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Tag: football

FBI Helps Find Tom Brady’s Stolen Jersey from Super Bowl LI

Tom Brady, via Wikipedia

Tom Brady, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has helped locate the jersey that Tom Grady was wearing during the Super Bowl LI, FOX Sports reports

The jersey, which is valued at $500,000, was in Brady’s bag in the locker room after the game. The NFL believed someone posing as a member of the international press stole the jersey.

The jersey was discovered on “foreign soil.”

Other Stories of Interest

Former ATF Director Calls New NFL Job ‘a Dream Come True’

US Attorney B. Todd Jones

Todd Jones

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former ATF Director B. Todd Jones has been tapped as special counsel for conduct for the National Football League, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. 

After overseeing investigations into mass shootings and the Boston Marathon shooting, the retired director will have a much more fun assignment.

“For a lifelong football fan, it’s a dream come true,” Jone said, quipping: “When I watch football on Sunday now, and my wife says, ‘What are you doing?’ I say I am working.”

The NFL approached Jones as the league was battling criticism for its handling of off-the-field conduct by football players.

“There was a recognition that they needed someone with the experiences I had, my familiarity with the criminal justice system, someone who had done internal investigations in the private sector, who could help expand the code of conduct, which was on paper but not reflected in how the clubs operate,” Jones said.

Jones is a big Vikings fan, but he said he’ll have to keep that in check.

FBI Plans Soften, Victim-Centric Approach to Cracking Down on Prostitution During Super Bowl

super bowl 50By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is taking a softer approach to cracking down on sex trafficking during the Super Bowl.

The Associated Press reports that agents will offer to provide women an opportunity to get out of prostitution and turn in their traffickers.

The softer approach, which focuses on the victim, will take place during the lead-up to the Super Bowl in San Francisco.

“The goal is to reach anyone who is being trafficked,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Doug Hunt, who manages the San Francisco office’s anti-trafficking efforts, which will also include sting operations the agency has used before at previous Super Bowls.

Super Bowls have traditionally attracted sex traffickers.

FBI Investigating Threat Against Ole Miss Trees, Shrubs Ahead of Rivalry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As far as threats go, this isn’t the FBI’s most dire.

The bureau launched an investigation into an anonymous letter that threatened someone would damage trees and shrubs in the Center of Ole Miss’ campus, the USA Today reports.

“What’s going to happen to y’all on the field Saturday Aint nothing compared to what’s going to happen on your beautiful campus,” the letter read. “You won’t be one of the most pretty campus’s Next year. A lot of shrubs and trees are going to die; especially in the grove. Can’t stop us.” (SIGNED) “Hail State go to hell TSUN”

Ole Miss handed over the note to the FBI’s Jackson office.

University police chief Calvin Sellers said the threat is no laughing matter.

“This longtime football rivalry has separated families and friends for generations, but while it’s spirited, our attention has been focused mostly on the football field,” Sellers said. “We encourage everyone to remember that this is a game, after all, not a time for hate. We are hopeful that passions have not escalated to the point that someone is prepared to do damage to a landmark for which all Mississippians take great pride.”

 

DEA Investigations NFL Football Teams over Allegations of Mishandling RX Drugs

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is investigating claims that NFL teams have mishandled prescription drugs.

Boston.com reports that agents showed up unannounced Sunday to examine the medical staffs of three away teams – San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks.

The extent of the investigation remains a mystery, and no arrests were made Sunday.

‘‘DEA agents are currently interviewing NFL team doctors in several locations as part of an ongoing investigation into potential violations of the (Controlled Substances Act),’’ Payne said.

The investigation involves questions about NFL teams’ compliance with federal law when it comes to controlled substances. No teams were specifically targeted.

‘‘Our teams cooperated with the DEA today and we have no information to indicate that irregularities were found,’’ NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is heading up the probe.

The investigation follows complaints from former NFL players who allege violations of federal drug laws.

 

 

Border Patrol Agent Arrested After Allegedly Beating Man with Helmet Over Cowboys Game

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent is in hot water after he was accused of beating another man in the parking lot of a bar with a motorcycle helmet because of an argument over a Dallas Cowboys game, Valley Central reports.

Hector David Arredondo, 42, was arrested on an aggravated assault charge on Nov. 2.

A patrol officer spotted the fight.

The agent has been released from jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

It’s unclear whether the agent has been suspended pending results of the investigation.

NFL Takes Risks by Hiring Former FBI Director Mueller to Investigate Ray Rice Controversy

Director Mueller testifying on the Hill/fbi file photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hiring former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to investigate the NFL’s handling of running back Ray Rice has its dangers, the New York Times reports.

The NFL, which said Mueller would be given “the full cooperation of N.F.L. personnel and access to all N.F.L. records,” chose one of the best investigators to look into the matter.

“His reputation is really on the line,” said John M. Dowd, who was hired by Major League Baseball to investigate several matters. “If it comes out too light, it won’t look good. At the end of the day, what’s most important to him is his reputation, which means more to him than money. I can’t believe he’ll want to pull his punches.”

To avoid a conflict, Mueller will report to John Mara, the owner of the New York Giants, and Art Rooney II of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are lawyers.

“Our role is not to conduct or direct the investigation but to support Mr. Mueller and assist him in gaining whatever access or resources he needs,” Mara and Rooney said in a statement. “Our sole motive here is to get the truth and then share Mr. Mueller’s findings with the public.”

Mueller’s investigation has the power to damage the league because the probe is examining the behavior of those at NFL headquarters.

“He will have a lot of power to remind people about these promises,” Bromwich said. “These investigations can be a little tricky, but in many ways they are even more difficult if they take place behind a curtain rather than in the public eye.”

 

The Annual Talk With U-M Football Team About Gambling

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

 
By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com
In 1982, legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler asked the Ann Arbor, Mich., FBI office to talk to his team about the perils of illegal sports gambling.

The senior resident agent, Tom Love, agreed to make the presentation. Love, knowing I had played college football at Nebraska (read: mostly practiced), asked me to help. We explained that sports gambling is not about who wins but about covering the point spread. That gamblers need to get inside information as an edge to better divine how a team will perform and, the Holy Grail of bookmakers, have a cooperating player or referee with the ability to control the point spread: point shaving.

Sports gambling was and is a potential threat to the integrity of sports. The huge amount of money bet illegally in the United States, estimated at more than $300 billion, is an incentive to control the outcome of a game.

When I started making presentations, Michigan’s football team was housed in a relatively small, one-story building. Michigan’s transition to the state-of-the-art facilities it has today is emblematic of the change in Division I football in the past 30 years. In those days, college teams such as Michigan might be on TV once or twice a year. Now, a dedicated fan or gambler can watch just about any game played anywhere in the country. With the increase in TV coverage, sports gambling also has increased. And with the advent of the Internet, gamblers have access to more current information and can place bets online.

The FBI recognized the need for educating players early on and developed a sports presentation program. I went through the training and attended periodic conferences with representatives from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA.

Over the years, I’ve talked to pro and college teams. (I talked to the Michigan basketball teams several times, including the “Fab Five” teams. That might have been a case of a failure to communicate.) The FBI program still exists, in theory, but priorities have changed, and it is no longer as active as it once was.

Schembechler invited us back the next year, and Love asked me to give the presentations on my own.

Little did I know that it was to be the “beginning of a beautiful friendship” between Bo and me — one that would have a substantial effect on my career.

We worked together on several FBI cases — notably the investigation of Norby Walters and Lloyd Bloom, two notorious sports agents, who bribed and signed about 20 blue-chip college football players while they were still eligible to play college ball. Walters and Bloom postdated the contracts and kept them secret, a clear violation of NCAA rules. Under those rules, once a player signs with an agent, his college eligibility ends.

Schembechler would be the “star” witness in the successful federal prosecution of Walters and Bloom. Walters had organized-crime connections, and it was believed that the ultimate goal of signing so many star athletes was to get some of the players involved in point shaving.

Schembechler also convinced me to pursue an undercover operation targeting the illegal trafficking of anabolic steroids. That operation, called Equine, was international in scope and resulted in the successful prosecution of more than 70 dealers. We also learned that a number of Major League Baseball players were using steroids. Ironically, I first warned MLB about the steroid problem in 1994 at an FBI sports presentation conference.

Although illegal sports gambling continued to be the primary topic over the years, other concerns were discussed, such as drugs, steroids, domestic violence and, more recently, the improvident use of social media.

Something I didn’t always do, but learned was important, was to ensure that the head coaches stayed during the presentations, because if the coaches didn’t think it was important to be there, the players wouldn’t, either.

Schembechler had a concept of a “Michigan Man,” a student-athlete who not only demonstrated traditional values such as integrity, honor and responsibility on the field, but lived them, as well.

After Schembechler retired in 1989, I continued to talk to the Michigan football teams. Later, I was fortunate to become friends with Lloyd Carr during his 13-year tenure as Michigan coach. Carr coached my son when he was a walk-on from 2000-03. Those presentations were special for me: I was not only an FBI agent speaking to Michigan’s football team, but a father seeing his son in a group of men representing a program that I had come to respect.

I retired in 2006, but I continue to talk to the Michigan football team and am doing so again this week. Brady Hoke, a former assistant under Carr (1995-2002), is Michigan’s coach now. Hoke has embraced the traditions of Michigan and the concept of the “Michigan Man.”

It is Michigan’s 134th football season, and it will be my 32nd year.

The topics have changed, but the message stays the same: making good choices based on good values.

I always end my talks with a quote attributed to John Wayne: “Life is tough. It’s tougher if you’re stupid.”

 

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