It is believed he committed suicide. Very tragic and RIP.
For the third time in four years, the Denver Broncos are dealing with the death of a teammate.
Wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead in his home Monday in an apparent suicide.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said authorities were called to McKinley’s home in Centennial at 3:35 p.m. local time and found McKinley’s body in the second-floor master bedroom. He said detectives believe McKinley, 23, was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Robinson said authorities were called by a female friend of McKinley’s who discovered the body after returning from an errand with his young son. The sheriff declined to say if authorities found a suicide note.
“It’s still part of our investigation and probably nothing we’ll talk about right now,” he said.
McKinley was on injured reserve after hurting his left knee in August for the second time in eight months. He was known for his infectious smile and good sense of humor.
McKinley’s agent, Andrew Bondarowicz, said family and friends are at a loss to explain the death of a young man “who had such a love for life.”
“Everybody has their explanations, their own theories. Whether it was injuries, no one’s going to know for sure,” Bondarowicz said. “It’s a tough situation all the way around.
“Some people speculate that it was his being injured, some said it was financial challenges. … It’s a tragic situation.”
Bondarowicz said funeral arrangements were pending. He also said he’s been in touch with team and the players’ association about setting up a trust fund for McKinley’s son.
McKinley’s death is the latest in a series of tragedies for the Broncos in recent years. Cornerback Darrent Williams was slain in a drive-by shooting on New Year’s Day 2007, and three months later backup running back Damien Nash collapsed and died after a charity basketball game in St. Louis.
McKinley was a fifth-round draft choice out of South Carolina in 2009. He remains South Carolina’s all-time leading receiver with 207 catches for 2,781 yards. He returned to the school earlier this month, watching the Gamecocks beat Georgia 17-6 and visiting with his college coach, Steve Spurrier.
“Had a wonderful smile just like he always did,” Spurrier remembered.
The news of McKinley’s death spread quickly at the end of South Carolina’s practice Monday. Players who normally sprint off the field upbeat walked slowly with their heads down.
“Kenny was certainly one of my all-time favorite players. It’s hard to figure out why it happened like this,” Spurrier said.
Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said in a statement: “Kenny had a promising future on the football field, but more importantly, he was a great teammate whose smile and personality could light up the room. This is a tragic loss for our football team, and his family is in all of our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
He held the school’s career homerun mark for over three decades. Small also played very briefly in the major leagues with the Atlanta Braves. RIP.
Hank Small, whose 48 career home runs from 1972-75 stood as the USC record for more than three decades, was 56. David Small said his brother fell Tuesday night while moving into his new home in Griffin, Ga.
Hank Small lost his balance on the steps in front of the house, fell backward and struck the back of his head on the pavement, according to his brother. He lost consciousness and never regained it due to massive trauma, David said.
Small was the first true home run hitter at USC. In the nine-year period leading to Small’s first season, USC hit 42 home runs. Small hit six more than that the next four years himself.
Teammates called Small “Hams,” which was short for “Hammer,” because the 6-foot-3, 205-pound first baseman/outfielder was every bit the power hitter that Hank “The Hammer” Aaron was for the Atlanta Braves at the time.
“It was just an amazing feeling when you could look around the infield and you’ve got Hams at first,” Bass said. “We just knew nobody could ever beat us.”
Although Small was known for his prodigious home runs, he was the consummate hitter, possessing the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field.
“He attacked everybody. He was such an intimidating force at the plate,” Bass said. “He had such an aggressive style of hitting. You may get him on one pitch, but the next one he would hit the ball so hard.”
Small batted .379 as a freshman in 1972 with four home runs, then slumped to .282 as a sophomore with eight homers. Aluminum bats were used for the first time in 1974, Small’s junior season.
“People were scared of him,” Bass said. “He was strong. He was big. With aluminum bats, he didn’t have to pull everything. He could drive the ball anywhere.”
Small batted .360 his junior year with a school-record 17 home runs and was a second-team All-American. Then, as a senior, he batted .390 and broke his record with 19 home runs and earned first-team All-America honors.
His home run total as a senior stood as the USC single-season record until Joe Datin hit 23 in 1985. His 48 career home runs stood as the school record until Justin Smoak hit 62 from 2006-08.
“I don’t want to take anything away from what (Smoak’s) done,” Small said two years ago as Smoak approached his career record. “I just think college baseball is so much more hitting than it is pitching today. College now is a hitting game.”
Small’s career coincided with the rise to big-time baseball for USC under coach Bobby Richardson, who arrived for the 1970 season.
“Not only was he a tremendous ball player, but he was a tremendous individual as well,” Richardson said. “I just thought the world of him, and I’m saddened and shocked to hear not that he’s no longer with us.”
The ’74 club made USC’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament, and the following year USC advanced to the College World Series. USC lost the championship game to Texas, 5-1, with Small’s homer accounting for USC’s run.
“I feel like that team I was lucky enough to be on was, in my mind, probably the greatest team I ever saw in college,” said David Small, who was a teammate of his brother’s on the ’75 team and now works in building supply sales in the Atlanta area.
George Henry Small was born in Atlanta on July 31, 1953. June Raines recruited Small out of Atlanta to play for Richardson. Raines, who left for professional baseball, returned after Small had finished his USC career.
“They made Carolina baseball,” Raines said of Small and Bass. “They sure did put the program on the map.”
Small was selected in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Atlanta Braves. He advanced quickly through the minor-league system and batted .289 with 25 home runs and 101 RBIs for Richmond of the Class AAA International League in 1978.
He earned a late-season call-up to the major leagues and played in one game for Atlanta on Sept. 27. Small went hitless in four at-bats in his only big-league game.
« Hide it
A Gamecock player urged students onto the court after South Carolina’s upset victory on Tuesday. From AP-
South Carolina’s first victory over a No. 1 team will cost $25,000.
The Southeastern Conference fined South Carolina that amount Wednesday for violating league rules against permitting fans on the playing area following a 68-62 victory over top-ranked Kentucky on Tuesday night.
As the game neared the end, security at the Colonial Life Arena held up a yellow rope to keep the people off the court. However, South Carolina guard Devan Downey urged students to join the players in celebration as time ran out. The Gamecocks had been 0-7 in the program’s history against No. 1 teams before the Wildcat win.
The scene was so crazy, Kentucky coach John Calipari headed straight for the locker room instead of walking to South Carolina’s bench for the traditional postgame handshake.
This was considered South Carolina’s second such violation, the first coming five years ago after another win over Kentucky.
The NCAA justifies the fine by saying it was done for safety purposes. As a person who remembers the wild celebrations that took place after the playoffs and World Series victories of the NY Mets in 1969, I really think this is another instance of the nanny state run wild. South Carolina’s upset was something to celebrate.
The policy went into effect on Dec. 1, 2004, less than two weeks after a brawl involving players and fans during a game between the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills, and one day after another fight among players in a Clemson-South Carolina football game.
What happened in 2004 was outrageous but a mostly isolated instance. Angry athletes charging into the stands just doesn’t happen all that often. I can think of an incident at a NY Ranger hockey game. Anyone know other such disturbances in North American sports?
The 2008 NFL Draft also saw the same amount of under classmen. In 2009 the total was 46. From AP-
The expected heavy influx of non-seniors applying for this year’s NFL draft did not happen despite looming labor unrest in the league.
Although a record-tying 53 players declared for early entry, that number released Tuesday by the NFL was short of most projections.
“I think that the colleges have really done a good job of telling these young men how it is to their advantage to stay in school,” said NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt, who helped build the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. “I thought there would be more and I was surprised.”
Six All-Americans did apply for the draft: defensive backs Eric Berry of Tennessee and Joe Haden of Florida; defensive end Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech; tight end Aaron Hernandez of Florida; linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama; and wide receiver Golden Tate of Notre Dame.
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, also declared for April’s draft, along with Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead; Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen; Southern California running back Joe McKnight; Cal running back Jahvid Best; Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap; and Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman.
Fresno State tailback Ryan Mathews, the nation’s leading rusher, applied. So did tackles Bryan Bulaga of Iowa and Anthony Davis of Rutgers, who are projected to go high in the draft.
I remember when Herschel Walker came out of school(U of Georgia) early and all the controversy it caused. A Herschel Walker today wouldn’t risk a potential big payday in the NFL either.
What I don’t get is how some experts expected the total of non-seniors to be around 100 or a 100% increase from last year. Maybe I’ll find an article that list the college players who stuck it out. A free college education should be valued. One day your sports playing days will end and what will you do for money then? Look at Bernie Kosar who left the University of Miami early for the NFL. Right now he is bankruptcy court.
The entire list of college underclassman declaring for this year’s NFL draft is below the fold.
2010 NFL Draft early entrants
Player Position College
Kevin Basped DE Nevada
Arrelious Benn WR Illinois
Eric Berry DB Tennessee
Jahvid Best RB California
Navorro Bowman LB Penn State
Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
Dezmon Briscoe WR Kansas
Antonio Brown WR Central Michigan
Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State
Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa
Morgan Burnett DB Georgia Tech
Bruce Campbell OT Maryland
Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame
Rennie Curran LB Georgia
Anthony Davis T Rutgers
Carlos Dunlap DE Florida
Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech
Dominique Franks DB Oklahoma
Clifton Geathers DE South Carolina
Thaddeus Gibson DE Ohio State
Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma
Everson Griffen DE Southern California
Rob Gronkowski TE Arizona
Joe Haden DB Florida
Aaron Hernandez TE Florida
Kareem Jackson DB Alabama
Chad Jones DB Louisiana State
Reshad Jones DB Georgia
Linval Joseph DT East Carolina
Darius Marshall RB Marshall
Ryan Mathews RB Fresno State
Rolando McClain LB Alabama
Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma
Joe McKnight RB Southern California
Shawnbrey McNeal RB Southern Methodist
Carlton Mitchell WR South Florida
Joshua Moore DB Kansas State
Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech
Jerell Norton DB Arkansas
Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida
Maurkice Pouncey C Florida
Brian Price DT UCLA
Dennis Rogan DB Tennessee
Jevan Snead QB Mississippi
Amari Spievey DB Iowa
Golden Tate WR Notre Dame
Demaryius Thomas WR Georgia Tech
Earl Thomas DB Texas
Donovan Warren DB Michigan
Damian Williams WR Southern California
Mike Williams WR Syracuse
Jason Worilds DE Virginia Tech
Major Wright DB Florida
« Hide it
No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.
Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.
New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN
R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN
MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN
Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN
Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN
Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2
EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN
Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN
Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX
International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2
Papajohns.com- South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN
Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX
FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX
GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN
BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.
Some random notes on the above 34 games
*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.
No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL- Southern Miss vs. Troy
SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL- Boise St vs TCU
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
ROADY’S HUMANITARIAN BOWL- Maryland vs. Nevada
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL- Houston vs. Air Force
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL- Utah vs. Alabama
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
FEDEX BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME- Florida vs. Oklahoma
That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.
A few notes
*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.
It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.
All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.
With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.
Enjoy the games.
The 19-year-old has broken the law twice in the last month.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia, arrested twice in recent weeks, will not participate in the Gamecocks’ upcoming spring practice.
Garcia was arrested Saturday and accused of damaging a professor’s car with a key. Last month, the 19-year-old was arrested and charged with drunkenness and failing to stop for a police officer.
“Stephen Garcia will be suspended from all football team activities through the end of this semester,” Spurrier said in a statement Tuesday. “He will be expected to go to class and study hall but will not participate in any spring practices or team football meetings.”
Spurrier said he hoped Garcia would make “an all-out effort to get his personal life in line with our other Carolina football players and eventually reach his full potential as a student-athlete.”
He’s going to miss spring practice? That may be a reward instead of a punishment.
Note- I fixed this post from what I originally wrote. The Yahoo headline was deceptive and I fell for it. No oee to blame but myself.
Steve Spurrier, who has denied interest in but nonetheless heavily touted for the openings at Miami and Alabama, has signed a lucrative extension with South Carolina.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has almost a half-million more reasons to stay with the Gamecocks. The university’s board of trustees on Saturday approved a reworked contract that increases Spurrier’s yearly salary to $1.75 million, up from his current package of about $1.25 million. The first coach to lead South Carolina to a bowl in his first two seasons also had his contract extended through the 2012 season.
Spurrier said he hoped the new deal would end speculation he would be anywhere else than South Carolina next season and beyond. He wanted prospects to know “if you come to South Carolina, you’re going to play for coach Spurrier and his coaches.”
The agreement also increases the buyout Spurrier or the school would pay to terminate the contract from $250,000 per remaining year to $500,000.
Athletic director Eric Hyman had approached Spurrier about putting his deal more in line with other coaches in the Southeastern Conference. The two hoped to handle that in the spring, but rumors of Miami and Alabama showing interest in Spurrier sped up the process, Hyman said.
A good move by USC and one that makes sense for Spurrier at this stage. He’s built a solid program there and Alabama, especially, would be a serious rebuilding effort. He’s put the Gamecocks in a position to win the SEC. The only real draw to one of the other programs would be money, which he doesn’t need, and a somewhat easier path to another national championship.
It has been nearly twenty years since the Cincinnati Bengals were this far down in the draft. Jason Allen, the player projected here, was taken by the Dolphins at #16.
Pick: They went for another DB, Johnathan Joseph of South Carolina.
In a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing yesterday, S.C. State Senator Darrell Jackson brought up the mascot and logo of South Carolina’s athletic teams during a discussion on strengthening the state’s laws against illegal cockfighting. Jackson said the school needed to reconsider its mascot if pending legislation becomes law and asked “how can we as lawmakers and other leaders of this state justify a major institution in our state running ads and logos on billboards with a fighting gamecock with spurs on the feet?”
Jackson pointed out that he didn’t want the Gamecock dropped as the school’s mascot totally but wants the spurs removed from the chicken’s feet on the logo. Some giving levels in the Gamecock Club are Spur levels and the mascot prior to Cocky was Big Spur.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called on the school to drop the mascot completely in the past and then changed their position to the same one Jackson took yesterday (removal of the spurs.) A school spokesman say, “”We don’t glorify the cockfighting aspect.”
Cross-posted from Fanblogs.com.