ROSIE RUIZ: On April 21, 1980, this Cuban American was the first woman to cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon in a record time of 2:31:56. However, something smelled fishy. No one recalled seeing her during the race. She was not seen on video footage of the race.
And a freelance photographer claimed that she saw Ruiz riding on the subway during the New York Marathon six months earlier, a race that Ruiz used to qualify for Boston. At the Boston Marathon, some witnesses said they saw Ruiz jumping into the race for the final mile. Some experts speculate that she didn’t really mean to claim first place, but rather just wanted to cheat to finish with a respectable time and inadvertently jumped into the race in too great a position.
GEORGE STEINBRENNER: The Boss qualifies here for two incidents in a long and storied career. First, he claimed when he first bought the New York Yankees in 1973 that he would be a hands-off owner. “We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned. We’re not going to pretend we’re something we aren’t. We’ll stick to building ships.”
We all know how that turned out. Then there was the strange incident during the 1981 World Series in L.A. in which Steinbrenner claimed he got into a fight in an elevator with two drunken fans. “I clocked them. There are two guys in this town looking for their teeth and two guys who will probably sue me.” But no lawsuit occurred, and since there were no witnesses and no charges filed, no incident probably occurred, either.
LARRY BROWN: He is included here not just for one incident, but rather for his entire body of work. He didn’t get the nickname “Larry the Liar” for nothing. Brown is like a shrewd attorney. He talks around the truth without ever getting caught in an egregious falsehood. While he has one job, he flirts with another, like he did when he went from the Pacers to the Pistons.
And when he was with the Pistons and considered a job with the Cavaliers. And when he was with the Pistons and talked to the Knicks. Said Brown after the divorce from the Pistons was final: “I had every intention of coming back and coaching in Detroit, but they have every right to make decisions on what they feel is right for the franchise. I can deal with that.” Sure, Larry. We believe you. It’s no wonder Saban is now being referred to as “the Larry Brown of football.”
BUTCH DAVIS: While the head football coach at the University of Miami in January of 2001, Davis said all the right things. This: “I will have a new contract and I will be the coach of Miami next year.” And this: “Never once have I said I wanted to go to the NFL. There’s no interest at all.” And this: “I took this job to be my last job. I took this job to retire. I’m not going anywhere.”
Then Davis jumped to the NFL, taking the Cleveland Browns’ job, this after assuring recruits he was staying at Miami. Said Buck Ortega, an all-state QB at a Miami high school at the time: “I still can’t believe how many times he said ‘We.’ It was ‘We, we, we.’ Everything was ‘We.’” Much later, Tim Couch, his QB with the Browns, commented: “Butch would tell you one thing behind closed doors and then go out and not really follow through on it.”
RICK NEUHEISEL: Like Steinbrenner, he is nominated for more than one performance. First he lied to then Washington athletic director Barbara Hedges — and later admitted it — about interviewing with the San Francisco 49ers while still coaching the Washington Huskies; a reporter overheard Neuheisel discussing the interview during a phone call. The second high-profile incident hurt more, however. He was implicated in an NCAA betting pool. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad, if he hadn’t lied about it. Slippery Rick then managed to sue the NCAA and Washington for wrongful termination and received a settlement of approximately $4.5 million. He would later take a job as an assistant coach with the Baltimore Ravens. That’s no lie.
GEORGE O’LEARY: Basically, he cheated on his resume. He said he received a master’s degree and that he lettered in football for three years, which wasn’t true. If he lived and worked in Hollywood or Washington, D.C., this wouldn’t have been a problem. But his misstatements were caught in December, 2001, shortly after he was hired as the head football coach at Notre Dame.
And it wouldn’t have been a problem if he had been hired as head football coach at an SEC school. But this was Notre Dame, a Catholic university with a reputation for integrity, not to mention a fat television contract. Such deception would never do. O’Leary resigned just a few days after he was hired. Apparently O’Leary didn’t just fudge for Notre Dame, he fudged throughout his coaching career. He thus became a poster boy for serial resume tweakers everywhere.
CFT: Syracuse confirmed that former quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Don McPherson will have their respective jerseys raised to the Carrier Dome roof this year.
CFT: Senior receiver Wilson Van Hooser is transferring from Tulane to help care for his ailing mother.
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Saban hurt by colleagues' comments?
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