And now a 9-0 count against Frank Kush, the 0-8-1 Baltimore Colts' coach: U.S. Supreme Court justices unanimous that one of his former Arizona State football players can sue for alleged violation of civil rights.
So, on goes the dispute between Kevin Rutledge and the coach he claimed consistently abused him after recruiting him to ASU in 1977, including an alleged punch in the mouth on the sideline for poor punting during a 41-7 loss to Washington Oct. 29, 1978. A state court cleared Kush and codefendants when Rutledge sued for damages, but in a federal suit the ex-player complained of a conspiracy to intimidate team members from testifying.
Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the Supreme Court, found Rutledge can sue under an 1871 law barring threats against witnesses in federal cases. Denied was the contention by attorneys for Kush and codefendants Fred Miller (Arizona State athletic director during the troubles that led to Kush's firing) and Gary Horton (of Kush's ASU coaching staff) that the act applied only if the alleged conspiracy was prompted by race or class bias.
The high court ordered the case to trial . . .
In Philadelphia, light heavyweight boxing champion Michael Spinks was fined $1,700 upon pleading guilty to carrying a firearm without a license on a public street. A gun had been found on his car floor when police stopped him Jan. 5 for allegedly running a red light. (Two days after his arrest, Spinks' common-law wife was killed in a head-on collision on the Schuylkill Expressway.)
"I'd just like to say," said Spinks after his appearance, in tuxedo, at a City Hall courtroom, "to all my fans and to all the younger kids out there that I'm not proud of this at all . . . Carrying around firearms is not something one should do" . . .
In Jackson, Miss., Vernon Perry Jr., a Houston Oilers defensive back, faces charges of cocaine possession, violating liquor and fire ordinances and resisting arrest. Officers checking on the lounge he and his sister operate, The Locker Room, early Sunday said they found about 25 people with alcoholic beverages on their tables--after legal hours. During a search of Perry, officers said, they found a small envelope of, apparently, cocaine. Out on bond are Perry, his sister, and two men charged with interfering with their arrest; one is Donald Ray Seals, who was drafted/cut by the NBA Philadelphia 76ers out of Jackson State.