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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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New twist in Mass. drug scandal
By wire services
Published January 27, 2005
PEABODY, Mass. - A high school baseball coach has been fired after former players, including a first-round draft pick of the Florida Marlins, admitted being addicted to a painkiller.
Peabody High principal Patrick Larkin and superintendent Nadine Binkley said Ed Nizwantowski's removal was not related to drug problems at the school.
"There's no way you can blame him for that issue in the city," Larkin told the Salem (Mass.) News. "It goes a lot deeper than one school and one coach. I don't see how they're related."
Nizwantowski was not fired from his job as football coach, but Larkin said the school will soon begin accepting applications for all fall sports coaching positions, including football.
Three former Peabody athletes died of drug overdoses in the last year, according to the Essex district attorney's office, and two of Nizwantowski's former stars, Jeff Allison and Joel Levine, have admitted publicly they were addicted to the painkiller OxyContin.
Allison, Florida's top pick in the 2003 draft, also spent three days in a Lynn, Mass., hospital last July because of a near overdose of heroin.
Last month, Sports Illustrated published a story about Allison's drug problem that said Nizwantowski's son, Brad, a former hockey player at the University of Massachusetts, also was addicted to the prescription painkiller.
Larkin named one of Nizwantowski's former players, Peabody police officer Mark Bettencourt, to replace him.
Nizwantowski, 58, whose teams won over 200 games during his 17-year head coaching career, refused to comment on his dismissal, the newspaper said.
ICE SKATING: Russian pair golden again
Three months after a terrifying fall to the ice that knocked her unconscious, Tatiana Totmianina was soaring again in the same one-handed lift, part of a near-flawless performance with partner Maxim Marinin that earned them their fourth straight gold medal in pairs at the European Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy. Skating to Sheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov, the Chicago-based skaters led a Russian sweep of medals. Julia Obertas and Sergei Slavnov were second and Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov third. ... Defending champion Brian Joubert took advantage of a botched jump by world champion Evgeni Plushenko in the short program to lead the men's event at the European championships.
BOXING: Gatti goes for hyperbole
In a manner matching his aggressive style, Arturo Gatti simply presented his plan for his upcoming title bout against Jesse James Leija. "I'm coming to kill - not to win, to kill," the WBC super lightweight champion said at a news conference in New York. Saturday night's scheduled 12-round fight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City will be telecast by HBO. Gatti, 32, is 38-6 with 29 knockouts. He won the title in January 2004 when he decisioned Gianluca Branco. He kept the crown in July with a one-punch knockout of previously unbeaten Leonard Dorin. Leija, 38, is 47-6-2 with 18 knockouts.
SOCCER: N. Korea to host games
North Korea got the go-ahead to host World Cup qualifying matches, including a meeting with Japan, following a report by Asian soccer's ruling body that visited the country last week. The Koreans are scheduled to face Japan, Iran and Bahrain at home between March and June. The Asian Football Confederation sent a delegation to check facilities, including the main stadium in Pyongyang that uses an artificial surface. "The Korean Football Association is very cooperative and we are confident that they will do everything possible to ensure that all the matches hosted in Pyongyang will be successful," AFC general secretary Dato Peter Velappan said.
ENGLISH TOURNEY: Chelsea beat Manchester United 2-1 to reach the final of England's League Cup and stay in contention for an unprecedented four championships this season. It will face seven-time Cup champion Liverpool on Feb. 27 in Cardiff.
AUTOS: Honda and Toyota have given support to three other Formula One manufacturers who are threatening to stage a rival series, a week after Ferrari SpA's decision to tie itself to rights holder Bernie Ecclestone until 2012. The two plus DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz arm, Renault and Bayerische Motoren Werke agreed to a "governing principles" beyond 2007, when the Concorde Agreement that details the current rules expires. The manufacturers want a greater share of the sport's revenue.
BASEBALL: Fernando Valenzuela, eight years removed from the major leagues, gave up two runs on five hits in 51/3 innings for Mexicali in a 10-inning, 3-2 loss to host Mazatlan, which leads the best-of-seven series for the Triple-A league championship.
SWIMMING/DIVING: South Africa's Ryk Neethling broke his own short-course world record in the 100-meter medley, finishing in 52.01 seconds at a World Cup meet in Moscow.