Athletes behaving badly

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Athletes behaving badly

Postby T-Bone » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:06 pm

Police search Vick's Virginia property
Reports: Evidence of dog-fighting discovered

By STEVE WYCHE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 04/26/07

A drug investigation involving the cousin of Michael Vick led authorities to a residence in Virginia owned by the Falcons quarterback.

Two Virginia television stations reported that animal neglect and possible illegal activity was discovered at the property. The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported that police are now investigating a possible dog fighting ring. Police and animal control officers were at the residence Wednesday and Thursday

According to a police report obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a drug investigation involving Vick's cousin Davon Boddie led authorities to the house in Smithfield, Va. The Virginian-Pilot reported that, according to court records, police found about 30 dogs, some heavily scarred, and various paraphernalia associated with dog fighting while conducting a search of the home, which Vick owns but does not live in.

Vick refused comment Thursday through a Falcons spokesman. Boddie lived with Vick in Atlanta in the summer of 2005. In an interview with the Journal-Constitution at the time, Vick said Boddie "is a good cook, like my little chef. Sometimes, we'll send him to the store; he knows what everybody likes. He does a pretty good job because I'm real big on seasoning food so it's got that flavor."

A search warrant was granted in Surry County Circuit Court after Vick's cousin was arrested April 20 with marijuana in a car he was driving but did not own and on his person. Boddie also had a 9mm hand gun in the car. Boddie was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, prompting the investigation of his residence, the property on Moonlight Road in Smithfield, Va. According to reports, while investigators were on the scene, they discovered three buildings that housed several barking dogs.

"When they had a chance to go to the site, they discovered animal neglect," Surry County Administrator Tyrone Franklin told WAVY-TV. The dogs appeared to be hungry and forgotten according to Franklin.

Franklin told television station FOX 43 that the property "does give the appearance of some activity, illegal activity."


When contacted by the Journal-Constitution on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Surry County Sheriff's Department said the deputy in charge of the case was currently at the site and could not be reached for comment.

Photographs taken Thursday of the property show several dog kennels, some with dogs still in them.

The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement from Wyane Pacelle, president and CEO: "The Humane Society of the United States has heard troubling reports for some time that Michael Vick has been involved in organized dog fighting, and we fear that this investigation may validate that very disturbing allegation."

"We have well-placed sources in the dog fighting underworld," John Goodwin, deputy manager of animal fighting issues, told the Journal-Constitution. "His involvement has been brought to our attention numerous times. We pay people for information that leads to arrests."

Goodwin said The Humane Society did not know the location of a dog fighting of Vick's until Wednesday's investigation.

According to a records search by the Journal-Constitution, Vick owns the property at 1915 Moonlight Road in Smithfield, Va.

Vick is scheduled to appear in New York on Saturday at the NFL draft. Vick, Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall, former Buffalo Bills defensive end Bruce Smith, Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will take part in a pre-NFL draft ceremony to honor the victims of the recent shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech.

The former Virginia Tech players – all NFL Pro Bowlers — Beamer and Goodell will stage a tribute before the first pick of the annual draft is made.

Goodell said Thursday that he did not seem to think there was a concern with Vick.

Vick was a no-show for a Capitol Hill breakfast Tuesday at which he was to be honored and then speak to some members of Congress about increasing funding for after-school programs. He missed a connecting flight. His mother, Brenda Boddie, accepted the award on his behalf.

"I think that reflects poorly on him," Goodell said. "I wish he would honor his commitments."

— Chris Vivlamore, Ronnie Ramos and Matt Winkeljohn contributed to this report.

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Postby chad sexington » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:07 am

Boy, for an owner who has been upfront about his players not being an embarassment to the community...he sure has given MV a lot of rope. Maybe he should've hung on to Matt Schaub for another season.
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Postby Mulligan » Thu May 03, 2007 3:13 pm

What a shock. One of the Ed Martin flunkees is probably going to jail. Good story by Dan Wetzel. I don't know if he is originally from the area, but I know he used to live here in the 1990s. I think he was on the staff of Basketball Times back then.

http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=d ... &type=lgns
Tractor Traylor derailed
By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
May 2, 2007

Dan Wetzel

DETROIT – A big woman once lived in this small house on the city's tough west side. Jessie Mae Carter – all 6-foot-3, 270 pounds of her – was best known for her oversized traits: her frame, her laugh and her talent in the kitchen that produced scents that could tempt the entire neighborhood.

"You'd walk by that house and smell it and even if you weren't hungry, you'd get hungry," said Wanda Nelson, who lived around the corner. "Oooooh, could that woman cook."

In that house, out of that kitchen, Jessie Mae raised children and grandchildren – including one who became famous.

And on every possible occasion she'd entertain her extended family too. The entire clan would pack the place for her chicken and ribs, her cakes and pies, her hugs and smiles; generations of Jessie Mae's brood – including one who became infamous.

It was there that two young cousins first talked about how they were both going to make it big, make a name for themselves, make it out of Detroit and into one of those rich suburbs to the north where the auto execs live.

One, a grandson, everyone could see coming. He was all Jessie Mae, so big (growing to 6-foot-8, 300 pounds) and so gregarious that even as Robert Traylor went on to become a star at the University of Michigan and the sixth pick in the 1998 NBA Draft he was still best known for his care-free attitude, girth and colorful nickname – "Tractor."

His cousin, Quasand Lewis, wasn't blessed with those physical gifts. At 6-foot, 205 pounds and six years older than Traylor, he was going to have to get out of Detroit another way, the hard way. But even early on at those family gatherings, relatives say, everyone saw the toughness, street smarts and determination that made big things, in a different way, possible for him, too.

So as Traylor went on to earn more than $11 million during a seven-year NBA career, moving, indeed, to the promised land of wealthy West Bloomfield, Lewis, at least monetarily, was doing him one better. He was living up to his end of those childhood dreams, arriving too amidst the cul de sacs and four-car garages of the same suburb. They were two cousins straight out of Detroit.

When Lewis was finally busted by federal authorities in 2004, he had sold an estimated $178 million in marijuana and cocaine in Metro Detroit and had associates with suspected links to nearly a dozen murders and four fire-bombed houses, according to federal prosecutors. They declared Lewis as the kingpin of a massive and ruthless organized crime ring and deemed him Michigan's biggest pot dealer, perhaps ever.

"For more than a decade (Lewis) subjected our citizens to violence, our neighborhoods to devastation," U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy said.

Lewis had even found a way to reach back into Jessie Mae's house, back to those family cookouts, even after the big woman had died, her little house was long sold and the grandson she raised herself, Robert Traylor, should have known better.

"Quasand Lewis needed to launder drug money," Murphy said. "Robert Traylor helped him launder (nearly $4 million) of it."

Which is how Lewis wound up in federal prison for the next 18 years and Traylor, just two years removed from the NBA playoffs, two years from being LeBron James' teammate, is staring down a cell himself.

*****

On March 18, 2004, the crime organization that Lewis, now 37, had built collapsed when a woman he didn't know, speaking a language he didn't understand, suffered a nervous breakdown over something she didn’t see.

Through court records, indictments, plea agreements, police reports, interviews and media accounts, Yahoo! Sports learned the story of the break up of a major crime ring that eventually dimmed even the bright lights of the NBA.

On that fateful day, two of Lewis' couriers had rented room 102 of the StudioPLUS Hotel in suburban Novi where they had brought a number of huge, overstuffed bags filled with $3.4 million in cash, some marijuana, money counting machines and a lease to a house – where police later found computer files, written documents and cell phones. The couriers routinely moved money and drugs to and from Arizona, where they bought the marijuana, as well as operations in Ohio and Oklahoma.

The woman was a girlfriend of one of the couriers. In her unstable mind, the big bags of mostly cash looked like they contained a dead body. At first sight she flipped, ran down to the front desk and began screaming "he's dead" in Spanish. The startled hotel worker called the police.

There was no body, just an incredible amount of evidence that federal authorities painstakingly used to prosecute nearly the entire group and seize some $18.4 million in cash and property. There have been over 30 convictions of dealers, couriers, smugglers and hit men.

And money launderers, of course. One of the problems with dealing $178 million in drugs is finding a way to make all the bad money look good so the Internal Revenue Service won't question the big house, the new car or the opulent lifestyle.

"Drug dealing is a cash business," said Stephen Moore public information officer for IRS Criminal Investigations department. "You want to make the illegal cash look like legitimate money, you need to somehow get that money into the system. One way of doing that is buying assets. But you can't buy it in your name, so you put it in other people's names."

Lewis used a number of people to launder money, according to court records, and eventually he approached his rich hoops-playing cousin, with an easy proposition. Lewis would buy two apartment complexes in Detroit – one just off downtown, another in the Northwest part of the city for about $3.8 million – but would put the property in Traylor's name.

"Robert Traylor, as a professional basketball player, it wouldn't be unusual for a person of that nature to purchase such assets," Moore said.

What Traylor, now 30, got out of the deal is not known. He declined an interview request through his attorney. Lewis, meanwhile, is in federal prison in Florida and unavailable.

Traylor's attorney, Steven Fishman, says that although his client has mismanaged or given away much of his NBA money, he was not paid to be part of the transaction and contends it was mostly naivete that got him in trouble.

"Rob's a basketball player not a businessman," Fishman said. "Unfortunately he got some bad advice and he took it. Rob will tell you, 'it was my kin, he asked me to do it, I didn't think about it and now I'm paying for it. '"

Traylor's other mistake, the one he pled guilty to on a plea bargain, was his decision to declare a $205,668 loss on the two apartment buildings on his 2004 income tax return. That lowered his 2004 income from the $630,617 he earned mostly from the New Orleans Hornets to $424,949. According to Ivan Glasser, a Farmington Hills, Mich. accountant, it saved Traylor an estimated $80,000 in federal and state taxes.

For that he is waiting to be sentenced to between 8 and 14 months in federal prison.

"What I can't believe is (Traylor) didn't run it by me, I could have just said, 'hey, no way,'" said Fishman, who is trying to have the prison time eliminated since Traylor is cooperating with authorities. "Rob's a good kid. He didn't even think about it. He was just doing a favor. He just thought he did his cousin a favor. They were always close.

"He's a man though. He's taking it and not blaming anyone else."

Tractor Traylor isn’t considered dangerous. Even though he awaits sentencing this summer, federal prosecutors and U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn viewed him such an unlikely flight risk that in March they allowed him to leave the country to play pro basketball in Spain. Traylor’s team, Gestiberica Vigo, had its season end with a 12-22 record last week.

*****

Back in his old neighborhood, few can believe Jessie Mae's grandson, of all people, might be headed to prison. Robert Traylor isn't a criminal, they say. If anything, he is that same laid-back, blase personality who infuriated NBA coaches as he failed to shed pounds and realize his immense potential during his unspectacular, journeyman career with Milwaukee, Cleveland, Charlotte and New Orleans.

Traylor, his wife and two children might live in West Bloomfield, but he is a constant back in his old neighborhood, where his mom continues to live. At least twice a year, he throws a big block party, complete with inflatable trampolines, kids games, barbeque and in the summer, a fireworks display. Traylor sometimes even mans the grill himself, just like grandma.

"He's just real nice," said Wanda Nelson as she swept the street outside her home. "He comes back and does a lot for the community. I knew him when he was young. He's always been smiling."

While this isn't one of Detroit's worst neighborhoods – the street is tree-lined with small single family homes – it's by no means its best, either. A number of buildings are in serious disrepair or abandoned and just four doors from Jessie Mae's old home you can buy a comparable house for just $19,900. It's been on the market since December; no takers.

“Being from the inner city, I have a lot of friends who went the wrong way and didn't do the right thing.”

You can understand why those cousins wanted out, wanted better. In a 1999 interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Traylor talked about the challenges of surviving Detroit.

"Being from the inner city, I have a lot of friends who went the wrong way and didn't do the right thing," Traylor said. "Where I grew up … it's a situation where, you've got these people over here doing whatever and what-not, selling crack or stealing cars or whatever, and you've got these people over here who are trying to do the right thing.

"You just have to distinguish between the two and make sure you don't get involved in the wrong crowd."

That Traylor didn't know Lewis was the wrong crowd is difficult to fathom. Lewis ran his operation – which, according to prosecutors, included a bloody, fiery turf war with a rival group – with an iron fist. Neither his rep nor rap sheet – which included a previous prison stint on a cocaine bust – was a secret on the streets. Two relatives of Traylor and Lewis provided background information to Yahoo! Sports on the condition of anonymity in part because they still fear Cousin Q, even with him behind bars.

"He's smart, he's tough," said Fishman of Lewis, who coincidentally he used to represent. "You can't get to that level without being tough."

So the smart, tough cousin approached the simple, perhaps sheltered one and conned him?

"Traylor was a great player from such an early age," Fishman said. "When they show talent at such a young age, they (are) so cocooned. He (was) so insulated. He doesn't know.

"(Drug dealers) need squares to launder the money. And that is what Rob is. Even though he grew up in a tough neighborhood, he's a square."

Prior to this, Traylor's biggest trouble was his part in a Michigan basketball scandal that caused the NCAA to hammer the program. Traylor admitted that as a high school and college player he and his family accepted some $160,000 in cash and gifts from local basketball junkie Ed Martin, who used to run an illegal lottery at area Ford plants.

But that was nothing compared to this, a guy who got out of the old city neighborhood only to find a criminal element followed him to his new suburban one; a guy with seemingly everything, throwing it away to face nothing but uncertainty.

A guy who steered clear of so many wrong decisions, who made his own honest living, made his own success story, only to find here comes the cousin, here comes the old irresistible temptations from the old life, from the old parties at Jessie Mae's old house, the curse of the city snatching Robert Traylor right back down, right back down and out.

Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.


I love the way the case blew open.
On that fateful day, two of Lewis' couriers had rented room 102 of the StudioPLUS Hotel in suburban Novi where they had brought a number of huge, overstuffed bags filled with $3.4 million in cash, some marijuana, money counting machines and a lease to a house – where police later found computer files, written documents and cell phones. The couriers routinely moved money and drugs to and from Arizona, where they bought the marijuana, as well as operations in Ohio and Oklahoma.

The woman was a girlfriend of one of the couriers. In her unstable mind, the big bags of mostly cash looked like they contained a dead body. At first sight she flipped, ran down to the front desk and began screaming "he's dead" in Spanish. The startled hotel worker called the police.

There was no body, just an incredible amount of evidence that federal authorities painstakingly used to prosecute nearly the entire group and seize some $18.4 million in cash and property. There have been over 30 convictions of dealers, couriers, smugglers and hit men.


Hard to buy the naivety defense. He established a pattern of behavior back in high school.
Prior to this, Traylor's biggest trouble was his part in a Michigan basketball scandal that caused the NCAA to hammer the program. Traylor admitted that as a high school and college player he and his family accepted some $160,000 in cash and gifts from local basketball junkie Ed Martin, who used to run an illegal lottery at area Ford plants.
I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was. Now, what I'm with isn't 'it,' and what's 'it' seems weird and scary.
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Postby Mulligan » Sat May 05, 2007 12:38 pm

The talking on the cell phone thing is pretty eerie. I wonder if the groupie could hear any of the crash, If not, she must have tried calling back after getting cut off. I wonder how long it took for that sinking feeling to set in that something was wrong. Bad times all around.

Police: Cardinals' Hancock was drunk at time of fatal accident

By BETSY TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer
May 5, 2007


AP - May 4, 7:51 pm EDT
More Photos
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals are hoping other players will learn from Josh Hancock's fatal mistakes.

The pitcher was drunk and talking on his cell phone at the time of his accident Sunday, and marijuana was found in the sport utility vehicle he was driving. Team officials said they will re-examine what they can do to warn players of the dangers of drinking and driving.

"I think it's probably a wakeup call to everybody," general manager Walt Jocketty said at a news conference at Busch Stadium on Friday. "The one thing they have to understand is they're not invincible. They have to conduct themselves and make better decisions. Unfortunately, Josh didn't make very good decisions that night."

Medical examiner Michael Graham said at a news conference Friday that the 29-year-old reliever was dead "within seconds" from head injuries in the crash early Sunday on Interstate 64 in St. Louis. His vehicle hit the back of a tow truck parked on the highway to assist a driver from a previous accident.

"There is nothing at all that could have been done for him," Graham said.

Hancock's blood-alcohol level was 0.157, nearly twice Missouri's legal limit of 0.08, Graham said. Marijuana was also found in the sport utility vehicle he was driving.

Police Chief Joe Mokwa said 8.55 grams of marijuana and a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana were found in the rented Ford Explorer. Toxicology tests to determine if drugs were in his system had not been completed.

Before the Cardinals' 3-2 win over the Houston Astros, the team banned alcohol in the clubhouse in what manager Tony La Russa termed a largely symbolic move. The Cardinals also were considering banning alcohol on the road.

"It's meaningful," La Russa said. "But it's not a significant factor in our clubhouse because our guys don't stay in the clubhouse to drink."

La Russa was arrested on a drunken driving charge in Jupiter, Fla., in March, when police said they found him asleep at the wheel at a traffic light. His blood alcohol level was measured at 0.093 -- Florida's legal limit is 0.08. His lawyer waived La Russa's arraignment last month and requested a trial. No trial date has been set.

An accident reconstruction team determined Hancock was traveling 68 mph in a 55 mph zone when his SUV struck the back of a flatbed tow truck stopped in a driving lane. Mokwa said there was no evidence Hancock tried to stop. He did swerve, but too late to avoid the collision.

Hancock wasn't wearing a seat belt, but Graham said the belt wouldn't have prevented his death.
Mokwa said Hancock was speaking with a female acquaintance about baseball and baseball tickets and that the conversation ended abruptly, apparently when the accident occurred. A police report said Hancock told the female acquaintance he was on his way to another bar, and that he planned to meet her there.

Hancock, a key bullpen member on the World Series championship team last season, was driving alone.

Teammate Jim Edmonds said he didn't think Hancock had a drinking problem. He believed that by eliminating one of several elements -- alcohol, talking on the cell phone, speeding, a tow truck parked in a traffic lane with somewhat limited visibility -- Hancock probably would have made it to his destination.

"I didn't think he had a problem, no," Edmonds said. "Were we concerned when he didn't show up on time for a day game? I can say I was. I wasn't concerned with him being out."

Hancock, who pitched three innings of relief in last Saturday's 8-1 loss to the Cubs, left Busch Stadium around 6:30 p.m. and arrived about two hours later at Mike Shannon's Steaks and Seafood, a restaurant and bar owned by the former Cardinals third baseman who now is a team broadcaster. Police said Hancock left Shannon's shortly after midnight.

Around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, the tow truck came upon a disabled Geo Prism and stopped behind it with its yellow lights flashing to protect the car. A few moments later, Hancock's SUV struck the rear of the tow truck. The tow truck driver, who honked his horn to try to get Hancock's attention before the crash, was not hurt.
Graham said Hancock had severe chest injuries as well as the fatal head injuries.

An estimated 500 mourners turned out Thursday for a memorial service for Hancock in Tupelo, Miss., recalling the pitcher as a goodhearted prankster. Among the mourners were Hancock's teammates, coaches, La Russa and Jocketty. Hancock was buried Wednesday in rural Itawamba County, Miss.

On Friday, the Cardinals placed a tribute to Hancock, his initials and uniform number in a black circle, in the bullpen. It's just a few feet away from an identical tribute to Darryl Kile, who died in 2002.

Hancock, who joined the team in spring training in 2006, also was honored with a short video, followed by a moment of silence. About a dozen of his teammates gathered at the warning track just below the video board in center field to watch the video.

Hancock joined the Cardinals in spring training last season after Cincinnati released him for violating a weight clause in his contract. He also pitched for Boston and Philadelphia.

Three days before the fatal wreck, Hancock was involved in another accident. The front bumper of his SUV was torn off in a crash with a tractor-trailer that happened at 5:30 a.m. on April 26 in Sauget, Ill., when Hancock moved forward into an intersection to make a left turn.

Hancock was late for the Cardinals' game the same day as that accident and was fined for his tardiness. He didn't tell La Russa about the accident, the manager said. La Russa said nothing team officials knew would have led them to think Hancock had a drinking problem.

Hancock's death marked the second time in five years the Cardinals have mourned the loss of a teammate. Kile was found dead in his Chicago hotel room in 2002. Kile, 33, died of a coronary artery blockage.

Associated Press Writer Jim Salter and AP Sports Writer R.B. Fallstrom contributed to this report.
I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was. Now, what I'm with isn't 'it,' and what's 'it' seems weird and scary.
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Postby Andy » Wed May 09, 2007 8:45 am

Former Detroit Tigers outfielder Ron LeFlore was arrested over the weekend for failing to pay child support totaling $73,000, authorities said Monday.

LeFlore, 58, finished signing autographs at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mount Clemens, then cooperated with Wayne County Sheriff's deputies as he was arrested. He had $900 with him.

On Monday, LeFlore was ordered to serve 45 days in jail or pay $12,000 toward the debt, authorities said.

The arrest is the latest setback in the former All-Star's checkered past.

LeFlore's life story was once the subject of a book and movie. He served two prison hitches in Michigan for robbery-related crimes.

Billy Martin, who managed the Tigers at the time, learned of LeFlore's prowess in prison games and urged the team to sign him. He played from 1974 through 1982.

In 1999, LeFlore participated in on-field festivities to close Tiger Stadium. Afterward, he was arrested, accused of failing to pay child support.

It was an embarrassing incident that LeFlore talked about six years later.

"I'm clear. That won't happen again, and here's the letter to prove it," LeFlore told The Detroit News in a 2005 interview. He held court papers from November 2003 that allowed him to be in Michigan. At the time, he was talking to 160 kids, ages 8-17, at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility.

"You go through life one time, that's it. So, please, give it your best shot to be successful in this world," LeFlore said at the time.

"I'm a product of this environment, their environment," LeFlore continued. "I've been in trouble. I've walked in their shoes. That's why they should listen to what I say. I used to make bad decisions and bad choices in my life."

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar ... 80359/1003
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Postby susanarosa » Wed May 09, 2007 9:07 am

Andy wrote:
Former Detroit Tigers outfielder Ron LeFlore was arrested over the weekend for failing to pay child support totaling $73,000, authorities said Monday.

LeFlore, 58, finished signing autographs at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mount Clemens, then cooperated with Wayne County Sheriff's deputies as he was arrested. He had $900 with him.

On Monday, LeFlore was ordered to serve 45 days in jail or pay $12,000 toward the debt, authorities said.

The arrest is the latest setback in the former All-Star's checkered past.

LeFlore's life story was once the subject of a book and movie. He served two prison hitches in Michigan for robbery-related crimes.

Billy Martin, who managed the Tigers at the time, learned of LeFlore's prowess in prison games and urged the team to sign him. He played from 1974 through 1982.

In 1999, LeFlore participated in on-field festivities to close Tiger Stadium. Afterward, he was arrested, accused of failing to pay child support.

It was an embarrassing incident that LeFlore talked about six years later.

"I'm clear. That won't happen again, and here's the letter to prove it," LeFlore told The Detroit News in a 2005 interview. He held court papers from November 2003 that allowed him to be in Michigan. At the time, he was talking to 160 kids, ages 8-17, at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility.

"You go through life one time, that's it. So, please, give it your best shot to be successful in this world," LeFlore said at the time.

"I'm a product of this environment, their environment," LeFlore continued. "I've been in trouble. I've walked in their shoes. That's why they should listen to what I say. I used to make bad decisions and bad choices in my life."

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar ... 80359/1003


Again?
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Postby Andy » Thu May 10, 2007 4:22 pm

ATLANTA -- Two friends of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick are convinced he has been involved in illegal dog fighting at a home he owns in Virginia, they told SI.com on Thursday, despite Vick's denials.

"He knows what's going on in that house in Virginia," one unnamed source told SI.com. "There's not a doubt in my mind he's involved with it."

A second source, quoted by SI.com, said Vick has a longtime "affinity" for the culture surrounding dog fighting.

On Wednesday, Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino said he hopes his star quarterback will soon be cleared of any connection to the dozens of dogs found last month at the home Vick owns in Smithfield, Va. Police were conducting a drug raid on the house at the time the dogs were discovered.

"I need to believe in Michael," said Petrino, the Falcons' coach since January. "Since I've been here, a couple of situations have come up and we've talked about them. His track record with me is that he's told me the truth. I'm going to believe what Michael tells me."

In interviews given during the NFL draft, Vick blamed wayward relatives for taking advantage of his generosity and insisted that he's rarely at the Virginia house -- even though he owns it.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, contacted by SI.com by phone on Wednesday, also denied insinuations that he has been soft on his $130 million quarterback.

"There's no coddling going on here,'' Blank said to SI.com. "Whatever is 180 degrees from that, that's the reality. The [financial] investment we've made in him has nothing to do with the way we treat him. When Michael has done something wrong that has been documented, we've had very direct conversations with him. We don't have all the facts of the [dog fighting] investigation, but obviously the story's not developing well. Which is one of the reasons why I asked [commissioner Roger Goodell] to speak to Michael about the situation and to be as stern as he felt he needed to be.''

Vick told ESPN during the draft that he had met face-to-face with Goodell in late April. In the interview, Vick pledged he would make changes in his life.

"I'm taking it upon myself and giving everybody my word that things are going to get changed around," Vick said in the interview. "Things are going to get turned around. I have a game plan for it. ... The company I keep, a lot of things [have] got to change, and I mean that from the heart."

Blank added that he expects Vick's behavior to change.

"I would say Michael understands, and I told him he is in essence on a short leash,'' Blank told SI.com. "His behavior cannot go on this way. His actions need to be different; his decisions need to be different. He can't just talk about changing things, he has to change his life. He says he understands, and I'm hoping he's being truthful with us and wants to deal with it. I hope he has the personal strength. I think it's very appropriate to say he's at a crossroads.''

Vick does have an apparent interest in breeding animals such as pit bulls and Rottweilers. A Web site for "Mike Vick K-9 Kennels'' includes a disclaimer that any of its dogs are used for fighting, which is banned nationwide and is a felony in 48 states, including Virginia and Georgia.

Another Web site for an Atlanta-area breeder, Sanders Kennels, shows a picture of Vick holding a Presa Canario puppy, an animal that it says is "bred for loyalty, protection, guarding, and peace of mind. They can and will protect.''

The Falcons begin a three-day minicamp this weekend, with Petrino looking to install his offense and see what several rookies might bring to his team.

"This weekend is a situation where we have to focus everything on football," Petrino said. "That's what I'm going to talk about over the weekend. We only have five practices and one mandatory minicamp. We've got to take all the distractions, put them on the shelf and concentrate on football. I'm going to instruct our team to do that."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2866012
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Postby Woodwards Friend » Thu May 10, 2007 4:27 pm

You think San Diego is thanking their lucky stars for trading the first overall pick in 2001, essentially passing on Vick for LaDainian Tomlinson?
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Postby Andy » Fri May 11, 2007 11:35 am

My god, enough already.

Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams tested positive for marijuana in April and will not be allowed to apply for reinstatement to the NFL until September, sources said.

Williams was suspended last year for violation of the substance abuse policy and was eligible to be reinstated this month, but the league's medical advisors that oversee Williams' personal rehabilitation program recently notified commissioner Roger Goodell of the positive test, sources said.

The doctors also recommended that Williams not be allowed to apply for reinstatement until September, sources said. The commissioner usually adheres to the advice of the medical advisors under the substance abuse policy.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2867381
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Postby davecat » Mon May 21, 2007 1:19 pm

Chris Henry is pretty smart:

Bengals' Henry must serve jail time after failed drug test
Updated: May 21, 2007, 1:20 PM ET

Suspended Bengals receiver Chris Henry failed a court-ordered drug test and will have to serve 88 days in jail, a prosecutor said Monday.

Kenton County (Kentucky) Attorney Garry Edmondson said that Henry tested positive for opiates and he will be forced to serve jail time.

Henry's failed drug test was first reported by WKRC-TV in Cincinnati.

Henry is on probation in Florida. It's unclear whether the reported drug test results will force him to serve jail time there.

The Bengals told ESPN's Bob Holtzman that they expect to release a statement regarding Henry later Monday.

Henry, who has been arrested four times since December 2005, has been suspended for the first eight games of next season for violating the NFL's conduct policies. He spent two days in jail last January after pleading guilty to letting minors drink alcohol in a hotel room he had rented.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2877555
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Postby Andy » Mon May 21, 2007 9:15 pm

While prosecutors and the league try to find out if Michael Vick was involved in a dog fighting ring at a Virginia house that he owned, one NFL player says it doesn't matter if he did take part.

"I don't know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it's his property, it's his dog," Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis told WAVY-TV in Virginia. "If that's what he wants to do, do it. I think people should mind their business."

When told that dog fighting is a felony, Portis replied, "It can't be too bad of a crime."

Investigators are still trying to determine if crimes were committed and if charges should be filed in the case. Authorities met to compare information on Monday.

"At this time, the investigation continues. We have no further comment," said a statement distributed to reporters after the nearly two-hour meeting said.

The meeting at the Surry County government office involved Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald Poindexter, Sheriff Harold Brown, the county's animal control officer, two special agents from the Virginia State Police and an investigator with the U.S. Department of Agriculture also representing the U.S. Office of the Inspector General.

The case began April 25 when police conducting a drug investigation raided the house Vick owned in rural Surry County and found dozens of dogs. They also found items associated with dog fighting, including a "pry bar" used to pry apart a dog's jaws.

No charges have been filed in the case, but Poindexter last week told The Associated Press as many as six to 10 people could be involved. Dog fighting is a felony in Virginia.

Vick is a registered dog breeder.

He has blamed relatives for taking advantage of his generosity and insisted he's rarely at the house -- even though he's the owner.

The Daily Press of Newport News has reported Vick has since sold the home.

Poindexter said the county seized some 60 dogs from the house. Several dogs had old scars, but mostly the dogs appeared to be well-cared for, he said.

Vick has said he let a cousin, Davon Boddie, live at the house, and that he didn't know a large kennel on the property could be involved in a criminal activity.

Vick, the former Virginia Tech quarterback, in recent weeks has been sternly warned against misbehavior by Falcons owner Arthur Blank, and summoned to New York to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Redskins offensive lineman Chris Samuels, who was promoting a Redskins fan event with Portis, doesn't want the public to rush to judgment.

"You can't accuse this man of something and go ahead and throw the book at him right now," he told WAVY-TV. "He's got to be convicted first, and I don't think that's fair."

The NFL has shown a willingness to see if animal abuse is a widespread problem in the league, but Portis doesn't think it's an issue.

"You want to hunt down Mike Vick over fighting some dogs?," Portis told the television station. "I think people should mind their own business."

Portis said that dog fighting is more common than people think.

"I know a lot of back roads that have the dog fighting if you want to go see it," he said.


http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2878099


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Postby David Hall » Mon May 21, 2007 9:20 pm

Please cross post this in the "Ghetto Values" thread.
Basically, I believe you have to do what you love, learning as a loan wolf, before you can join a pack.
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Postby David Hall » Mon May 21, 2007 10:58 pm

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti ... 1/70521056

Kircus arrested Monday on assault chargeMay 21, 2007

By ARNIE STAPLETON

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DENVER — Broncos receiver David Kircus, who resumed his NFL career last season after spending a year away from football working in a fast-food shop, was arrested Monday on suspicion of second-degree assault.

Kircus got into an argument when he was asked to leave a party early Sunday, hit a man and broke bones in his face, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department said.

Kircus was released on $6,000 bail and ordered to appear in court Tuesday, the sheriff’s department said. If convicted, he could be sentenced to two to six years in prison.

His lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, and agent, Josh Wright, did not immediately return calls.

Coach Mike Shanahan said the team will await the outcome of the legal process before making any decision on Kircus’ status.

“Obviously, if he didn’t handle himself the right way, he won’t be with us,” Shanahan said of the backup receiver and return specialist who joined the team last season.

Kircus had been invited to a party at a home in suburban Centennial, but got into a disagreement with the woman who invited him, authorities said. The man who owned the home was struck in the face after repeatedly asking Kircus to leave, the sheriff’s office said.

The man was treated at a hospital, Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. The man’s condition and the extent of his injuries were not available and his name was not released.

The 27-year-old Kircus had nine receptions for a team-leading 20.8 yards-per-catch average and returned six punts for a 14.3-yard average last season.

Kircus met with Shanahan on Monday before heading to the sheriff’s department to stand in a photo lineup while his teammates participated in passing camp. The coach said what Kircus told him was “a much different story from obviously what came across from the other person.”

“Let’s wait for the due process to take care of itself and find out if he’s guilty or not,” Shanahan said. “If he’s guilty, then he’ll pay the penalty. If not, obviously, he’ll be with us.”

Kircus is the second Broncos receiver to run afoul of the law this offseason. Brandon Marshall was arrested in March on suspicion of domestic violence.

Kircus was a Lions draft pick in 2003 (sixth round, 173 overall) who set many records at Grand Valley State, helping the Lakers win a Division II national title. In two seasons with Detroit, he caught six passes for 121 yards in 11 games before being released after the 2004 season.
Basically, I believe you have to do what you love, learning as a loan wolf, before you can join a pack.
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Postby Ansel Rakestraw » Mon May 21, 2007 11:11 pm

Boo-ya!

Told you Kircus could cut it in the NFL. If this doesn't prove he belongs there, nothing does!
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Postby chad sexington » Tue May 22, 2007 1:21 pm

Please tell me some saw the Michale Vick interview on the news today...it was classic.
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