When he was accidentally blindsided by 5'7", 157-pound Penn State wide receiver Devon Smith on the sideline during a practice play on Sunday, 84-year-old Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno (above). According to the school, Paterno (who broke his left leg in a similar incident during a 2006 game against Wisconsin) suffered injuries to his right arm and hip, including at least one hairline fracture, but was able to walk off on his own. A team doctor said that he didn't expect Paterno to require surgery before this, his 46th season. The coach, however, was forced to run Monday's coaches' meeting by speakerphone from Mount Nittany Medical Center. The team, meanwhile, postponed its preseason media day, which had been planned for Thursday.
From broadcasting high school sporting events on its airwaves, Texas's new Longhorn Network, which is scheduled to launch on Aug. 26. Several Big 12 schools have complained that airing high school football games, as the network had planned, would have given Texas an unfair recruiting advantage, and last week the conference's board of directors voted 9--0 (with Texas abstaining) to institute a one-year moratorium on airing all high school athletic events in hope that the NCAA would make a similar ruling. The ADs also came to an agreement that the broadcasting of any conference games would require approval from the opposing school. The network, which was formed in January, will land the Longhorns $300 million from partner ESPN over the next 20 years. Texas's desire to create its own lucrative television channel was a sticking point in its decision to remain in the Big 12—the Longhorns' departure likely would have dissolved the conference. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is said to be exploring creating its own network.
In suspected heat-related incidents, Georgia high school football players Forrest Jones, an offensive lineman, and Don'terio Searcy, a defensive lineman, both 16 years old. Jones, of Locust Grove High, collapsed after football practice on July 25 from what is believed to have been heatstroke or heat exhaustion. He died eight days later, on the same day that Searcy, of Fitzgerald High, was found dead in his cabin at football camp. (No specific cause has been given in Searcy's death.) Following the incidents, outdoor daytime practices at all of Atlanta's public high schools were canceled.
To baseball's list of "potentially contaminated nutritional supplements," S.W.A.T.S. brand deer-antler spray, which has become a popular steroid alternative in an increasingly antidoping major and minor league baseball climate. The substance, which is harvested from immature deer antlers and administered under the user's tongue, has developed a following for its claim to contain an insulinlike growth factor, IGF-1, which is banned by both MLB and the World Anti-Doping Agency but which is undetectable in urine tests. It is believed that S.W.A.T.S.'s spray may yield positive urine tests for methyltestosterone, a banned substance that is clinically used to treat testosterone deficiency and breast cancer.
By Major League Baseball, the gambling habits of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was accused in a story that first appeared in Star magazine of having taken part in two illegal poker games. According to the report, Rodriguez was present at a Beverly Hills mansion for a high-stakes game that was accompanied by the open use of cocaine and at a separate Florida game where one player was alleged to have brought in thugs to intimidate his way out of paying tens of thousands of dollars in losses. Rodriguez's publicist repudiated the article, citing "numerous factual inaccuracies." (In 2005 an A-Rod rep denied reports that the Yankees had warned Rodriguez about his poker playing.) On Sunday the New York Post reported that while Rodriguez now faces questioning from MLB officials, he is unlikely to be suspended even if he is tied to the games.