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Italian rider Marco Simoncelli has died after a horrific crash at the Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang.

 

The race was stopped on lap two when Simoncelli's bike veered across the track at turn 11 into the path of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.

 

The 24-year-old had his helmet knocked off and was hit by both other riders.

 

American rider Edwards also fell and dislocated his shoulder - while Simoncelli's fellow Italian Rossi was able to return to the pits.

 

Simoncelli lay motionless on the track after the impact, while the race was immediately red-flagged.

 

Medical director Michele Macchiagodena said Simoncelli suffered a "very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest".

 

At first officials were looking to restart the race before the extent of Simoncelli's injuries became clear.

 

The race was cancelled amid confusion in the grandstand, with fans throwing bottles to show their initial displeasure.

 

The death is the first fatality in MotoGP since Japan's Daijiro Katoh died from injuries sustained at the 2003 Japanese GP while, last year, Japan's Shoya Tomizawa died in a similar crash to Simoncelli in a Moto2 race in San Marino.

 

Simoncelli's death comes a week after British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon was killed in Las Vegas following a 15-car crash.

 

AnalysisContinue reading the main story Marco was flamboyant on and off the track. When someone dies, everyone always says they loved life. But he had a very vibrant personality. He already had a huge fanbase around the world, partly down to aggressive riding - but also because he was just a cool guy. He didn't take himself too seriously and would have been a big star for next year.

Matt Roberts

 

BBC MotoGP presenter

 

Read Steve Parrish's tribute

BBC MotoGP presenter Matt Roberts said: "Marco lost his helmet in the crash. The officials said that, when the track medics got to him, he was in cardiac arrest. They tried to resuscitate him in the ambulance and the medical centre.

 

"Both riders collided with him and the impact corresponded to him losing his helmet. The saddest thing is that Valentino [Rossi] and Marco were very close friends.

 

"Colin [Edwards] has a dislocated shoulder and is in a lot of pain. He and Valentino are absolutely devastated."

 

A MotoGP statement read: "On Sunday, 23 October, during the MotoGP race at the Sepang International Circuit, San Carlo Honda Gresini's Italian rider Marco Simoncelli suffered a serious accident wherein he sustained critical injuries.

 

"The race was stopped immediately with the red flag and Simoncelli was transported by ambulance to the circuit medical centre where the medical staff worked to resuscitate him.

 

"Despite their efforts, Marco sadly succumbed to his injuries at 4.56pm local time [0956 BST].

 

"Everybody involved in MotoGP extends its deepest condolences to Marco's family, friends and team at this tragic loss."

 

And Sepang circuit chairman Mokhzani Mahathir added: "This is a one-of-a-kind freak incident where the helmet came off and I am sure FIM [international Federation of Motorcycling] and MotoGP will be looking into this."

 

Honda rider Simoncelli entered MotoGP for the 2010 season and won his first pole position at the Catalunya race in June this year.

 

Simoncelli's first podium finish came in the Czech Republic in August when he finished third but he bettered that with a second-place finish at the Australian GP.

 

World champion Casey Stoner said: "As soon as I saw the footage it just makes you sick inside. Whenever the helmet comes off that's not a good sign."

 

British MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow tweeted: "RIP Marco Simoncelli! A great rider and all round nice guy. My thoughts are with all his family & friends. I will never forget today."

 

Australian Formula 1 driver Mark Webber tweeted: "RIP Marco. A special talent that will be missed. Thinking of your loved ones and all the MotoGP paddock."

 

Major Italian sports events on Sunday observed a minute's silence in memory of Simoncelli, who was a big fan of football club AC Milan.

 

In their Serie A fixture against Lecce, Milan wore black armbands and came back from three goals behind to win 4-3.

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  • 2 weeks later...

RIP Andy.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/andy-rooney-wry-60-minutes-commentator-dies-133038061.html

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Andy Rooney so dreaded the day he had to end his signature "60 Minutes" commentaries about life's large and small absurdities that he kept going until he was 92 years old.

 

Even then, he said he wasn't retiring. Writers never retire. But his life after the end of "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney" was short: He died Friday night, according to CBS, only a month after delivering his 1,097th and final televised commentary.

 

Rooney had gone to the hospital for an undisclosed surgery, but major complications developed and he never recovered.

 

"Andy always said he wanted to work until the day he died, and he managed to do it, save the last few weeks in the hospital," said his "60 Minutes" colleague, correspondent Steve Kroft.

 

Rooney talked on "60 Minutes" about what was in the news, and his opinions occasionally got him in trouble. But he was just as likely to discuss the old clothes in his closet, why air travel had become unpleasant and why banks needed to have important-sounding names.

 

Rooney won one of his four Emmy Awards for a piece on whether there was a real Mrs. Smith who made Mrs. Smith's Pies. As it turned out, there was no Mrs. Smith.

 

"I obviously have a knack for getting on paper what a lot of people have thought and didn't realize they thought," Rooney once said. "And they say, 'Hey, yeah!' And they like that."

 

Looking for something new to punctuate its weekly broadcast, "60 Minutes" aired its first Rooney commentary on July 2, 1978. He complained about people who keep track of how many people die in car accidents on holiday weekends. In fact, he said, the Fourth of July is "one of the safest weekends of the year to be going someplace."

 

More than three decades later, he was railing about how unpleasant air travel had become. "Let's make a statement to the airlines just to get their attention," he said. "We'll pick a week next year and we'll all agree not to go anywhere for seven days."

 

In early 2009, as he was about to turn 90, Rooney looked ahead to President Barack Obama's upcoming inauguration with a look at past inaugurations. He told viewers that Calvin Coolidge's 1925 swearing-in was the first to be broadcast on radio, adding, "That may have been the most interesting thing Coolidge ever did."

 

"Words cannot adequately express Andy's contribution to the world of journalism and the impact he made — as a colleague and a friend — upon everybody at CBS," said Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. president and CEO.

 

Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman and "60 Minutes" executive producer, said "it's hard to imagine not having Andy around. He loved his life and he lived it on his own terms. We will miss him very much."

 

For his final essay, Rooney said that he'd live a life luckier than most.

 

"I wish I could do this forever. I can't, though," he said.

 

He said he probably hadn't said anything on "60 Minutes" that most of his viewers didn't already know or hadn't thought. "That's what a writer does," he said. "A writer's job is to tell the truth."

 

True to his occasional crotchety nature, though, he complained about being famous or bothered by fans. His last wish from fans: If you see him in a restaurant, just let him eat his dinner.

 

Rooney was a freelance writer in 1949 when he encountered CBS radio star Arthur Godfrey in an elevator and — with the bluntness millions of people learned about later — told him his show could use better writing. Godfrey hired him and by 1953, when he moved to TV, Rooney was his only writer.

 

He wrote for CBS' Garry Moore during the early 1960s before settling into a partnership with Harry Reasoner at CBS News. Given a challenge to write on any topic, he wrote "An Essay on Doors" in 1964, and continued with contemplations on bridges, chairs and women.

 

"The best work I ever did," Rooney said. "But nobody knows I can do it or ever did it. Nobody knows that I'm a writer and producer. They think I'm this guy on television."

 

He became such a part of the culture that comic Joe Piscopo satirized Rooney's squeaky voice with the refrain, "Did you ever ..." Rooney never started any of his essays that way. For many years, "60 Minutes" improbably was the most popular program on television and a dose of Rooney was what people came to expect for a knowing smile on the night before they had to go back to work.

 

Rooney left CBS in 1970 when it refused to air his angry essay about the Vietnam War. He went on TV for the first time, reading the essay on PBS and winning a Writers Guild of America award for it.

 

He returned to CBS three years later as a writer and producer of specials. Notable among them was the 1975 "Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington," whose lighthearted but serious look at government won him a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting.

 

His words sometimes landed Rooney in hot water. CBS suspended him for three months in 1990 for making racist remarks in an interview, which he denied. Rooney, who was arrested in Florida while in the Army in the 1940s for refusing to leave a seat among blacks on a bus, was hurt deeply by the charge of racism.

 

Gay rights groups were mad, during the AIDS epidemic, when Rooney mentioned homosexual unions in saying "many of the ills which kill us are self-induced." Indians protested when Rooney suggested Native Americans who made money from casinos weren't doing enough to help their own people.

 

The Associated Press learned the danger of getting on Rooney's cranky side. In 1996, AP Television Writer Frazier Moore wrote a column suggesting it was time for Rooney to leave the broadcast. On Rooney's next "60 Minutes" appearance, he invited those who disagreed to make their opinions known. The AP switchboard was flooded by some 7,000 phone calls and countless postcards were sent to the AP mail room.

 

"Your piece made me mad," Rooney told Moore two years later. "One of my major shortcomings — I'm vindictive. I don't know why that is. Even in petty things in my life I tend to strike back. It's a lot more pleasurable a sensation than feeling threatened.

 

"He was one of television's few voices to strongly oppose the war in Iraq after the George W. Bush administration launched it in 2002. After the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, he said he was chastened by its quick fall but didn't regret his "60 Minutes" commentaries.

 

"I'm in a position of feeling secure enough so that I can say what I think is right and if so many people think it's wrong that I get fired, well, I've got enough to eat," Rooney said at the time.

 

Andrew Aitken Rooney was born on Jan. 14, 1919, in Albany, N.Y., and worked as a copy boy on the Albany Knickerbocker News while in high school. College at Colgate University was cut short by World War II, when Rooney worked for Stars and Stripes.

 

With another former Stars and Stripes staffer, Oram C. Hutton, Rooney wrote four books about the war. They included the 1947 book, "Their Conqueror's Peace: A Report to the American Stockholders," documenting offenses against the Germans by occupying forces.

 

Rooney and his wife, Marguerite, were married for 62 years before she died of heart failure in 2004. They had four children and lived in New York, with homes in Norwalk, Conn., and upstate New York. Daughter Emily Rooney is a former executive producer of ABC's "World News Tonight." Brian was a longtime ABC News correspondent, Ellen a photographer and Martha Fishel is chief of the public service division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

 

Services will be private, and it's anticipated CBS News will hold a public memorial later, Brian Rooney said Saturday.

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Smokin' Joe Frazier - RIP

 

He beat Muhammad Ali in the Fight of the Century, battled him nearly to the death in the Thrilla in Manila. Then Joe Frazier spent the rest of his life trying to fight his way out of Ali's shadow.

 

That was one fight Frazier could never win.

 

He was once a heavyweight champion, and a great one at that. Ali would say as much after Frazier knocked him down in the 15th round en route to becoming the first man to beat Ali at Madison Square Garden in March 1971.

 

But he bore the burden of being Ali's foil, and he paid the price. Bitter for years about the taunts his former nemesis once threw his way, Frazier only in recent times came to terms with what happened in the past and said he had forgiven Ali for everything he said.

 

Frazier, who died Monday night after a brief battle with liver cancer at the age of 67, will forever be linked to Ali. But no one in boxing would ever dream of anointing Ali as "The Greatest" unless he, too, was linked to Smokin' Joe.

 

"You can't mention Ali without mentioning Joe Frazier," said former AP boxing writer Ed Schuyler Jr. "He beat Ali, don't forget that."

 

They fought three times, twice in the heart of New York City and once in the morning in a steamy arena in the Philippines. They went 41 rounds together, with neither giving an inch and both giving it their all.

 

In their last fight in Manila in 1975, they traded punches with a fervor that seemed unimaginable among heavyweights. Frazier gave almost as good as he got for 14 rounds, then had to be held back by trainer Eddie Futch as he tried to go out for the final round, unable to see.

 

"Closest thing to dying that I know of," Ali said afterward.

 

Ali was as merciless with Frazier out of the ring as he was inside it. He called him a gorilla, and mocked him as an Uncle Tom. But he respected him as a fighter, especially after Frazier won a decision to defend his heavyweight title against the then-unbeaten Ali in a fight that was so big Frank Sinatra was shooting pictures at ringside and both fighters earned an astonishing $2.5 million.

 

The night at the Garden 40 years ago remained fresh in Frazier's mind as he talked about his life, career and relationship with Ali a few months before he died.

 

"I can't go nowhere where it's not mentioned," he told The Associated Press. "That was the greatest thing that ever happened in my life."

 

Bob Arum, who once promoted Ali, said he was saddened by Frazier's passing.

 

"He was such an inspirational guy. A decent guy. A man of his word," Arum said. "I'm torn up by Joe dying at this relatively young age. I can't say enough about Joe."

 

Though slowed in his later years and his speech slurred by the toll of punches taken in the ring, Frazier was still active on the autograph circuit in the months before he died. In September he went to Las Vegas, where he signed autographs in the lobby of the MGM Grand hotel-casino shortly before Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s fight against Victor Ortiz.

 

An old friend, Gene Kilroy, visited with him and watched Frazier work the crowd.

 

"He was so nice to everybody," Kilroy said. "He would say to each of them, 'Joe Frazier, sharp as a razor, what's your name?' "

 

Frazier was small for a heavyweight, weighing just 205 pounds when he won the title by stopping Jimmy Ellis in the fifth round of their 1970 fight at Madison Square Garden. But he fought every minute of every round going forward behind a vicious left hook, and there were few fighters who could withstand his constant pressure.

 

His reign as heavyweight champion lasted only four fights -- including the win over Ali -- before he ran into an even more fearsome slugger than himself. George Foreman responded to Frazier's constant attack by dropping him three times in the first round and three more in the second before their 1973 fight in Jamaica was waved to a close and the world had a new heavyweight champion.

 

Two fights later, he met Ali in a rematch of their first fight, only this time the outcome was different. Ali won a 12-round decision, and later that year stopped Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire.

 

There had to be a third fight, though, and what a fight it was. With Ali's heavyweight title at stake, the two met in Manila in a fight that will long be seared in boxing history.

 

Frazier went after Ali round after round, landing his left hook with regularity as he made Ali backpedal around the ring. But Ali responded with left jabs and right hands that found their mark again and again. Even the intense heat inside the arena couldn't stop the two as they fought every minute of every round with neither willing to concede the other one second of the round.

 

"They told me Joe Frazier was through," Ali told Frazier at one point during the fight.

 

"They lied," Frazier said, before hitting Ali with a left hook.

 

Finally, though, Frazier simply couldn't see and Futch would not let him go out for the 15th round. Ali won the fight while on his stool, exhausted and contemplating himself whether to go on.

 

It was one of the greatest fights ever, but it took a toll. Frazier would fight only two more times, getting knocked out in a rematch with Foreman eight months later before coming back in 1981 for an ill-advised fight with Jumbo Cummings.

 

"They should have both retired after the Manila fight," Schuyler said. "They left every bit of talent they had in the ring that day."

 

Born in Beaufort, S.C., on Jan 12, 1944, Frazier took up boxing early after watching weekly fights on the black and white television on his family's small farm. He was a top amateur for several years, and became the only American fighter to win a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo despite fighting in the final bout with an injured left thumb.

 

"Joe Frazier should be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time and a real man," Arum told the AP in a telephone interview on Monday night. "He's a guy that stood up for himself. He didn't compromise and always gave 100 percent in the ring. There was never a fight in the ring where Joe didn't give 100 percent."

 

After turning pro in 1965, Frazier quickly became known for his punching power, stopping his first 11 opponents. Within three years he was fighting world-class opposition and, in 1970, beat Ellis to win the heavyweight title that he would hold for more than two years.

 

It was his fights with Ali, though, that would define Frazier. Though Ali was gracious in defeat in the first fight, he was as vicious with his words as he was with his punches in promoting all three fights -- and he never missed a chance to get a jab in at Frazier.

 

Frazier, who in his later years would have financial trouble and end up running a gym in his adopted hometown of Philadelphia, took the jabs personally. He felt Ali made fun of him by calling him names and said things that were not true just to get under his skin. Those feelings were only magnified as Ali went from being an icon in the ring to one of the most beloved people in the world.

 

After a trembling Ali lit the Olympic torch in 1996 in Atlanta, Frazier was asked by a reporter what he thought about it.

 

"They should have thrown him in," Frazier responded.

 

He mellowed, though, in recent years, preferring to remember the good from his fights with Ali rather than the bad. Just before the 40th anniversary of his win over Ali earlier this year -- a day Frazier celebrated with parties in New York -- he said he no longer felt any bitterness toward Ali.

 

"I forgive him," Frazier said. "He's in a bad way."

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  • 4 weeks later...

Seasoned character actor Harry Morgan is dead. He was 96: http://www.aoltv.com/2011/12/07/harry-morgan-mash-dead/. He was best known as Colonel Sherman Potter on M*A*S*H, but he appeared in scores of movies and TV shows.

 

This guy was such a familiar face on the tube when I was growing up, it's almost like losing a grandfather.

Edited by cfc
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  • 2 weeks later...

^No, if they united it would be because North Korea attacked and won. There is no chance of reconciliation between those two countries. South Korea military is currently on standby, awaiting any possible repercussions from Kim Jong Il's death as his son Kim Jong Un takes control. And he's just as, if not crazier than, his father.

 

Either way, I'm most upset about this because my favorite blog won't have any new material...

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  • 5 weeks later...

Etta James ... a true music legend. Dead at 73.

 

http://music-mix.ew.com/2012/01/20/etta-james-dead-obituary/

 

Etta James, an icon of mid-century soul and R&B, has passed away in Riverside, California, after a long battle with leukemia. She was 73.

Born Jamesetta Hawkins to an unwed 14-year-old mother in Los Angeles in 1938, James began singing in church as a child, and by age twelve had moved to San Francisco, where she formed a doo-wop trio called the Creolettes. Returning to L.A. in 1954, she rechristened the group the Peaches, changed her own name to Etta James, and professionally recorded her first song,”The Wallflower”; a solo recording contract soon followed.

Her 18-year tenure at Chicago’s Chess Records — partly documented in the 2008 film Cadillac Records, in which Beyoncé famously played the singer — led to James’ most fertile period commercially, even as it coincided with her increasingly heavy use of heroin and alcohol.

It was at Chess that she released hits like “Trust In Me,” “Something’s Got a Hold On Me,” and the song that would become her signature, “At Last” (though at the time, it peaked at #47 on the mainstream pop charts).

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http://news.yahoo.com/ex-penn-state-coach-joe-paterno-dead-85-152611266--abc-news.html

 

Joe Paterno Jr., whose glittering career as Penn State's football coach was tainted by a child sex-abuse scandal, died today. He was 85.

 

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today. His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled," Paterno's family said in a statement.

 

Paterno coached the Nittany Lions for 46 years and in 2011 became the winningest coach in Division 1 football. But before the season was over, he was abruptly dismissed as the sex scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky suggested that top school officials had ignored signs of Sandusky's alleged predatory behavior.

 

Shortly after his dismissal, Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer and broke his hip.

 

In a recent interview with the Washington Post, he appeared frail, wearing a wig and speaking in a whisper. He canceled public appearances after the interview because of his failing health, according to family members.

 

For Paterno's legion of fans, who referred to the coach affectionately as "JoePa," the turbulent final months of Paterno's life were a tragic end to an outstanding coaching career that was built around his motto of "success with honor."

 

His personal life included service in the Army, an English degree from Brown University, a marriage that lasted more than half a century, and a football team's worth of children and grandchildren.

 

While at Penn State's helm, Paterno, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., led the Nittany Lions to seven undefeated seasons and two NCAA championships, had only five losing seasons, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007, and was nominated for a Presidential Medal of Freedom. The nomination was revoked, however, after the scandal broke.

 

Paterno was known for his "Grand Experiment" at the university, stressing academic success as well as athletic achievement for his players.

 

"Just winning is a silly reason to be serious about a game," Paterno wrote in his 1997 book, "Paterno: By the Book." "The purpose of college football is to serve education."

 

During his tenure, the reputation of Penn State grew from that of a small land-grant university to a nationally ranked research university. The football program ballooned in prestige, with the school's Beaver Stadium expanding six times during his tenure.

 

Paterno's football program consistently ranked among the top in the NCAA for graduation rates, as well as the top grade point averages for student athletes in Division 1 sports. The achievements helped illustrate Paterno's philosophy on collegiate sports and on life, as he said in a 1973 commencement speech to Penn State graduates, that "Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger but it won't taste good."

 

And despite offers from other universities and NFL football teams, including an ownership stake in the New England Patriots, Paterno remained at Penn State, where his base pay was only a fraction of that of other top football coaches in the country. His base pay in 2011 was a little less than $600,000. He and his wife, Sue, donated more than $4 million to the university, which named a library and a campus spirituality center for them.

 

Paterno was also involved in politics, supporting conservative candidates in Pennsylvania and befriending presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald R. Ford, who tried but failed to convince the coach to run for office.

 

Paterno spoke at the 1988 Republican convention in support of Bush.

 

Bush's son, President George W. Bush, visited Penn State's campus in 2005, noting his respect for Paterno.

 

"I tell you one thing about Joe Paterno, there's no more decent fellow on the face of the Earth," Bush said. "What a man, who sets high standards, he loves his family, he loves this university, he loves his country, and my mother and dad love him."

 

Joe Paterno Leaves Football Legacy

 

Although he was the most well-known person on Penn State's campus in State College, Paterno was also seen as a picture of humility. Students at Penn State knew that Coach Paterno lived nearby in a modest ranch home he bought for $9,000, and walked from his house to each home football game. He and his wife remained listed in the public phone book, and his children went to the town's public school.

 

At his direction, the team wore simple uniforms, donning blue jerseys without names and simple white helmets without logos, and plain high-top black shoes. The austere style reflected that of the coach, who wore to nearly every game the same thick-framed black glasses, rolled-up pant legs and white athletic socks.

 

But Paterno's reputation was called into question in November 2011 when allegations of child sex-abuse surfaced against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. A grand jury presentment detailed an incident that took place in 2002 in the Penn State football complex, in which an assistant coach allegedly saw Sandusky in a shower, naked, with a young boy, in a position that seemed sexual.

 

The assistant, Mike McQueary, testified to a Pennsylvania grand jury that he reported what he saw to Paterno, who in turn told his superiors. No one called the police.

 

Paterno was accused of doing too little to ensure the safety of children on campus, although he was not legally bound to call the police.

 

Penn State Mourns Joe Paterno's Death

 

In his last interview before his death, Paterno told the Washington Post that he wished he had done more when faced with the allegations against Sandusky.

 

"I didn't know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was," he said. "So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't work out that way."

 

Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees during the week after the scandal broke, three games before the end of the 2011 season and six weeks before his head coaching contract expired. The board said Paterno's ability to lead had been "compromised."

 

In the wake of the scandal, Pennsylvania's senators withdrew their support for his nomination for a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Paterno's name was removed from the Big Ten Conference championship trophy.

 

During his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2007, Paterno expressed joy at a career spent coaching football.

 

"How good has it been? What we share in football; there's never been a greater game. We've been involved in the greatest game, the greatest experience anybody could hope for. Great teammates. Guys you could trust. Guys you loved. Guys you would go to war with tomorrow. We're so lucky. We're so lucky," he said.

 

Paterno is survived by his wife, Suzanne Paterno, their children, Diana, Joseph Jr. "Jay", Mary Kay, David and Scott, all of whom are Penn State graduates, and 17 grandchildren.

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It's kinda sad that he died, but it's too bad that he will be known as a coach who did little to prevent a crime

 

It seems to me there is still overwhelming support for him despite the incident. If anything he'll be remembered as the coach who was brought down unfairly by the mistakes of others.

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He was an amazing coach, and he lived a long life.

 

But, he was the 'top' guy in his football program, and when a member of his staff was engaged in disgusting behavior with 'young boys' he needed to do more.

 

Sorry, but you can't turn a blind eye to what was obviously disturbing treatment to little kids in the shower Etc...

 

Justice will be done to those who were engaged in criminal behavior against those children.

 

As for the coach, he has moved on, what the afterlife offers...... only he can tell at the moment.

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