ESPN reports that Carl Ellis (former Vikings star) has been convicted of a second-degree refusal to submit to a field sobriety test and fourth-degree assault on a police officer who tried to arrest him following a traffic violation. Sentencing will take place on Feb 23, but could be as much as a year on each count.
In a pending federal lawsuit, Ellis is counter-claiming against the officers, alleging that they violated his civil rights, used excessive force and concealed videotape evidence of his arrest.
Eller was arrested on April 9 2008, after police said they saw his Mercedes sport utility vehicle swerve and speed through a stop sign and narrowly miss a squad car. They gave chase and eventually attempted to arrest Eller in his garage, where they said he punched one officer and threw another onto the hood of his SUV. Efforts to subdue Eller with a Taser didn’t work, according to a criminal complaint.
Eller may appeal, but his attorney, Albert Goins, wouldn’t predict the next step until he sees the judge’s written ruling.
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has ruled in the case of Noffke v. Bakke, 2009 WI 10, that a cheerleader who fell onto her head when attempting a stunt with two other students is unable to recover damages against either the cheerleader (Bakke) who failed to spot her, or the coach (who failed to supervise appropriately or provide floor matting on which to perform the stunt).
The ruling is particularly important because under Wisconstin Recreational Statute 893.80, participants of contact sports receive an immunity against negligence actions, whereas other activities do not. By deciding that cheerleading did fall under the definition of a contact sport, the court effectively immunized Bakke and the school board against any charges, as their actions were careless rather than deliberate or reckless.
It was also important to note that the court viewed the cheerleading spirit rules as discretionary, rather than mandatory guidance to be adhered to slavishly.
A .pdf file of the Supreme Court decision can be downloaded here: noffke-v-bakke
Researchers from the Sports Legacy Institute for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, working in partnership with Boston University have confirmed that Tom McHale (an ex-NFL veteran) who died in 2008, aged 45, was suffering from a degenerative brain condition similar to Alzheimer’s disease which has been linked to repeated head trauma.
Although Police said that the actual cause of death was OxyContin and Cocaine (which he took after developing chronic pain in his shoulders and other joints), an autopsy showed up the damage to his brain. The condition, which is caused by repeated trauma and can be diagnosed only in dead patients or by an invasive biopsy, is characterized by tangles of nerve fibers in the brain’s cortex. The symptoms can include memory loss, depression and dementia similar to Alzheimer’s disease and are typically found in elderly people in their 80s and in boxers suffering from dementia.
The NFL is currently funding an independent medical study of retired NFL players in an effort to understand this issue.
Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3864644&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines ; http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2905142
See also: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/24/sports/football/24concussions.html?_r=4&hp&oref=login&oref=slogin ; http://www.sportslegacy.org/CSTE.asp
ESPN reports that Preston Parker (Florida State Junior Receiver) has been dismissed from the school team after being arrested for the second time in less than a year (the other charges being for weapons and drugs. In 2006, he was also arrested for the alleged theft of a DVD).
This time, Tallahassee police found 21-year-old Parker, asleep in his car with the engine running in a drive-thru McDonalds lane and arrested him for driving under the influence, once officers had banged on the window to wake him that is. Although Parker admitted to drinking and smoking earlier that evening, his blood-alcohol content was 0.054 below the Florida legal limit of 0.08. Police sources have said though that a urine sample was a “presumptive positive” for marijuana.
Parker was freed the following day from the Leon County Jail on $500 bail.
Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3879281&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines ; http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3874714&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines