Athlete Development

  • Although college athletes getting suspended is hardly unusual, the reason these three LSU football players were suspended is an exception. CB's Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon and RB Spencer Ware suspended after failing a drug test with synthetic cannabinoids in their system. The drug is a mixture of exotic herbs and plant materials that produces a high similar to the one produced when smoking marijuana. [Sources: LSU Players Had Positive Tests]
  • It’s amazing how a minor detail in a trade (a physical) can be so vital in one’s life (and health). Fortunately for Detroit Lions RB Jerome Harrison, his failed physical to complete a trade to the Philadelphia Eagles allowed him to learn of his benign brain tumor. [Jerome Harrison’s Failed Physical Turned Up A Brain Tumor]
  • Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone laughs mockingly at the idea of saving money for retirement. "People who want to plan for a retirement, hey, great for them. My hat is off to them if they’re doing what they think is right for them. But me, no. I don’t think about that [expletive] at all. I think about the right now, and that’s why I’m going to be broke in a couple of years.” [Hard-charging Cerrone lives a fast life]
  • While I understand the basis for rules against contact between athletes and coaches/team personnel during labor negotiations, it still amazes me when fines are issued. Take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for example. The franchise was fined $250,000 after their coach congratulated TE Kellen Winslow on the birth of his child and reached out to CB Aqib Talib about his legal issues during the off-season. Fair or foul? [Source: Buccaneers Fined $250K]
  • The LA Times recently had a Q&A session with NBA Players Union Executive Director Billy Hunter, who offered several interesting anecdotes about how the NBA players are preparing for the current lockout, including NBA superstars volunteering to pitch in to the players' lockout fund. “I know Kobe is intimately involved in interfacing with colleagues and sharing in a pool of revenue to help the others get through this. Kobe has volunteered to do that in the event others need, he and others are prepared to loan money if necessary.” [Q&A: NBA Players' Union Executive Director Billy Hunter]
 Human Interest
  • To undefeated boxer Edwin Rodriguez Sr., family comes first. With his fraternal twins born 16 weeks prematurely, his family has endured a great deal as he has risen up to elite ranks. “Winning a championship is important to me, of course. But the most important thing in my life is not a boxing championship. It’s my family. And no matter what, I’ll never be away from my family’s side.” [Overcoming adversity is a Rodriguez trait]
  • I highly recommend this story on Atone Davis, a former offensive lineman who now is a contestant on the NBC show, “The Biggest Loser.” Once a first-round pick in the NFL, Davis struggled with his weight after his playing days, an issue many former players face. I hope he can find a way to overcome his battles with obesity. [Former NFL Lineman Tired of Life Passing Him By]
  • My heart goes out to the family of Ridge Barden, a 16-year-old football player who died from swelling and bleeding of the brain from a collision during a football game. It appears that stories of athletes suffering injury-related deaths are becoming more common than ever. Hopefully through more education and research on these types of injuries, we can see these incidents decrease, if not be eliminated. [An Ordinary Football Game, Then a Player Dies]
  • I won’t lie, Kurt Warner is one of my all-time favorite players. What he did with the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” offense in the late 90s and early 2000s was legendary. Yet, the NFL Network’s recent program on his unusual and inspiring rise to NFL fame is a feel-good story for anyone, sports fan, athlete or not. [Kurt Warner’s ‘Football Life’ is one for the ages]
  • recently did a story on Justin Combs, a NY high school star with offers to several D-1 programs. If the senior QB, corner and kick returner’s last name sounds familiar, it’s probably due to his father, hip-hop mogul and Bad Boy Records CEO, Sean “Diddy” Combs. Yet, the younger Combs uses his father’s celebrity as added motivation on the gridiron. “I've had to go harder than anybody else to prove that I belong because most people think I have everything handed to me. I had to prove them wrong.” [Diddy's Son Doin' Work On The Gridiron