At age 29, the sumo wrestler known as Asashoryu, whose 25 top-division wins ranks third in the history of the sport. The 6 foot, 340-pound wrestler (above), born Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj, announced his departure last Thursday following reports that he'd broken a man's nose in an alcohol-fueled brawl. While disputing media accounts of that incident, Asashoryu told reporters he'd nonetheless "caused a lot of trouble for so many people" and needed closure. Asashoryu was sumo's 68th yokozuna, or highest-ranking competitor, and perhaps its most controversial. In 2007 he was the first grand champion to be suspended after he cited injuries in skipping a match; later it was revealed that he had been playing in a charity soccer game at the time.
For flipping the bird at a Dolphins fan during a Jan. 30 MMA event in Sunrise, Fla., Jets coach Rex Ryan. On Feb. 2, after a cellphone photo of the gesture appeared on the Internet, the club docked its first-year coach $50,000. Ryan apologized, explaining that he "wouldn't accept that type of behavior from one of the coaches or players." However, five days after the incident, Fox Sports reporter Jay Glazer, who attended the event with Ryan, told New York City's WFAN radio that the coach had been spat on and verbally provoked by the unruly fan. "I think [Rex] needs a reward for showing restraint," Glazer said. "I'd give him 50 grand for not hitting the guy."
During one eight-day period, two players from the same Mexican soccer club, including one who was likely to compete at the 2010 World Cup. On Jan. 25 Club América striker Salvador Cabañas, 29, was shot in the head following an argument in the bathroom of a Mexico City bar. As of Monday, Cabañas, who led Paraguay with six goals in helping the Albirroja qualify for South Africa, had regained consciousness and was speaking, but doctors had failed to remove a bullet from his skull and were unable to predict his return. On Feb. 1 teammate Juan Carlos Silva, 22, took a bullet to his left buttocks during a failed carjacking in which he was targeted. Team officials said they expected Silva to return to practice this week. Police have not arrested a shooter in either case.
For USC, after a delay of 3½ years and four ACL surgeries, former blue-chip basketball recruit Jacki Gemelos (right). During a 61--55 loss at Cal last Thursday, Gemelos showed a bit of rust as well as flashes of the offensive brilliance that had drawn comparisons with Diana Taurasi and allowed her to score 39.2 points a game as a senior in 2005--06 at St. Mary's High in Stockton, Calif. Against the Golden Bears, Gemelos scored eight points, dished five assists and had five rebounds in 28 minutes. Three days later she led the team with 13 points in a 77--39 loss to Stanford. "I've been dreaming of [getting on the court] in my USC uniform," Gemelos said after her debut. "It's finally happened. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't."
At age 88, following a stroke, Bill Dudley, who earned NFL MVP honors in 1946. Dubbed "Bullet Bill" despite his glaring lack of speed (he once finished second to last among the running backs in a pre--All-Star Game sprint, then returned a kickoff 98 yards in the game itself), Dudley maneuvered his 5'10" frame to a nation's-best 134 points as a senior at Virginia in '41. The next year he was the NFL's No. 1 overall pick, by Pittsburgh, and led the league in rushing before an Army stint in World War II cost him two seasons. The MVP award came after he led the league in rushing, punt returns and interceptions. Following his '53 retirement Dudley found time to form the NFL Alumni Association, in '69, and serve in Virginia's House of Delegates from '66 to '74.