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April 09, 2012
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April 09, 2012

For The Record

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At age 65 following a heart attack, Giorgio Chinaglia, the Italian striker who won four NASL titles and scored a record 243 goals for the New York Cosmos from 1976 through '83. The Cosmos had bigger names in Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer, but Chinaglia (above) was the scoring sensation who came to the U.S. during his prime (following a standout career for Lazio and the Azzurri) and delivered on the field and in the media. "I'm uncoachable," he once told SI. "That's because I know more than the stupid coaches." Chinaglia was a fixture at Studio 54 during its heyday and embraced his adopted country, even as Italian papers kept calling him in New Jersey. "The quotes were always on page 1," Chinaglia said. "The Pope? He was on page 3."


By Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, that she has a treatable form of facial paralysis called Bell's palsy. Mulkey, 49, first noticed a "weird" feeling in her tongue while she was in Des Moines for two NCAA regional games in late March, then noticed in a mirror that her smile was crooked and that her left eye was drooping. Doctors ordered an MRI and diagnosed her ailment, a rapid-onset nerve disorder that affects the facial muscles. Symptoms such as light sensitivity and drooping (of which Mulkey joked, "I'm just another ugly coach") are expected to disappear with treatment. In the meantime Mulkey has continued to coach, including during a 59--47 win over Stanford on Sunday in the national semifinal. The Lady Bears played Notre Dame on Tuesday for the championship.

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By Oklahoma State, the school's first women's NIT championship, 75--68 over James Madison, four months after the death of head coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna in a plane crash. WNIT MVP Toni Young, a junior forward, scored 25 points to lead OSU, which played six straight home games to win the title. Before the final last Saturday, men's basketball coach Travis Ford and his wife, Heather, bought 400 tickets for the game, which they distributed free to students. Afterward, women's coach Jim Littell, a former assistant who took over following the November accident that killed Budke, Serna and program supporters Olin and Paula Branstetter, invited Budke's widow, Shelley, to help cut down the net. "Our group decided in November that we were going to pay honor," Littell said. "I don't think there's any question that these young ladies paid honor and did things right."

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At age 58 of unknown causes, ultrarunning pioneer Micah True (below), who was reported missing on March 27 after he failed to return from a planned 12-mile trek in the rugged Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. After a search by teams from across the state, True's body was discovered last Saturday beside a stream, with no obvious signs of trauma. True, also known as Caballo Blanco, was a featured character in Chris McDougall's 2009 bestseller, Born to Run, which chronicled True's running exploits among the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico's remote Copper Canyon. True remained a supporter of the Indian community and an inspiration to ultrarunners everywhere. Said McDougall of the infectious joy True brought to his running, "It was utter playfulness."

| DIED |

At age 79 of cancer, former NHL All-Star winger Ron Stewart, who scored 276 goals over 21 years while playing for the Bruins, Blues, Rangers, Canucks, Islanders and, for 13 seasons, the Leafs, with whom he won three Stanley Cups (1961--62 through '63--64). Stewart (right) was best known for an off-the-ice incident in '70 in which he and Hall of Fame goalie Terry Sawchuk, then his Rangers teammate, got into a shoving match. Sawchuk fell, injuring his gallbladder and liver, and despite three surgeries died of a blood clot a month later. (Sawchuk is said to have taken responsibility for the fight, and a grand jury found the death to be accidental.) Stewart played three more years after the incident and coached the Rangers ('75--76) and Kings ('77--78) before leaving the game.

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