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Published: Friday, January 16, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 16, 2004 at 12:37 a.m.

Former Alabama player guilty of armed robbery

  • PANAMA CITY BEACH - A former Alabama running back will spend eight years in prison after pleading no contest to armed robbery.

    Ezzie Raulls Jr. accepted a plea agreement and will be sentenced Jan. 27.

    Raulls, 19, was arrested April 11 after he and three companions forced their way into a motel room and robbed people at gunpoint to raise money for a friend's jail bond, police said.

    Raulls, Marcus A. Bailey, Ronnell G. Johnson and Gerald Rogers took almost $1,900 from four people from Wisconsin visiting during spring break.

    The four were charged with armed robbery and armed burglary of an occupied dwelling. They were found guilty Wednesday.

    According to plea agreements, Raulls, Bailey and Johnson - all from Tuscaloosa, Ala. - will receive eight years in prison followed by five years probation. Rogers, of Suwanee, Ga., will be sentenced to seven years in prison.

    The four confessed to the robbery soon after their arrest, police said. They said they committed the robbery to pay their friend's $250 bond, which stemmed from an unrelated misdemeanor charge.

    The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Raulls did not play in 2002, but rushed for 1 yard on one carry during Alabama's spring game last March.

  • NHL: Retired defenseman Rob Ramage was charged Thursday with driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit in the crash that killed former Chicago Blackhawks player and coach Keith Magnuson.

    Ramage had already been charged with impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. His next court date was set for March 4.

    The 56-year-old Magnuson was a passenger in the car Ramage was driving Dec. 15 when their vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane and struck an SUV, which was then hit by another car, police said.

    World's No. 1 players nab Open's top seeds

  • MELBOURNE, Australia - Andy Roddick and Justine Henin-Hardenne, the world's top-ranked tennis players, earned No. 1 seedings for the Australian Open on Thursday.

    Roddick, who jumped to No. 1 after winning the U.S. Open, was a semifinalist in last year's Australian Open.

    Defending champion Andre Agassi is seeded fourth after beating No. 2 Roger Federer, the reigning Wimbledon champion, on Thursday in a warmup event.

  • STEROIDS: John McEnroe unwittingly took steroids given to him by doctors during his playing career to deal with injuries.

    McEnroe took what he thought were anti-inflammatories or painkillers - but he later learned they were steroids, his manager said.

    ''Twenty years ago, he was given medicine, drugs or whatever, by a doctor, as were many other tennis players. There was no testing. The rules were different, the knowledge was different,'' Gary Swain told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

    Brack making strides in recovery from crash

  • As what little was left of Kenny Brack's car pinwheeled down the backstretch at Texas Motor Speedway, there was only faint hope that the driver would be alive when emergency workers reached the wreckage.

    Brack became airborne at close to 220 mph and slammed into steel fencing above the wall, shredding his Team Rahal race car.

    The former Indy Racing League champion and Indy 500 winner survived the October crash in the IRL season finale, but was pulled from the smashed cockpit with fractures to his back, a thigh, his breastbone and ankles.

    Brack has been through a series of surgeries, and his indomitable spirit has helped him through a painful rehabilitation.

    Brack is now getting around with the help of crutches, and he expects those to be gone soon.

    And now he is concentrating on getting fit enough to get back in the race car, which will be driven by Buddy Rice until Brack returns.

    Indiana State to retire Bird's No. 33 jersey

  • TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Larry Bird's No. 33, already retired by the Boston Celtics, will be retired at Indiana State, where he led the Sycamores to the NCAA championship game 25 years ago.

    No one has worn that number at Indiana State since Bird left in 1979, but the university wants to make it official, athletic director Andi Myers said.

    Former player and coach Duane Klueh's No. 54 jersey also will be retired during a ceremony at halftime of Indiana State's home finale against Northern Iowa on Feb. 28.

    ''This is long overdue in both their cases,'' Myers said.

    Bird, now the Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations, was an All-American and college player of the year in 1979, when he led his team to the nation's No. 1 ranking. The Sycamores were undefeated until they lost the NCAA tournament championship game to Michigan State.

    Lewis trainer says Klitschko rematch likely

  • The trainer for Lennox Lewis believes the heavyweight champion will fight Vitali Klitschko in a rematch that could occur as early as April 24.

    Emanuel Steward said Thursday that he has told members of his training staff to be ready to get into camp should Lewis decide to fight again.

    ''He has not made a commitment but I've told everybody in our camp to be prepared for an April or May fight,'' Steward said.

    Klitschko said he's also preparing as if Lewis will fight. But he, too, has heard nothing from the champion about a rematch.

    ''Right now, everything depends on Lennox Lewis. That's why I'm waiting for confirmation from Lennox,'' Klitschko said on the phone from Germany. ''It's not just me. The broadcaster is waiting, many boxing fans are waiting.''

    The 38-year-old Lewis has been secretive about his future plans, leading to speculation that he will retire rather than take another risky bout against Klitschko, who engaged him in a bloody slugfest in their fight last June 21.

    Steward, though, told The Associated Press that he believes Lewis wants to fight Klitschko again to make a final statement before finally retiring.

    ''It's a tough way to go out with a fight like the last one,'' Steward said. ''I think he wants to get it out of his way before finishing his career.''

    Lewis was losing on all three scorecards and had taken some big punches from Klitschko when their first fight was stopped and he was declared the winner because of bloody cuts on Klitschko's face.

    Lewis was expected to fight Klitschko in the rematch on Dec. 6, but backed out, saying he was contemplating retirement and would not fight again in 2003. Klitschko met Kirk Johnson instead at Madison Square Garden, knocking him out in the second round.

    HBO, which would televise the fight, most likely on pay-per-view, has an April 24 date open. The fight could also be held in May or early June, with Las Vegas or Madison Square Garden being the likely sites.

    HBO executives declined to comment on the possible fight, saying it would be up to Lewis to make any statements.

    Lewis has fought only twice in the last 26 months, and would likely lose his WBC title if he doesn't fight by June. If that happens, Klitschko would fight Corrie Sanders for the vacant title. Sanders knocked out Klitschko's younger brother, Wladimir, last year.

    ''My next fight will be for the world championship,'' Klitschko said. ''I beat Lennox Lewis the first time and I will be ready to beat him the second time. If he doesn't want to fight me, I will fight Corrie Sanders instead.''

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