Some of Dungy's fondest memories from college


Some of Dungy's fondest memories from college

GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) Tony Dungy won Super Bowl titles as an NFL player and coach. Still, some of his fondest memories are his college days at Minnesota.

``There is nothing in my life that I've done that's been as much fun as my junior and senior years in college. All things considered, it was a special time,'' Dungy said Friday.

``I can't even fathom not having my senior year and that experience and just finishing up with the guys that I came in with.''

At the NCAA convention, Dungy received the organization's highest award. The Roosevelt Award is presented each year to a person who used their college athletic experience to produce a distinguished career.

After playing quarterback for the Golden Gophers from 1973-76, Dungy won the Super Bowl as a cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and later as coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

The current NFL analyst for NBC broadcasts also works through his Dungy Family Foundation to help improve communities, and has written several books.

In an age when many top-notch college players leave early for the NFL draft, some go to Dungy for advice when trying to decide what to do. What he tells them is similar to what he was told by Olympic basketball player Jim Brewer after first arriving on the Minnesota campus.

``He told me something that I never forgot. He said you're going to have a great four years here, don't cheat yourself out of anything. Take advantage of everything. If you don't come away from this with a degree you will have cheated yourself,'' Dungy said.

``I tried to take that advice and take in everything, and from the classroom to the athletics to meeting people, building relationships. When I look back at it, it was the best four years you could have.''

Of course, Dungy signed with the Steelers out of college for $20,000 and ``felt I was happy. That was great.''

Now there are millions of dollars at stake.

Dungy said big dollars provide a different part of the equation and he does talk to players about the business part that is certainly a factor. He does recognize there are some risk factors, especially the possibility of injuries in football.

``But here's what I tell most of them. If you go to the NFL, you'll enjoy it and you'll make money and you'll a great career. But if you go, you may regret not playing your senior year in college,'' he said. ``If it's meant to be, you'll go and you'll have a great time in the NFL, but you will never regret coming back. You may regret going.''

Along with Dungy's award during the NCAA honors celebration, former Hampden-Sydney College running back Kirk Rohle received the NCAA's Award of Valor.

Rohle and his longtime best friend, Ben Rogers, were teammates from youth football through high school and then at the Division III college in Virginia.

In the early morning hours of Jan. 25, 2012, a house they shared with seven other guys caught fire. Once outside in nothing but boxer shorts, Rohle realized that Rogers was not there, and ran back inside to find his friend.

Following the shouts of his friend, Rogers made his way out of the house though they didn't see each other in the flames and smoke.

Rohle suffered burns over nearly half of his body before getting back out, and it wasn't until he woke up in a hospital four days later that he knew Rogers was OK. Rohle was hospitalized for about six weeks before returning to campus and graduating last summer.

``No one really wants to get awarded something that you wish something that had never happened,'' Rohle said. ``It's kind of like getting the comeback player of the year award where you have to get injured first and go through all the struggles and everything to get back. I guess what I've really learned is this award isn't really just for me.''

Rohle, whose scars are mostly covered when he's dressed, said he considers himself a representative for people who have done what he did without any recognition. He has repeatedly told the story, and he and Rogers are soon moving into a new house together.

``Every time I say it, it actually means more,'' Rohle said. ``I'm realizing now that things happen in life and you're going to have challenges. ... I'm hoping this is going to inspire other people when I say it. It doesn't really affect me mentally at all, I don't go back and have flashes or anything like that.''

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Wizards lose again, this time to Nuggets as offense falls flat

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Wizards lose again, this time to Nuggets as offense falls flat

The Washington Wizards lost to the Denver Nuggets 108-100 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Another loss: It is becoming more and more clear that the Wizards need a shot in the arm, something to change the direction of where they are currently heading.

Whether that will come in the form of All-Star point guard John Wall returning from his months-long absence, an adjustment to their lineup or strategy, or something else entirely, the losses are piling up and at a tough time in the season.

With another loss on Friday night, their seventh in their last 11 games, the Wizards are now 40-32. They have plenty of room to still clinch a playoff berth, as their magic number stands at two, but they only have 10 games left to secure their all-important playoff seed.

Both the Pacers and Cavaliers, two teams just ahead of them in the playoff race, won on Friday.

The Wizards lost their second straight game and again offense was their problem. They scored 100 points, six below their season average, and committed 17 turnovers.

Big third quarter: The Denver Nuggets have emerged as a team on the rise, a young squad with burgeoning stars that could someday soon make some noise in the Western Conference. The reason is because they are very good on offense. Defense is a much different story.

That was not the case on Friday night, as the Wizards had all sorts of trouble scoring in three of their four quarters. They managed just 43 points by halftime, the fewest the Nuggets have allowed in a first half since Jan. 27.

The Wizards, though, did get cooking in the third quarter. They erupted for 33 points in the frame while shooting 63.2 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from three. Markieff Morris, who finished with 17, had 11 points in the third quarter and Bradley Beal (24 points) hit three threes.

The Wizards also found a solution for Jamal Murray, one of the Nuggets' brightest young stars. He had 20 points at halftime, but went scoreless in nine minutes in the third quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. (15 points) was among those who gave him trouble. Murry finished with 25.

The big third quarter reflected well on the Wizards' ability to make adjustments, but their 24-point fourth quarter flipped the script again.


Didn't force mistakes: The first time these teams squared off back in October, the Wizards forced the Nuggets into 23 turnovers. This game was a very different story. 

The Nuggets didn't commit their first turnover until midway through the second quarter and had only three by halftime. They had just 10 turnovers for the game.

Denver deserves some credit for limiting their mistakes, but all of it did not reflect well on the Wizards' defense. They didn't put enough pressure on the ball and failed to disrupt passing lanes like they usually do. It was uncharacteristic, as the Wizards entered the game 10th in average turnovers forced.

Not creating mistakes allowed the Nuggets to get way to many field goal attempts. Though they shot just 43.5 percent, Denver managed 108 points. And not getting turnovers offered the Wizards few opportunities for easy transition buckets.

Turnovers were one issue with the Wizards' defense. So was defending the perimeter, as the Nuggets shot 17-for-34 (50%) from long range.


Special night: Halftime offered a memorable moment in franchise history as legendary player and broadcast Phil Chenier had his No. 45 jersey retired by the team. His longtime broadcaster and friend Steve Buckhantz hosted the ceremony with about 20 friends and family members of Chenier's seated behind him. Buckhantz had opening comments, then majority owner Ted Leonsis spoke as everyone in the crowd stood and cheered.

Then, it was Chenier's time to talk. He thanked his former teammates, members of the organization and those close to him. He kept his composure until the very end when he brought up his mother, Peggy, who could not make the event. Chenier choked up and wiped away tears as he described what she has meant to him in his life.

It was a powerful moment and a great ceremony to honor a guy who has impacted the lives of many in the D.C. area. Now, his No. 45 will hang up in the rafters forever. That banner, by the way, features a picture of a microphone and the phrase '33 years,' signifying how long he was the color analyst for Bullets and Wizards games.


Up next: The Wizards do not have a game Saturday, though they are going to practice and Wall is expected to take a big step forward in his rehab. Their next game is Sunday at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington when they host the Knicks. That will also be a special game, as the Wizards are set to honor the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship.

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.