Died At age 45 from rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that attacks muscle fibers, two-time super featherweight boxing champion Genaro Hernandez (above right). Raised in hardscrabble South-Central Los Angeles, where he began boxing at eight years old as a form of self-defense, Hernandez toiled for a decade as an amateur fighter before his pro debut in 1984, a knockout win in Inglewood that kicked off a 33-fight undefeated streak. Known as Chicanito (Little Mexican), Hernandez remained unbeaten until '95 when, after aggravating a nose break suffered in training, he threw in the towel against WBO lightweight champ Oscar De La Hoya. Eighteen months later Hernandez won his second super featherweight belt, then defended it three times before losing what proved to be his final pro fight, against Floyd Mayweather Jr., in October '98. Hernandez retired that December with a 38-2-1 record when a doctor discovered a blood clot in his brain.
Resigned Following allegations that he had asked a reporter to find disparaging information on his designated successor, West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart. In December the Mountaineers hired Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen, to fill the same position before replacing Stewart at the conclusion of the 2011 season. When reports surfaced in May that Holgorsen may have been involved in as many as a half-dozen alcohol-related incidents since arriving in Morgantown, Stewart and his wife, Karen, were suspected of leaking the stories. Last week Colin Dunlap, a former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter, backed up those claims, telling a Pittsburgh radio station that Stewart had asked him to dig up "dirt." After a week of investigation by the school, Stewart, who led the Mountaineers to a 9--4 record in each of his three full seasons at their helm, stepped down last Friday. Holgorsen, in turn, was moved to head coach a year early.
Retained By NBC, the rights to broadcast the Olympics through the summer of 2020. The network, which has aired every Games since 2000 and every Summer Games since 1988, won the exclusive rights over ESPN/ABC and Fox with a total bid of $4.38 billion. (Fox was next-highest at $3.4 billion.) Newly appointed NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus, who succeeded longtime network honcho Dick Ebersol last month, vowed that NBC "will make every event available on one platform or another live," in contrast to the network's much-criticized tape-delay practices at past Olympics. Lazarus also promised that the increased volume of live broadcasts would not impact the coverage's typical depth. "You still have to make people aware of the different stories behind these people," he said. "The joys, tragedies and trials of it all."
Died At age 71 after he suffered a seizure at an assisted living center in Grand Blanc, Mich., former major league outfielder Jim Northrup (above, center), whose triple off the Cardinals' Bob Gibson in Game 7 of the 1968 World Series pushed the Tigers to a 4--1 victory and the team's first title in 23 years. Northrup, who had suffered from Alzheimer's disease, played a dozen big league seasons for three teams (including Montreal and Baltimore), batting a career .267 with 153 home runs. In '68, with Detroit, he famously belted an MLB-record three grand slams in one week. (He added two more that season, including one in Game 6 of the Series.) And one year later, against the Athletics, he went a remarkable 6 for 6, the first major leaguer to do so in 44 years.
Died At age 42 following a heart attack, former Cowboys linebacker Godfrey Myles, who won three Super Bowls with Dallas in the 1990s. An All-SEC senior in '90 at Florida, where he had 142 career tackles and played alongside future NFL teammate Emmitt Smith, Myles was selected in the third round of the '91 draft and played a reserve role on the Cowboys' consecutive championship teams in his first two pro seasons, in '92 and '93. By '95 he was a starter and helped Dallas win another title in Super Bowl XXX, a game during which he tore his left ACL. That tear (following one in Super Bowl XXVII incurred while celebrating a defensive touchdown) led Myles to retire in the summer of 1997 after training camp with the Broncos.
Unretired After a nearly seven-year hiatus from competition, American wrestler Cael Sanderson, who won four NCAA championships at Iowa State and a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Sanderson, who turns 32 on June 20, announced his return to the mat last Thursday during his induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla., where he was honored for his record-setting 159--0 career as a Cyclone (from 1999 to 2002), the first perfect collegiate four-year run, and for his '04 medal win. Currently the head coach at Penn State, winners of the national title in March, Sanderson said his work with the Nittany Lions inspired the comeback, which he kicked off on Saturday with a win in the 185-pound World Team Trials in Oklahoma City. That victory qualified Sanderson for September's world championships in Istanbul.