SBD/Issue 88/Sports Industrialists

Names In The News

Romanowski Being Sued
By Former Teammate

In S.F., Williams & Fainaru-Wada cite sources as saying that FBI agents yesterday raided the home of BALCO Founder VICTOR CONTE as part of a federal probe into how the S.F. Chronicle “had obtained federal grand jury testimony for stories about” the scandal (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/27)....In a separate piece, Fainaru-Wada & Williams note former Raiders LB BILL ROMANOWSKI has been sued for $3.8M by former teammate MARCUS WILLIAMS. Attorneys for Williams, who suffered a “career-ending brain injury” in an altercation with Romanowski in August ’03, have “pressed Romanowski, the Raiders and the [NFL] for information about” Romanowski’s possible use of steroids. Williams’ lawsuit and a possible trial next month “could provide new insights into the content and scope of steroid abuse in the NFL” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/27).

RUNNING A REVERSE: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley reports syndicated radio host RUSH LIMBAUGH has “changed his opinion” of Eagles QB DONOVAN MCNABB’s “ability as a quarterback and a field general.” Limbaugh said on the air, “There’s been a demonstrable change in McNabb’s performance, pure and simple. ... There’s no question McNabb has improved and I’m happy to see it” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/27).

HOME COOKING: In Ft. Lauderdale, Harvey Fialkov reports Heat C SHAQUILLE O’NEAL has “set his sights on” former LSU football coach NICK SABAN’s house in Baton Rouge. The asking price for the four-bedroom house, with a swimming pool and guest home, is $3.25M. O’Neal: “I’ve seen it a million times, and I’m going to get it. And I’m gonna get it for the same price he paid for it.” Fialkov notes Saban paid $1.72M for the house in July ’01. O’Neal also owns a $6.25M residence in Orlando and recently paid about $18M for the Star Island, Florida, mansion once owned by former Heat C RONY SEIKALY (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 1/27).

AFTER THE GAME: Former NFL head coach CHUCK KNOX has donated $1M to his alma mater, JUNIATA COLLEGE, to fund a professorship in the history department. Knox earned a B.A. in history from the school in ’54 (Juniata College)....HBO’s “Real Sports” Tuesday examined the emotional and physical difficulties many NFL players encounter after retiring from the league. HBO’s Bryant Gumbel said former NFLer KEN RUETTGERS “has started GamesOver.org, a Web site that catalogues why ex-players have so much trouble in retirement and tries to educate them about the risks.” Gumbel said, “The NFL is helping to bankroll his operation and has initiated programs of its own” (“Real Sports,” HBO, 1/25)....Former Redskins WR MICHAEL WESTBROOK will fight former Giants RB JARROD BUNCH next month in a PPV competition called “KING OF THE CAGE” (SI, 1/31 issue).

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