NHL player found dead

Posted: August 16, 2011

WINNIPEG JETS center Rick Rypien was found dead in his home in Alberta yesterday, 9 months after he took a leave of absence to deal with an undisclosed personal matter.

An official with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police called Rypien's death sudden, but not suspicious. Rypien, a cousin of Super Bowl MVP quarterback Mark Rypien, was 27.

Rypien is the second active NHL player found dead this offseason. Former New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard died in May due to an accidental mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone.

The 5-11, 190-pound Rypien signed a $700,000, 1-year deal with Winnipeg last month after spending parts of six seasons with Vancouver. He had nine goals, seven assists and 226 penalty minutes in 119 career NHL games, often dropping the gloves against much larger opponents.

In other NHL news:

* Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby still has concussion-like symptoms and it's uncertain whether he will be available when training camp opens next month, the team said. Crosby hasn't played in a game since Jan. 5, missing the rest of the regular season and Pittsburgh's first-round playoff loss to Tampa Bay as he slowly recovered from a concussion.

Colleges * 

NCAA investigators visited the University of Miami campus looking into claims that more than a dozen former or current football players received gifts and services from convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro, his attorney said. Shapiro has told the NCAA he provided players with the use of a yacht and other favors, said his attorney, Maria Elena Perez. Shapiro and Perez have been talking with the NCAA about the matter for a couple of months and provided documentation, she said. University officials didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

* The Texas A & M Board of Regents has given president R. Bowen Loftin the authority to move the Aggies out of the Big 12. There has been speculation that the Aggies are looking to leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference.

* North Dakota's Board of Higher Education has voted to retire the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname by the end of the year, a move that assumes lawmakers will repeal a law requiring the school to keep the nickname. The decision follows last week's meeting with NCAA president Mark Emmert. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and legislative leaders weren't able to persuade Emmert to let UND keep the nickname without any penalty.

Sport Stops * 

The California State Athletic Commission has upheld ring officials' decision to stop boxer Christy Martin's June 4 bout with Dakota Stone after Martin suffered a broken right hand. Martin's attorney said that it amounted to sex discrimination because of a misguided notion of a greater need to protect female fighters.

Wyatt Koch blasted a three-run home run to carry Pennsylvania over New Jersey, 5-2, in Bristol, Conn., and into the Little League World Series.

* Former American 100-meter champion Michael Rodgers tested positive for a stimulant found in an energy drink and could be ineligible for the world track championships later this month.

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