USC RIPS IT reports Stafon Johnson is currently in emergency surgery after suffering a neck injury in a weightlifting accident this morning. When Johnson was injured, he did have a spotter when a bar slipped out of his hand “at an angle.”

ESPN 710’s Mason & Ireland report Johnson was bench-pressing 275 pounds at the time. Fox Sports Radio’s Petros Papadakis called the injury “career-threatening.”

More from USC RIPS IT:

Johnson, a senior from Compton, was bench-pressing with a spotter in Heritage Hall’s weight room when the bar slipped out of his right hand and fell at an angle onto his throat. USC’s athletic trainers and emergency personnel rushed to the scene, and Johnson was taken to a local hospital, where he’s currently undergoing surgery on his throat.

Head strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle, who was within 10 feet of the incident, said he was shocked something like this could happen.

“I’ve seen players have the bar slip and fall onto their chest, but never in my 25 years of coaching have I heard of someone dropping a bar on their throat,” Carlisle said. “We’re fortunate he was being spotted.”


Read more…

USC RB Stafon Johnson suffers crushed larynx in weightlifting accident

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES — Southern California tailback Stafon Johnson is unlikely to play again this season after a falling weight bar crushed his neck and larynx.

The senior who scored the No. 7 Trojans’ go-ahead touchdown against Ohio State two weeks ago was bench-pressing when the bar slipped from his right hand and fell onto his throat.

Johnson was in critical but stable condition late Monday night after more than seven hours of surgery, said Katreena Salgado, a spokeswoman for California Hospital Medical Center.

He was treated for crushing injuries to his neck as well as severe injuries to his larynx, said the hospital’s trauma medical director, Dr. Gudata Hinika.

It’s unlikely Johnson will be able to play again this season, but his prognosis is good and doctors expect him to make a full recovery, Hinika said in a statement released by the hospital.

Johnson is the Trojans’ second-leading rusher with 157 yards, and he leads USC (3-1, 1-1 Pac-10) with five touchdowns. He led USC in rushing last season with 705 yards and nine touchdowns, but has become into the Trojans’ short-yardage specialist this season behind starter Joe McKnight.

“It hit him with a lot of force, and it hurt him,” coach Pete Carroll said after the Trojans’ brief practice Monday night. “No broken bones as far as I understand, but he’s got some damage in there somewhere, and they’re working it out, trying to figure out what it is.”

Johnson had a spotter when the accident happened — an assistant strength and conditioning coach was standing over him.

“I’ve seen players have the bar slip and fall onto their chest, but never in my 25 years of coaching have I heard of someone dropping a bar on their throat,” said strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle, who was standing 10 feet away when the accident happened. “We’re fortunate he was being spotted.”

Johnson, one of six tailbacks who get regular practice time with the Trojans, scored two touchdowns apiece against San Jose State and Ohio State, including that 2-yard run with 1:05 left to beat the Buckeyes. He added another touchdown last weekend against Washington State.

Johnson has carried the ball just 32 times this season, while also catching one pass for the Trojans, who visit No. 24 California on Saturday.