Ron Springs In Coma, HGH 7.2 Million Dollar Raid, Clausen Benched, Jim Boeheim retiring? Who Is the Little Emperor?
(Photo: Bill Snyder)
Former Dallas Cowboy standout Ron Springs, who played on the great Dallas teams of the early eighties has lapsed into a coma. Springs suffers from diabetes and received a kidney seven months ago from former teammate Everson Walls.
The Washington Redskins said Tuesday that cornerback Shawn Springs, son of the 50-year-old Springs, has left the team to be with his father.
“(Shawn) has flown down there — it’s a very tough time for them because I think it’s very, very serious,” Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused Ron Springs, who has diabetes, to lapse into a coma or when he was hospitalized. Calls to the family weren’t returned.
Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT first reported Springs’ condition.
In February, Walls donated his kidney to the ailing Springs, who had suffered from diabetes for 16 years and had been on the national transplant waiting list since 2004. It was the first transplant between two former U.S. professional athletes.
Let’s all hope this story takes a turn for the better. As a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, Springs and Walls used to make me drive me crazy. They forged a strong bond before and since Walls donated the kidney and have spent a lot of time together as Springs recovered. Ron was one of the first running backs to be used extensively as a receiver–leading the Cowboys in touchdowns in ’81, and tying for the team lead for catches with Tony Hill with 46. Ron, who is left handed, also was known for his nice red zone passing touch. He had numerous touchdown passes over his career. He was a strong teammate advocate who infused his thoughts into numerous contract squabbles–specifically Walls and Tony Dorsett–that didn’t sit well with Cowboy’s management and ultimate led to his release. Walls was a prototype at DB with his size and talent. He was the first player in NFL history to lead the league in interceptions his first two years in the league.
Ron Springs was a friend to many. Please keep him in your prayers.
Tuesday, New York officials raided Lowen’s Pharmacy in Brooklyn for the second time since May and–according to officials–seized enough raw HGH to make a million doses. The 90 grams of HGH powder had a value of 7.2 million. Also found were kilogram quantities of steroids: testosterone, nandrolone and stanazolol.
The raid of Lowen’s Pharmacy in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, was the second in five months. In May, investigators with the New York Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement found employees mixing $200,000 worth of steroids and growth hormone in a back room. On Tuesday, they found 90 grams of raw human growth hormone, worth an estimated $7.2 million. Also found were kilogram quantities of three popular steroids: testosterone, nandrolone and stanazolol. “This is much bigger than what we thought,” said Mark Haskins, an investigator with the state’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. The investigators are the same ones who have been working with the Albany (N.Y.) District Attorney’s office in its probe of Florida’s Signature Pharmacy. In recent weeks, Major League Baseball officials have met with Toronto third baseman Troy Glaus and St. Louis outfielder Rick Ankiel, whose names surfaced in connection with that investigation, to discuss reports that they received growth hormone from Signature. On Tuesday, Haskins and officers from the New York Police Department carted out boxes filled with prescriptions from many of the same “wellness clinics” that received prescriptions filled by Signature.
One of the roughly 20 boxes carted away contained prescription requests from the Palm Beach Life Extension Clinic, where the New York Daily News reported that Ankiel went to get his HGH. “It’s hard to believe that all the growth hormone we found was meant for the people of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn,” Haskins said.
Isn’t that the truth. As Dwil so eloquently stated, we’ll see how this plays out in the MSM and specifically what athletes will be exposed.
It isn’t looking good for MLB and George Mitchell has promised to provide names of athletes implicated by his unrelated investigation by the end of the year. The fallout could be disastrous for baseball. Bud Selig has a quandary on his hands that is bigger than figuring out the hat size of one Barry Lamar Bonds.
The Jimmy Clausen experiment has been temporarily shelved.
Six weeks ago, Notre Dame football Coach Charlie Weis said freshman Jimmy Clausen would start at quarterback because he gave the Fighting Irish their “best chance to win.”
On Tuesday, he said the same thing about Evan Sharpley, who will start in place of Clausen here Saturday against No. 13 USC (5-1).
Weis said Clausen, the highly touted product of Westlake Village Oaks Christian High, was “banged up” but that the switch was the result of both Clausen’s play and his physical condition.
“There’s a big difference between injured and hurt,” Weis said. “But I think that the separation between the two of them isn’t big enough for a banged-up guy getting a nod over a fresh guy. . . . Now Jimmy can play, but I don’t think he can play as good as Evan, and that’s why Evan is going to start at quarterback.”
These are the days that Irish eyes are struggling. Coach Weis is now in damage control mode to please the boosters who are ready to hammer the gong. Don’t be so sure people his job is as safe as it’s perceived to be. With the parity that exists currently in college football, the onus is on Weis to adequately recruit for the future. This institution will not sit idle and let the rest of the country ridicule a program that’s as insecure as they come.
Get out there and recruit coach, even though the players you acquire might not see you around come spring practice.
Long time Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim as picked his successor–when he retires.
Mike Hopkins said Tuesday that he had reached an agreement on a plan to succeed the Hall of Fame coach.
“Just to be thought of like that by a guy who I respect, one of the greatest coaches of all time, it’s very flattering. I’m very humbled,” said Hopkins, who grew up in California. “Syracuse is the place where I got married. I’ve been here now 18 years. He (Boeheim) is just constantly telling me new things and just educating me. Being around Coach and being around (associate head coach) Bernie (Fine), I’ve had a great bunch of mentors. They’ve really been there for me.”
Hopkins, who played guard at Syracuse from 1988 to 1993, is in his 13th season on Boeheim’s staff.
“Jim isn’t going anywhere, but Mike is my next coach,” athletic director Daryl Gross said, adding that it was premature to talk about the future because Boeheim has given no indication he plans to retire anytime soon.
Gross declined to offer details of the agreement in deference to Boeheim, who turns 63 in November and has given no indication he plans to retire anytime soon. In 31 seasons at his alma mater, Boeheim has a 750-264 record and has led Syracuse to 25 NCAA tournament appearances, three Final Fours and the 2003 national championship.
Boeheim was in meetings Tuesday and not immediately available for comment.
Hopkins, a Syracuse captain for Boeheim in 1992 and 1993, joined his staff in 1995 and five years later was given his first chance to recruit. He has lured Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Demetris Nichols, sophomore Paul Harris and current freshman Jonny Flynn to Syracuse.
Boeheim has been Hopkins’ biggest supporter and designating Hopkins as the heir apparent eliminates the chance Hopkins might leave to take a head coaching job elsewhere.
Hopkins was a fan favorite when he played, known for his hustle and scrappy play. He expects to bring those elements to the bench.
“I’m going to coach how I played. I’m going to hug and kiss you after the game, and I’m sure during practice the competitive fire will come out a little bit,” Hopkins said. “That’s what’s fun. I love the relationships in recruiting. I love the relationships in the community. This thing is a family. It’s not about me or these other guys. It’s about the bigger picture.”
Boeheim has simply gotten it done for Syracuse over the years. It’s only fitting that a coach of his stature propagates the process to ensure the university’s success while also removing a talented assistant off the market.
2007 China Games
The NBA has taken jet lag to another level as The Little Emperor embarks on dropping his new Lasik improved jumpers on the citizens of China.
The NBA China Games 2007, featuring three exhibition games between the Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Team China All-Stars in Shanghai and Macao from October 17-20, is a global event that will be televised in 209 countries in 13 languages. In China, the China Games will air nationwide on CCTV5 while the Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and Guangdong TV (GDTV) will air each of the games locally in Shanghai and the Guangdong province, respectively. In the U.S, the games will air on NBA TV and ESPN2.
Over 200 media members will attend each game in Shanghai and Macao and bring the action back to fans throughout China and around the world. There will be 23 television and radio networks and websites on-site including three who will be calling the game live from commentary positions.
In addition to traditional radio and television broadcasting, NBA fans will be able to experience the Shanghai game in High Definition format on SiTV. The games will also be available through a range of digital platforms and devices, including NBA.com/China and, for the first time, on mobile phones via cn.nba.com as well as through Internet Protocol Television on SMG’s BesTV channel.
Special China Games programming will be available throughout China on NBA Zhi Zao (Chinese translation of Made in the NBA), the NBA’s popular weekly show that combines the lifestyle of basketball with Chinese popular culture. The show will fuse these elements through pre-game, halftime and post-game interviews with players from both teams, locker room access and interviews with Chinese celebrity guests Jet Li and Karen Mok. Chinese celebrity personalities David Wu and Wang Guan will be the on site commentators for the broadcast.
ESPN is broadcasting the 2007 China Games. The NBA is positioning itself to take full advantage of China’s huge fan base. LeBron has a cult following and is putting on a show with an array of crowd pleasing dunks. Jameer Nelson (sup fam) seems to be getting along after a tumultuous summer which saw the death of his father. There’s no significant defense being played–this is of course a marketing exhibition in the land of Yao. It won’t be long now when the NBA is scheduling regular season games abroad.
Rob King, ESPN EIC.com, interview to be posted later today.