OSHA investigates tent incident at Dallas camp Venus works hard

staff and wire reports

Government investigators began sorting through the Dallas Cowboys’ flattened practice facility in Irving, Texas, on Monday, trying to figure out why fierce winds sent the tent-like structure crashing down during a rookie workout session.

Twelve people were hurt, including Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, who was set to have surgery on his fractured cervical vertebrae Monday. The most seriously injured was Rich Behm, the team’s 33-year-old scouting assistant who was permanently paralyzed from the waist down after his spine was severed. Greg Gaither, 35, had surgery on his fractured right leg and was expected to get out of the hospital this week.

Kicker David Buehler, a fifth-round draft pick out of USC, suffered a concussion and three stitches in his kicking knee. He expects to be ready for the next Cowboys minicamp in two weeks.

“My initial thought was, how many people are dead in this?” Buehler told reporters after the incident. “I thought I was the lucky one.”


Inspectors were at the collapse site Monday, said Elizabeth Todd, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA, which investigates workplace accidents, has six months to make a report, she said.

Records obtained by the Associated Press show the city of Irving granted the Cowboys’ request to replace the fabric roof last year, five years after the structure was built.

A Tennessee man is suing Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, saying the All Pro was driving his black Ferrari like a maniac when the player sent the man’s car crashing into the concrete median of an interstate highway and leaving him disabled.

Corey Edmonson needed hip replacement surgery after the Dec. 13 accident, and attorney Jon Perry filed the lawsuit for Edmonson on Friday in Williamson County Circuit Court seeking $7.5 million in compensatory damages.

The Pittsburgh Steelers released starting inside linebacker Larry Foote, a move expected since Foote asked to be traded or cut.

Former UCLA quarterback Patrick Cowan signed a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints. Two other former Bruins, punter Aaron Perez (New England) and safety Bret Lockett (Cleveland), also signed free-agent deals.

The Baltimore Ravens have signed quarterback John Beck, who will seek to revive his NFL career after being released by the Miami Dolphins.



Hardy’s actions ruled inadvertent

Swimmer Jessica Hardy was issued a 12-month suspension by the American Arbitration Assn. for what it called “inadvertent use of a contaminated supplement.”

Hardy, of Long Beach, registered a positive drug test for the banned substance clenbuterol at the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha and went on to withdraw from the team after having qualified for it in four events.

The suspension is retroactive, and runs through July 31, after which she will be eligible to resume competition.


“We are glad this situation has been resolved,” USA Swimming said in a statement. “Jessica has served a significant penalty and has taken responsibility for her actions, which were ruled unintentional.”

-- Lisa Dillman


High school takes flu precautions


The director of public health for Ventura County has cleared Newbury Park varsity athletes to participate in sports activities this week despite a “probable” case of the swine flu, assistant principal Richard Urias said. But there will be precautions taken.

Newbury Park was closed Monday and will be shut down until next Monday at the earliest. Urias said only varsity sports teams will be allowed to play, with the exception of freshman-sophomore teams competing in the Marmonte League track and swimming finals.

Handshakes, high-fives and hugging will be banned. Hand sanitizers will be made available at events. Athletes will be required to get to events by private cars instead of buses, according to Urias.

-- Eric Sondheimer


Lauren Jackson, a two-time most valuable player in the WNBA, signed a one-year deal to remain with the Seattle Storm.

The United States got two goals from defenseman Ron Hainsey but lost to host Switzerland, 4-3, in overtime at the hockey world championships. The Americans will face Finland in the quarterfinals.

Venus Williams needed three sets to win her opening match at the Italian Open in Rome, beating Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

The Kentucky Derby’s television ratings were the highest in 17 years. NBC said Saturday’s coverage of 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird’s win drew a 10.2 overnight rating and 22 share, up 7% from last year’s 9.5/21.