Originally created 08/24/02

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Football

Former Clemson star dies in crash

Former NFL linebacker Wayne Simmons, a first-round pick in 1993 who won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, was killed in a single-car wreck Friday on Interstate 70, police said.

Witnesses said Simmons, 32, who played for Clemson from 1989 to 1992, was speeding and weaving his green Mercedes through traffic when it went off the roadway about 2:45 a.m. in the eastern suburb of Independence, police said.

The car rolled several times and landed in a ditch. The car's engine caught fire, and witnesses tried to pull Simmons out but could not undo the seat belt.

Firefighters arrived and put out the fire and pulled Simmons out. He was transported to Independence Regional Health Center and later pronounced dead. No one else was in the car. Simmons' identity was confirmed by police Sgt. John Passiglia.

An autopsy on Simmons was planned, the medical examiner's office said.

"It's such a shock," Chiefs defensive end Eric Hicks told television station KCTV. "Wayne was so energetic and tough. ... He was a very intense guy and I think one of the best linebackers in the country.

"He had a good career. It's really sad."

Simmons was a 1993 first-round pick out of Clemson who won a Super Bowl ring with the 1996 Green Bay Packers.

At Clemson, he had 19 sacks and 206 tackles, while playing in 45 games over four years. Simmons was part of Clemson's 1990 team that led the country in total defense.

Jury acquits UGA player of rape and assault

ATHENS, Ga. -A Superior Court jury acquitted a University of Georgia football player Friday in the alleged sexual assault of a female student in another athlete's dorm room.

Brandon Williams, 21, was charged with rape, aggravated assault and aggravated battery after the Jan. 12 incident.

Basketball player Steve Thomas, also accused of rape and aggravated assault, will be tried in the fall. Basketball guard Tony Cole, charged with aggravated assault, likely will be tried after Christmas.

The 19-year-old woman testified she had consensual sex with Mr. Cole, but then two other men emerged and forced themselves on her.

  • Rose Bowl MVP Andre Johnson of the defending national champion Miami Hurricanes was one of 32 wide receivers on the 2002 Biletnikoff Award watch list Friday.
  • Given to the nation's best receiver, the Biletnikoff Award will be presented at the ESPN Annual Award Show on Dec. 12.

    Others on the list included Texas' Roy Williams, Michigan State's Charles Rogers, Virginia's Billy McMullen, Oregon's Kennan Howry and Tennessee's Kelley Washington.

    LSU's Josh Reed won the award last season. Past winners include Antonio Bryant, Troy Walters, Troy Edwards, Randy Moss, Marcus Harris, Terry Glenn and Bobby Engram.

    The award, named for former Florida State and Oakland Raiders' receiver Fred Biletnikoff, is presented annually by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation.

    Boxing

    Forrest will sign autographs today

    Augusta native Vernon Forrest, who retained his WBC welterweight championship last month, will sign autographs at Just for Feet today from noon to 1 p.m.

    Forrest outpointed Shane Mosley in a unanimous decision in the fight held in Indianapolis. It was his second victory against Mosley this year.

    Just for Feet is located at 254 Robert C. Daniel Parkway in Augusta.

    Auto racing

    Lowe, Dinkins look for repeat wins

    David Lowe won the stock V-8 race and Eddie Dinkins took first place in the super stock V-8 division this past Saturday at Gordon Park Speedway.

    Racing will be held tonight at the speedway. Gates open at 5 p.m. and races start at 7:30.

    Admission is $10 for adults. The cost for children 7-12 is $5 and children under 6 are admitted free.

    For more information, call 772-8383 or 798-5557.

    Pan-Am Games

    San Antonio might get Pan-Am Games

    San Antonio set its sights on staging the Pan American Games nearly two decades ago. Today, the city finds out if the long journey ends in success.

    The 42 Western Hemisphere nations that comprise the Pan American Sports Organization have gathered in Mexico City to pick between San Antonio and Rio de Janeiro for the 2007 Games. The vote is expected to be close.

    Each city will have an hour this morning to make a final pitch. Then the 51 delegates will decide on a winner by secret ballot.

    Jose Menendez, a Texas state legislator and head of the San Antonio bid committee, said his group will concentrate on several key points. San Antonio has extensive experience hosting big-time sporting events, and the city has nearly all of the infrastructure to hold the games in place.

    "We are about 99 percent done, and they (Rio) have $90 million worth of facilities yet to build," Menendez said Friday by phone from Mexico City.