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BEYOND CHALK Kickin’ for Kids

Derek Kutz Kicks For The River City Rage But Also Raises Money For Cancer Research With His Foot


Hell On Earth


Vick and Pacman

v v

Rocky Top

Cal Ripken Way

Mission Statement

Welcome to Beyond Chalk, a magazine that brings you inside the lives of athletes you rarely get to see. The magazine covers positive and negative items of interest off the playing surface. That’s the difference with Beyond Chalk. It won’t cover on-field issues because you the reader can get those items anywhere. Beyond Chalk wants to provide you with information and insight on what athletes and coaches – both current and retired – are doing away from their respective sports. In this first issue, I bring you the stories of Derek Kutz and Willie Morse. Kutz is a semi-professional football player who in college started his own foundation, Touchdown-4-A-



Jason MacBain

Cure. Not even five years later the foundation has raised more than $100,000 for children’s cancer research and Kutz has used his football skills to help reach that amount. Morse was struck by lightning two summers ago and after laying lifeless for two minutes came back to life. He is currently playing basketball at Colgate University and his story is one that will make you appreciate life even more after reading it. Below are documented sources for the information I got regarding the briefs and two features, photographs and advertisements. I wrote, designed and layed all the content myself. Welcome to Beyond Chalk and I hope you enjoy it.

Bibliography Information (All sources appear in page order — clockwise, starting at top left);;;;;;;;;;;;;;; (Willie Morse Stats); (Powerball Odds); (Census Information);;;;;;;,2933,300616,00.html;;;; (Derek Kutz stats); (UIF information);;;;;;;;;; md.ripken06sep06,0,5044382,print.story;;;;; Photo/Image Credits (In page order – clockwise, starting at top left) Cover: Courtesy of Kutz family; courtesy of Kutz family;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; courtesy of Kutz family;; courtesy of Kutz family; courtesy of Kutz family;;;;;;;;;;;;; pg;;;;; Advertising Credits (In order of appearance);;;;;;;;; hytp://;;;;;

Beyond Chalk • 1

The Order 18

Derek Kutz has raised more than $100,000 for cancer research with his foundation.



4 Get some quick info on what

your favorite sports personalities have been up to off the playing surface.


10 Hell on Earth That’s what a near-death experience for Colgate University’s Willie Morse was after getting struck by lightning.

16 The stories of Michael Vick

and Adam “Pacman” Jones you haven’t heard that much about.

18 Kickin’ for Kids Derek

Kutz kicks for the River City Rage but also helps raise money for cancer research with his leg.


24 26 28 30

Donations Current Athletes Former Athletes Legal Issues

Beyond Chalk • 3


Water balloon = Arrest???

JUMPERS! Tigers first base coach Andy Van Slyke was having trouble with his subway tickets in New York City so he decided that jumping the gates would be the best solution. However, Van Slyke, and his wife who jumped with him, were spotted and fined $60. Van Slyke’s response: “They had us standing there, and people were walking by pointing at us, and yelling, ‘Jumpers! Jumpers!’ It’s great. It’s New York City. A guy walked by and said, ‘Andy, I don’t think I can get an autograph now, can I?’”

Repossessed Former NBA star Latrell Sprewell had his 70-foot yacht repossessed by the bank holding the loan on the $1.5 million vessel. According to bank officials, Sprewell failed to make the $10,322 monthly payment and didn’t maintain the necessary insurance on the Milwaukee’s Best. Well what do you expect ... Spree’s got a family to feed. How can he possibly afford to make payments for a 70-foot yacht?

University of New Hampshire officials suspended backup quarterback Henri H “ ank” Hendricks Sept. 7 after learning that he faces murder charges in California. Hendricks, 21, faces

Indiana University tight end Blake Powers was arrested after throwing a water balloon from one car into another, hitting an off-duty Indiana University police officer in the head. Powers, 22, was riding in a car that was stopped at a traffic light when he tossed the balloon through an open window of officer Paul Wampler’s vehicle.

murder, assault and battery charges after he and four other men allegedly beat professional surfer Emery Kauanui Jr. in San Diego in May. A swift reaction from UNH officials for sure.


A “Rocky” Time in Knoxville

Tennessee’s men’s basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, and its women’s basketball coach, Pat Summitt, have given a whole new meaning to “Rocky Top.” Summitt, the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history, filed for divorce from her husband of 27 years Aug. 16. Not even a month later, Pearl filed for divorce from his wife of 25 years Sept. 10. Coincidence? Well lets see, Summitt’s filing came eight days before the couple’s 27th anniversary. Pearl’s came two days before the couple’s 25 anniversary. Both cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their respective breakups. And who can forget Pearl painting his chest orange to cheer on Summitt’s Lady Vols against Duke; only to have Summitt return the favor later in the year as she donned a Tennessee cheerleader outfit and sang “Rocky Top” at halftime of the Volunteers game against Florida. So are these signs that the two might form their own companionship? As the lyrics to “Rocky Top” go: Once two strangers climbed on rocky top, Lookin for a moonshine still. Strangers ain’t come back from rocky top, Guess they never will. The only difference? These two are far from strangers.

Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy is adding children’s book author to a resume that already includes Super Bowl winning coach. Dungy plans to write an inspirational picture book called “You Can Do It” set to be published in July 2008. The book is centered around the premise of “you can do it and you will.” In the book, a young Dungy and his sisters follow their respective dreams until they come to fruition. Who says playing video games doesn’t get a per-

son far? That’s the question Penn State quarterback Anthony Morelli is asking

after he starting using EA Sports NCAA Football video

game franchise to better learn the Nittany Lions offensive playbook and how to properly

read defenses. Take it for what you will, but Morelli started using the game as a training tool

near the end of last year and the team finished

with three straight wins so he has continued using the video game franchise this season.

Briefs Home Invasion

The home of Houston Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson was broken in to and an occupant of the $775,000 home was bound and jewelry was taken. According to police, two men got into the house through an unlocked door, bound a person with duct tape and escaped with several pieces of jewelry. This isn’t the first time this fall prolific athletes have had their homes burglarized. New York Knicks forward Eddie Curry and Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker each had money and jewelry stolen from their respective homes.

Resigned Baylor assistant football coach and offensive line coach Eric Schnupp following his citation for public urination. But this wasn’t your typical case of public urination. According to reports, an employee at the tavern Scruffy Murphy’s saw Schnupp urinating on the bar, and the manager told police who then issued Schnupp a citation for disorderly conduct-reckless exposure. Baylor is the world’s largest Baptist University and the incident occurred just hours after Baylor returned to Waco after getting embarrassed at Kansas, 58-10.

You remember him as the fiery head coach of one of the best high school football programs in the country. But now most of us will remember Rush Propst as a cheater, scam artist and adulterer. Propst, the head coach at Hoover High in Alabama, is most notably remembered throughout the nation as being the figurehead of the team featured on MTV’s “TwoA-Days: Hoover High.” The show chronicled the lives of the team members on and off the field but apparently didn’t cover Propst closely enough. The ninth-year head coach announced his resignation recently following a Hoover City Board of Education investigation that revealed some inexcusable actions. The investigation uncovered a litany of wrongdoings, including: grade-changing, preferential treatment for some players and questionable finances. But perhaps the most disturbing discovery was that Propst, a married man, had an affair that resulted in a child and he was supporting that second family in another town. “I had an affair. I want that out there. I did,” Propst said in a speech to members of the school board the day before Halloween. “The affair is wrong; I don’t condone it. I made a personal decision that was wrong. And there’s a child because of it. Criticize me for having an affair, be judgmental, but I won’t let that child later read that he was a mistake, ‘cause I’m going to do the right things.” Pretty strong words from a man who has apparently done a lot of the wrong things.

And America’s Favorite Athlete Is ... 1) Tiger Woods 2) Derek Jeter

5) LeBron James

8) Peyton Manning 9) Kobe Bryant

3) Michael Jordan 6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4) Brett Favre

7) Tim Duncan

10) Tom Brady

The Harris Poll® #61, June 25, 2007

Beyond Chalk • 7


Strike Out

Shelley Duncan became a Yankees fan favorite after his call up from the minors in July because of his monstrous home runs and bone-jarring handshakes. However, one person who is not a fan - and would probably like to do some bone jarring of Duncan if he weren’t just 10 years old - is Griffin Whitman. The Red Sox fan attended his first ever Yankees-Red Sox game Sept. 14 and he probably won’t ever forget it. Whitman was originally thrilled to get an autograph from the 27year-old Duncan. That was until he read it: “Red Sox suck! Shelley Duncan.” Needless to say, Griffin wasn’t too pleased, saying, “It didn’t make me feel happy when he wrote that.” Something else that didn’t make Griffin’s night go any easier: the Yankees scored six times in the 8th inning to pull out an 8-7 win.

Greg Oden probably won’t play basketball this season, but that just leaves the 19-year-old rookie with plenty of time to play with his new Boston/Beagle dog. Oden admittedly loves the animal because all he does is cuddle, sleep and shut up. Oden just wishes he would stop eating grass. But the best part of all this, is the name of the dog: Charles Barkley McLovin. Nothing more needs to be said.

Most fans within the Nascar circle already consider Dale Earnhardt Jr. a rock star, but recently the music-loving No. 8 car driver got his own opportunity to be a rock star in the music industry. Earnhardt Jr. was featured in multi-platinum selling artist Nickelback’s music video “Rockstar.” The concept of the video features every-day people dreaming of being rock stars. People lip-sync the lyrics and are featured in their own respective environment – for example Earnhardt Jr. is featured near pumps of a vintage gas station or near wrecked, previously raced cars. Other prominent athletes featured in the film include: hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, UFC fighter Chuck Liddell and NBA star Grant Hill.




After a direct encounter with one of nature’s deadly beauties, Colgate University’s Willie Morse is making his way back in life and on the hardwood

By Jason MacBain

Everything changed for Willie Morse Aug. 5, 2005. On a dark, gloomy and storm-filled day, Willie, his father Mike, and four others were fishing for small and large mouth bass in the Kawartha Lakes Region of Canada, one hour northeast of Toronto. The region is notorious for its 250 lakes and waterways and Willie’s expedition was embarking on its third lake of the day. The six men, including two teenagers, had gone across the first lake, portaged across land with canoes, gone across a second lake, portaged across land again and were fishing on the third lake in the early afternoon when storms rolled in. Storms had been intermittent all day, but this one forced the group to get out of the water and hunker down on land while it blew over. Except one person didn’t take shelter. “There was business to be taken care of. What I was doing at the time was actually filleting a fish that we were going to be eating for dinner,” Mike said. “So I 10 • Beyond Chalk

was down at the side of the lake while everybody was up in the tents.” “I remember my dad fishing while this happened and I was like ‘you’re nuts; what are you doing?’” Willie recalled. “And he was like ‘oh we’re OK; nothing is going to happen.’” And nothing did happen. After the weather cleared, the crew went back out to the lake and continued fishing until later that evening when yet another storm forced them back to their camp to wait it out for the night. Waiting it out was seemingly all the 6-foot-2-inch guard from State College, Pa. did his freshman year at St. Bonaventure University after earning a basketball scholarship to play at the small Division I school tucked away amongst the hills of southwestern New York. The Bonnies finished their 2004-05 campaign with a 2-26 record and Willie, a former McDonald’s All American nominee, saw action in just 20 games, averaging 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds per contest.

Willie Morse Willie waited for his time to play on the court Bob Lanier once called home, but former head coach Anthony Solomon — in Willie’s eyes — never gave him an opportunity. Following the season, even before the end of the semester in early May, Willie packed his bags with the help of his father and headed back to State College. Coming out of State College High School, Willie was recruited heavily by Colgate University — an equally small Division I school as St. Bonaventure tucked away amongst the hills of central New York. Willie decided Colgate, which gets more puns about toothpaste than recognition for producing Andy Rooney, was the place he needed to be and officially transferred to the university before the 2005-06 season. Per NCAA transfer rules, he would have to sit out the ‘05-‘06 season, but the then-20 year old could have never imagined another reason why he would be sitting out. But then it hit him. Literally. A lightning bolt produced by the thunderstorm the fishing expedition was taking shelter from struck Willie, who has a fear of lightning, as he slept on a mattress inside a tent. The bolt entered through his left shoulder and exited out his right ankle. “It (the bolt) threw me like three feet in the air and I remembered that,” Willie said. “It went through me, through my dad, through our hunting buddy from Pittsburgh (Eric) and into his son who was sleeping on a mat so it didn’t get him as bad. It threw me awake and then I remember the feeling for probably like 40 seconds before I blacked out. “That was a feeling of a deep 12 • Beyond Chalk

muscle spasm; like where you’re just so tense you can’t even move. I couldn’t move any part of my body. My whole body felt like when your foot falls asleep, but instead of pins and needles it felt like knives just ramming me. It was the most intense feeling I’ve ever felt. I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed. The pain was just so intense that I was just

tent,” Mike said. “I remember going through my brain — which was kind of scrambled — thinking ‘this is an earthquake.’” Mike said another group of men, camping about 60 yards from the Morse expedition, said what they saw could only be compared with a cartoon. “Guys in the other tent thought that we were all dead because they said they saw the strike, they heard the strike and they said it was pretty ugly,” Mike said. “The way they described it was like a cartoon where you see everything light up and you can see skeletons. They thought they were going to come down and find us all just cooked.” Mike couldn’t move the left side of his body. Eric couldn’t move any body part from the waist down and his legs had turned black. But Willie was in the worst condition. His body became stiff as a board, he had a seizure, began foaming at the mouth and stopped breathing. Mike tried to resuscitate his son but couldn’t because of his own temporary paralysis. “My dad

shaking from it but I couldn’t move.” Mike didn’t know what had hit him either but assumed it was another natural phenomenon. “The funny thing about getting hit that I couldn’t tell you until it happened is that you don’t hear it and you don’t see it. All of a sudden we were just airborne inside our

thought I was dead,” Willie said. “I’m in the Kinesiology Department at Penn State so I recognize some things about the body and I knew that what I was witnessing, though I didn’t want to admit it to myself, was the signs of death,” Mike said. “Eric started talking to me about death, that he had expired right there and that was

Morse’s basketball experience at St. Bonaventure wasn’t what he expected, prompting him to transfer.

“Guys in the other tent thought that we were all dead.”

Willie Morse the most horrendous, longest, worst few minutes of my life. “The only thing we could do at that point — and I say ‘only’ kind of tongue and cheek — but we just started praying because we couldn’t do anything else … I really believe that God somehow reached down and gave life back to Willie.” After showing no signs of life for two minutes, Willie started breathing again. They called 911 using a cell phone and got in contact with the Canadian Search and Rescue Service that was initially going to send in a Chinook helicopter to get Willie. Because they were 15-20

was definitely a newsworthy item and probably going to be on the news so we didn’t want them (the three wives) finding out from a secondary source about any tragedies. So, we made one call to Eric’s wife in Pittsburgh and she notified all the other wives.” Karen, Willie’s mother and Mike’s wife, took the news reasonably well. “I’m the kind of person who waits until I really know I need to panic,” Karen said. “At first she (Eric’s wife) was uncomfortable and didn’t really know what to say and I wasn’t really sure what they had

time over the phone but it wasn’t until a little bit later that I heard all that stuff.” For not breathing for two minutes, death becomes almost inevitable, but Willie said he didn’t think too much about his life ending. “I don’t think I thought I was going to die because you just go into survival mode and you’re just thinking ‘what is it going to take for me to survive’ and ‘what do I need to do to stay alive?’” Willie said. “But in the back of your mind you do know that this is a real survival situation where it’s a possibility. I

miles from the nearest road and it was the middle of the night, rescuers urged the team to build the biggest fire it could. “It was pouring rain and everything was soaked. The only thing we could burn was our belongings so we just started to do that,” Mike said. “We burned our sleeping bags, we burned our pillows, we burned our blankets, we burned our clothing and any sticks we could throw on the fire.” But because the storm was so bad, rescuers had to take rowboats across the three lakes, get Willie and the others and then row back across the lakes. From the time Willie got hit until the time he got to the hospital, seven hours had passed. “After we contacted the search and rescue, we just started thinking about the weirdest things and all the husbands (three in total) got together and said ‘look, there’s a chance that maybe Willie and maybe me or Eric might die,’” Mike said. “This

said to her … so I just kind of felt the Holy Spirit saying ‘OK, take this in stride,’ so that’s kind of what I did. I just waited to see what other information I would get.” Once at the hospital, the doctors told Willie two things that he will always remember. “I, for some reason, had slept on the mattress of the 10-year-old kid and he was sleeping on the little foam pad in the tent where I should have been. The doctor told me that if it would have been him where the bolt had gone in (that) he would have been dead,” Willie recalled. “The second thing they said is that if I wasn’t an athlete I probably would have died too. When they initially checked me, my resting heart rate was like 29 or 30 beats a minute, so it was really low (45 below the average). They said if I hadn’t been in such good shape I wouldn’t have survived.” Karen added, “They didn’t really tell me all the worst of it at the

wouldn’t say I thought too much about if I was going to die, but I knew it was a possibility that it could happen.” Because there are so few documented cases of people being struck by lightning and surviving, Willie said the most difficult aspect of the ordeal was not knowing what his future held. “The hardest part about it was not knowing if I was ever going to be the same again, what the side effects were going to be, if I was ever going to be able to play ball again or if I was going to be able to work out without aches and pains,” Willie said. “That was the toughest part — just not knowing what was going to happen and the doctors looking at me and saying ‘Well I’m not sure what’s going to happen either.’” The chances of getting hit by lightning are less than they are of winning Powerball. Chances of winning Powerball are just below

The chances of getting hit by lightning are less than the chances of winning Powerball.

Beyond Chalk • 13

Willie Morse one in 150 million. The entire United States population is just over 300 million. Of those that get hit, one in three will live but with complications the rest of their lives. “There’s just no history of this; there’s no data on this. I mean how many Division I athletes can you name that have been A) struck by lightning, B) survived it and C) came back and continued compet- his parents consider a most gracious ing?” Mike asked. “It’s a pretty gift. “Emmett called me and said ‘lissmall list.” ten, if he never plays a minute for But it’s a list Willie is on. me, his scholarship will still be for And a list that Mike never thought four years no matter what’ and that really, really meant a lot to me,” Willie would be on. “It was literally heart-wrenching Mike said. “Here’s a guy saying if he never suits up, when I saw him try and we’re going to honor shoot a basketball a the Letter of Intent month after it (the and that was pretty strike) had happened,” amazing and he’s Mike said. “He looked held good to his like an amoeba that word. And, knock on had never had a ball in wood, Willie’s been his hands. I said to able to be a contribumyself ‘this kid is never tor.” going to play again.’” Willie, who is called The doctors told ‘Flash’ by most of his Willie that if he wanted teammates, played in to continue playing 23 games in 2006-07 basketball he could, but the onus was all on Morse says he is comfortable for the Raiders, averhim. There was no with his new team but is just aging 4.7 points and 1.3 rebounds per timetable in place for grateful to still be playing. his recovery because it differs for game. This season, he has played in each person. Willie is now generally all seven of the Raiders games and healthy but at times will get bad is averaging 5.7 points and 1.4 neck spasms near where the bolt rebounds per game. “I feel like I’m in a good place. went in. Sometimes they are so bad he can’t move his head, and he It’s a great opportunity for me here often gets some general shoulder personally and for the team,” Willie pains and ear-ringing, but those are said. “We’ve got a lot of ability and seem to be headed in the right the only real long-term effects. Despite these chronic injuries direction. I’m just glad to be alive and knowing that he may never and playing. That’s the biggest make a full recovery, Colgate head thing when you get that close to coach Emmett Davis stuck his head potentially dying; your perspective out for Willie by offering him what on things changes.”

“It was hell on earth. It really was.”

14 • Beyond Chalk

While basketball is a passion, it’s only one of Willie’s. Another is clearly the outdoors and the Environmental Geography major has an opportunity to complete a summer internship in Alaska that he plans on fulfilling in the barren lands of the 49th state. Despite everything he has been through, Willie has no plans of stopping his fishing and hunting passion. “I’ll continue to do that for the rest of my life probably,” he said. Willie said that in retrospect there isn’t a lot that him nor the others in the crew could have done differently that would have prevented the lightning strike. “It was totally random; we didn’t do anything stupid,” Willie said. “It wasn’t anything we could have really prevented and looking back on it we can’t say ‘well we should have done this or that,’ it was just a random occurrence.” A random occurrence that for Mike was just simply hell. “It was hell on earth. It really was; for that time that I thought he was dead,” Mike said. “You (wonder) how in the world doing the thing that we love the most could he die in the middle of nowhere with lightning coming through his body. It was pretty excruciatingly agonizing.” But yet in the end Willie has made the most of it. F


Most media outlets have thrived off the sagas of sus-

pended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones.

Beyond Chalk is no different, so here’s a chronological look at the sides you haven’t heard enough about. Aug. 17 — The Atlanta Humane Society reveals that it has received a plethora of Vick No.7 jerseys and has been putting them to good use … by using them to clean kennels. Oh, and they’re being used as bedding, as one dog actually is using a Vick jersey as a pillow.

Aug. 7 — Red Room Entertainment of Jacksonville, Fla. creates an opportunity to those who want to alleviate their frustration toward Vick — or at least to watch their dog do the alleviating — with the creation of the Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy. The company, which is selling the toy for $10.99, states that the toy is “so strong and flexible, it will challenge every breed — especially the pit bull.”


Sept. 10 — Jones wins the Total Nonstop Action pro wrestling tag team world championship by doing nothing but covering a wrestler that was knocked out by someone else. Jones refused to tag into the match, held at TNA’s payper-view special “No Surrender,” two times for fear that he would violate a legal agreement with the Titans that he would avoid any physical move that could leave him injured. Perhaps the Titans should have had an agreement in place that prevented Jones from injuring his reputation.

Aug. 15 — Jones decides that since he won’t be tackling any NFL players anytime soon that he’ll tackle the music industry with the announcement that he intends to launch his own Record Label, “National Street League Records.” Well at least Jones didn’t forget the NFL when he decided to name his label. The first rap duo release will be Jones and producer Spoaty combining as “Posterboyz.” The “Posterboyz” debut album is expected to launch in 2008 and that may well be before Jones plays in the NFL again.

Aug. 23 — Collector Rochelle Steffen of Cape Girardeau, Mo., places Vick trading cards on eBay. But these aren’t your average trading cards. Before placing them to be bid on, Steffen let her two dogs gnaw away at the cards leaving them in, well, pretty pathetic shape. But that hasn’t stopped bidders, as some bids reached $450 for the 22 destroyed cards. No worries on Steffen getting a profit though, as she plans to donate the winning bid money to a humane society of the bidder’s choice.

PACMAN Sept. 14 — Television writer and producer Carol Leifer pays $10,200 for what an animal rights group said were the notes from Vick’s apology for his role in dogfighting. The Humane Society of the United States sold the notes, and according to Leifer, Vick never made the most important apology — “the one to the animals themselves.”

Oct. 2 — PETA officials announce that Vick has completed an eight-hour class in “empathy and animal protection.” According to reports, Vick took a course in Norfolk, Va. Sept. 18, given materials to study with from home and then came back for the third time to take a test.

Oct. 9 — Texas Tech officials suspend a fraternity that sold T-shirts donning a generic image of Vick hanging the dog mascot of rival Texas A&M. The text “Vick ‘Em” was written on the front of the shirt, an apparent play on words of the Tech slogan “Gig ‘Em.” The back of the shirt shows an image of Vick holding a rope with a generic image of the Aggies’ Reveille at the end of the noose.

Oct. 3 — A day after the only “good” news for Vick in a long time, Atlanta Falcons officials ask Vick to return more than $16 million in bonus money. Falcons officials believe that when Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges, he violated the 10-year, $130 million contract he signed in December 2004.

Oct. 19 — Strip club manager Tommy Urbanski sues the NFL, the Tennessee Titans and Jones. Urbanski, a former professional wrestler, claimed they’re responsible for his injuries after being shot four times and left paralyzed from the waist down during a shooting at the Minxx Gentleman’s Club in Las Vegas in February. Jones and his entourage were allegedly involved in the shooting, and Urbanski is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit.

Kickin’ For Kids

Derek Kutz started Touchdown-4-A-Cure in 2003 and since then has raised more than $100,000 for children’s cancer research

By Jason MacBain

Nathan Wibbenmeyer was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 9. He was in remission for the next six years before losing his life to the disease that has affected so many and remains without a cure. Derek Kutz was in high school when he dreamed of having his own foundation. It remained just that — a dream — until Derek was in his junior year at Southeast Missouri State University and got word that Nathan had succumbed to cancer. That’s when Derek, with the incentive of his brother Jared, decided it was time for the dream to come to fruition. Derek was a kicker for St. Vincent High School in his hometown of Perryville, Mo. before he made the 40-mile drive south to assume the same position for the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks. While at SEMO, Derek continued his progress toward another lifelong goal — the National Football League. He had wanted his own foundation while a member of the NFL, but as the NFL goal 18 • Beyond Chalk

remained in limbo he decided to fulfill at least one of those dreams. “Once I got into college and starting kicking against all these other guys I realized how hard it was to get into the league (NFL),” Derek said. “Once Nathan got sick again (and died), I put two and two together and (said to myself) I may never get into the league so there’s probably not a better time to start something than right now.” So that’s exactly what the then21 year old did. Derek started Touchdown-4-A-Cure in his junior season, and since 2003 the foundation has raised more than $100,000 for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In Derek’s junior and senior seasons at SEMO, a booth was set up

at Houck Stadium where prospective donors could sign up for how they wanted to allocate their pledge for the foundation. Three options were given: 1) Flat Rate — donors give a desired amount regardless of on-field accolades. 2) Per Field Goal — donors give a dollar amount per made field goal. For example, Derek made 15 field goals in 2003. If someone pledged to give $10 per field goal, that person would donate $150. 3) Per Touchdown — donors give a dollar amount per touchdown scored by the team; a process that works just like the made field goals. “I gave $5 for every field goal kicked that year (2003) and $1 for every touchdown because, of course, I was more concerned about

Derek Kutz my brother scoring points,” Jared said. “I mean I wanted the team to win but I wanted my brother to have a good year.” Jared is six years Derek’s veteran and only following his younger brother’s graduation from SEMO in the spring of 2004 did he start to get directly involved in Touchdown4-A-Cure. While at the Cape Girardeau-based school, Derek had an athletic department staff behind him so the need for an assistant wasn’t necessary. But Jared, a former political consultant for a United States congressman in Kansas City, is far from just an assistant for Touchdown-4-A-Cure. “Derek is the face (of the foundation) and we share ideas and we work collaboratively together, but I do more of the legwork,” Jared said. “If we’re sending out a letter, I write it; getting everything prepared for a golf tournament (I do it); we get help from other folks like my father and mother. When I have ideas I never move forward without getting Derek’s input. But he is definitely the face of the organization because Touchdown-4-A-Cure was his idea.” An idea that was realized this past summer was a four-man golf tournament for Touchdown-4-ACure at Zell Country Club in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. Jared and Derek spent months preparing for the event, entitled ‘Touchdown-4-ACure — Kickin’ for the Kids of St. Jude,’ but because the scramble was an inaugural event, Derek didn’t try to publicize it that much. “I kind of wanted to keep it under the radar because I didn’t want to tell people I had some big thing going and then maybe the golf tournament would be a bust,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure it

would be successful. Like this year we advertised it a little bit but next year it’s going to get crazy with advertisements and getting sponsors. I just wanted to keep it under the radar to make sure it went over well.” For a low-key event, the tournament still raised around $10,000. Jared and Derek viewed that as a tremendous success and plan to host the event for years to come. The brothers also host an annual dance every fall to raise money for Touchdown-4-A-Cure. Derek’s dream of playing in the NFL is still in waning, but he is currently kicking for the River City Rage of the United Indoor Football League — a semi-professional indoor football organization. Jim Cox, the Rage former head coach, asked Derek if he was interested in kicking for the team, based in St. Charles, Mo. — a suburb of St. Louis. “He (Cox) called me early last year and asked if I was still interested (in playing) because I’m still interested in pursuing the NFL,” Derek said. Last year, the team’s first in the UIF, the Rage made the playoffs and Derek recorded 25 field goals — two game winners — 49 extra points and 124 points, fourth-best in the league. While his accolades on the field speak for themselves, Derek was honored for his philanthropic work off the turf this summer when UIF officials named him the league’s Man of the Year. “I didn’t know how big of a deal it really was so I didn’t get real excited about it at first. Then Aaron (McCreight), Director of Corporate Sponsorships and Media Relations for the Rage, explained to me that each team nominates one guy and

Kutz warming up before a game during his days with the Redhawks of Southeast Missouri State University.

they pick just one guy out of the whole league,” Derek said. “After he told me that, and knowing that last year they had co-winners, this year was the first time they gave it to a single guy so I was pretty excited about it.” The UIF consists of 11 teams ranging from West Virginia to Montana and on each club there are approximately 30 players — roughly 330 in the entire league. McCreight is in a unique position where he is afforded the opportunity to know the type of person Derek is on the field and in front of the media, as well as the person he is away from the gridiron. “There’s really two sides to Derek. There’s the one that’s on the field that is confident/borderline cocky; very sure of himself — and I guess as a kicker you have to be because if there’s any modicum of doubt in your mind, as a kicker, that’s not a good thing,” McCreight said. “Off the field, one-on-one, Beyond Chalk • 19

Derek Kutz he’s down to earth … very personable; thinks about other people more than you would think if all you saw was him on the field.” For the ever-opportunistic Kutz brothers, they are looking for a way to further their philanthropic mission for Touchdown4-A-Cure through the Rage and the surrounding community. “My advise to him (Derek) was to play with the Rage for a year and then approach them and see if they would be interested in doing that (donations for kicking) … to hopefully get the team to incorporate this with their local philanthropy they do in St. Louis,” Jared said. “We’re also looking at, for next year’s high school football season, to getting a couple of the regional high school football teams to adopt the same program as he did with Southeast Missouri State where it’s a pledge program.” Derek heeded his brother’s advice because McCreight recalls a time on the team bus last season when he saw Derek flipping through a three-ring binder full of information regarding the golf tournament and asked him what he was doing. “I was disappointed that he didn’t say anything to us sooner about it (Touchdown-4-A-Cure). The only reason I found out about it was

Derek hugging his cousin Devon.

when I started traveling with the team on the bus about half way through the year,” McCreight said. “I saw him working on something and that’s when we started talking about it. I had no idea; nobody (associated with the team) knew that he did it.” McCreight said he has been in contact with Derek about incorporating Touchdown-4-A-Cure with the Rage outreach programs in some capacity. And it doesn’t seem to matter to Derek or the Rage how it happens, as McCreight added, “He (Derek) just wants to help and that’s the best part.” While he’s not kicking for the Rage or working on Touchdown-4A-Cure, Derek works for a

He just wants to help and that’s the best part.

20 • Beyond Chalk

floor covering company owned by one of his mother’s cousins. That connection, according to Derek, affords him the opportunity to leave town for Rage games without fear or repercussion. Jared is a branch manager for a health care company and neither brother has ever traveled too far from their southeast Missouri roots — something that helps Touchdown-4-ACure’s goal. “We’ve been very fortunate and we come from what I would consider a good family that has a lot of friends and we have a great extended family,” Jared said. “We weren’t trouble makers or anything like that so people know us, they know where we come from and what we stand for and we’ve received a tremendous amount of support from regional businesses, companies and individuals.” Both Derek and Jared would love to expand Touchdown-4-A-Cure to a national level, and perhaps turn it into a not-for-profit-organization, but know that won’t happen quickly, or easily. “I would love to make this a larger foundation to where we can grow it and continue to support children’s hospitals, specifically St. Jude, but maybe reach out to a couple other hospitals,” Jared said. “(We would like) to reach out to family support tools; we want to support children’s research and the families of the children going through these causes. Oftentimes whenever a family has a child who has cancer, or who has cerebral palsy or something like that, the personal expenses are just astronomical and the sacrifices (the family) makes are astronomical. We’d like to help alleviate some of those pains and sacrifices.”

Derek Kutz

Derek is appreciative of the support he has received from the local community and thanks his family as well. Pictured here are Jared (left), Derek and their two sisters.

22 • Beyond Chalk

And with the immense support of his family, friends and teammates, Derek can continue furthering his foundation, which by his own admission has “surprised” him with all the success it has had. “A lot of people looked at me when I told them I wanted to do

something and they looked at me like ‘that ain’t ever gonna happen.’” But it has happened. And it started as a dream, which turned into a goal that, in turn, was fulfilled. Now, not even five years later, Touchdown-4-ACure has raised more than $100,000 for children’s cancer research. F

A lot of people looked at me ... like ‘that ain’t ever gonna happen.’

Derek has an idea as to how to go about alleviating some of those pains through physical labor and mimicking other organizations. “I would like to make Touchdown-4-A-Cure something where like St. Jude is at now where they have a Dream Home where they have supplies donated and they build a home,” Derek said. “If I can’t do something as big as that, I would like to do something like the Make-A-Wish Foundation for kids to get their wish to go to Disneyworld where I could help a family around my hometown who has a child with cancer; to kind of have my own little make a wish foundation.”

Briefs Not all athletes hoard their money. Here’s a look at what good things some p r o m i n e n t a t hletes are doing w i t h t h e i r e x o r b itant paychecks


Bal tim or e R aven s tig h t en d T o d d H e a p i s g i v i n g $ 1 m i l l i o n f o r a n e w pe d i a t r i c center to th e Fr an kl in Sq u are Ho sp i t a l C e nt e r . T h e c e n te r w i l l b e a pt l y na me d t he T od d He a p Fa mi ly Pedia tri c Center a n d i s p a r t o f a 3 5 6 , 0 00 sq u ar e - f o o t , s e v e n- st o r y patient care tower. It will h o u s e m e ch a n i c a l r o o m s , e l e ct r i c a l s y s t e m s , r e n o va t e d i n t e n s i ve c a r e u n i t s a n d a n e w e m e r g e n c y d e p a r t m e n t.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his now former wife, Dany Garcia Johnson, have given $1 million to the University of Miami (Fla.) athletic department. The donation is part of the ongoing Football Facilities Renovation Fund which is meant to enhance and update a wide range of football facilities. This is the largest donation to the athletic department by a former student-athlete and in recognition of that, the football locker room will be named the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Locker Room.

New Jersey Nets forward Richard Jefferson is donating $3.5 million to the University of Arizona for a new multi-sport practice facility. RJ’s donation to his alma mater is the lead gift toward a $20 million basketball and volleyball practice facility. ‘Zona officials say it’s one of the largest individual donations in the history of its athletic department and the facility could be named in Jefferson’s honor. Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier, in conjunction with corporate sponsors, have committed $3 million toward the construction of an All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. The donation will go toward a 26,500-squarefoot, 28-room section that will have Lecavalier’s name on it: “Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.”

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is donating $2 million to his alma mater, Purdue University, for a student-athlete academic center. Brees, a former quarterback for the Boilermakers, will have the center named in his and his wife’s honor: “Drew and Brittany Brees Student-Athlete Academic Center.” Only time will tell if this center helps improve the 67 percent graduation rate among Division I athletes.


While current athletes are performing in

their respective sports, they are also per -

forming off the playing surface as well.

Here’s a look at some of those individuals.

Recently, NFL players Chris Harris, Nick Harper and Israel Idonije visited the Multinational Division Baghdad Soldiers at the Liberty Morale Welfare and Recreation building. Harris and Idonije, defensive players with the Chicago Bears, and Harper, a cornerback with the Indianapolis Colts, made the trip as part of the Gridiron Greats Tour 2007. The players signed everything from posters to footballs in an attempt to raise the spirits of the soldiers fighting in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

NHL players Andrew Ference and Steve Montador visited Tanzania over the summer as part of the Right To Play organization. The organization’s goal is to bring sport and play to children in the world’s most disadvantaged areas. Ference, a defenseman for the Boston Bruins, and Montador, a defenseman with the Florida Panthers, visited Right To Play partner schools and orphanages. The two took part in Play Days and witnessed children having fun and learning through sports. “A lot of them come from very impoverished areas and tough circumstances, but they have hope in their eyes,” Montador said.

26 • Beyond Chalk

Senior Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski does more than fight for his Irish teammates every Saturday — he fights for a great cause as well. Zbikowski’s Tommy Z9 Foundation is a charity that raises money to fight cystic fibrosis and just last spring Zbikowski literally fought to raise money. He was the headliner of a 12-bout boxing event, and although no winner was declared because scores were not kept in the exhibition match, considerable money was raised for the foundation as well as Charlie Weis’ Hannah & Friends foundation. Zibby, as he is affectionately known on the South Bend campus, decided to support his coach’s foundation as a way of thanking him for allowing the fight to occur. “Tommy is a very confident person when it comes to boxing,” Weis said. “He knows what he is doing in there.”

Briefs A look at what some former athletes have been doing away from the playing surface since ending their respective careers. Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan reunited with former manager Bobby Valentine over the summer, but it wasn’t because of baseball. Ryan threw out the first pitch of a Chiba Lotte game — a professional Japanese team Valentine now manages — but he was there to market something other than baseball … beef. Ryan is part of the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s campaign to promote U.S. beef in Japan. Sales in Japan have been low since a U.S. case of mad cow disease in 2003, so Federation officials decided Ryan would be a perfect fit for the campaign because he owns a ranch and is a member of the organization. Being a former prolific athlete in a sport Japanese are crazy about probably helped a little too.

Bernie Kosar is the latest NFL connection to join Jerry Jones, John Elway and Tom Benson as owners of an Arena Football League franchise. The AFL is moving its Las Vegas franchise to Cleveland and Kosar will be the team’s president and CEO next season. Koser will have a minority ownership interest in the club.

28 • Beyond Chalk

Cal Ripken Jr. tied Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130 consecutive games played on Sept. 6, 1995. Twelve years to the day later, Ripken was rewarded with something else residents of Baltimore can remember him by — a section of Interstate. The House of Representatives voted Sept. 6 to rename a highway that runs from I-95 to Conway Street in front of Camden Yards as Cal Ripken Way. Ripken already has one street in Baltimore named after him, as former Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley renamed Lee Street, located near Camden Yards, Ripken Way.

Evander Holyfield went there. The former boxing great has released his own grill in an attempt to challenge George Foreman’s. Holyfield’s Real Deal Grill costs $99 and comes with a punch line of: “You must connect with a product like you connect with a punch … it’s a real knockout of a product, and I am committed to making The Real Deal Grill a true champion.” Holyfield now just needs to hope his grill sales are better than his fighting in the ring recently.


Alcohol & Drug

Legal Issues

Duquesne University forward Stuard Baldonado was suspended by school officials Sept. 5 after being charged with drug violations. Later that same day he was arrested on a misdemeanor drug charge. Pittsburgh police spotted Baldonado, one of five Dukes shot on campus last year, smoking by himself on a street corner near the Duquesne campus. Baldonado was initially arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy involving the manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance. But the rap sheet on the 6foot-7-inch Baldonado doesn’t end there. In May, he was charged with aggravated battery and false imprisonment in a domestic violence case — charges Duquesne officials didn’t know about until after the start of the fall semester.

Even before Notre Dame football got off to its worst start ever this fall, freshman standout quarterback Jimmy Clausen was already hearing his critics in South Bend. Clausen, 19, was cited for transporting alcohol at the expense of a sting operation set up by police looking for minors attempting to get alcohol. Clausen drove a 23 year old to a liquor store to buy two bottles of And one more makes an even dozen. At least vodka, a bottle of that’s the case for former Louisville Cardinal linewhisky and a case backer Willie Williams, who was dismissed from of beer. Clausen’s the team earlier this season and then pleaded coach Charlie Weis guilty to marijuana possession. According to called the incident a reports, Williams failed to pull his car over for case of ‘ignorance’ lege career at the several blocks when an officer tried to stop him as even he didn’t University of Miami (Fla.) for loud music. Once he stopped, Williams was know what Clausen despite already being caught allegedly trying to eat the marijuana did was illegal. arrested 11 times. before police found it. Williams began his col-

In the next issue of Beyond Chalk, we’ll bring you the remarkable story of Marty Tadman — drug dealer turned Southern Baptist preacher and Boise State safety.

Beyond Chalk  

This is a magazine I created, edited, wrote, designed and published all on my own as part of my Senior Capstone requirement for graduation f...