No announcement yet.

Huge News! Breaking News **leinart Not Entering Nfl Draft. Won't Get Nfl Career

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Huge News! Breaking News **leinart Not Entering Nfl Draft. Won't Get Nfl Career

    Leinart giving up NFL for ballroom dancing?
    Shocking news as 2004 Heisman winner stands to lose millions
    Jae C. Hong / AP
    Former USC quarterback Matt Leinart took one class in the 2005 season: ballroom dancing. columnist Mike Celizic has learned that the class has led to an unlikely career change for the former Heisman winner.
    View related photos

    More on NFL

    • Analysis: NFL moving away from networks
    • Commentary: Panthers, Browns winners
    • Expert: Patriots still tops in AFC East
    • Ventre: Pats the pick in 2007
    • Discussion boards: Sound off on every team
    • Complete Super Bowl XL coverage
    • Full NFL coverage
    Most Popular
    • Most Viewed • Top Rated • Most E-mailed
    • U.S. helicopter crashes southwest of Baghdad
    • How Geeky Are You?
    • Explorers: True source of Nile found in Rwanda
    • Three men charged in 'dungeon' castration
    • Freed journalist lands in Germany on way home
    • Most viewed on
    • $300 million deal to shield working forests
    • Blind leads the blind — to safety
    • Ex-DeLay aide pleads guilty in lobby case
    • ‘Unprecedented die-off’ of Caribbean coral
    • Sole Sago Mine survivor returns home
    • Most viewed on
    • Watch your mouth!
    • "Bogus Botox" a dangerous beauty bargain
    • Three men charged in 'dungeon' castration
    • Explorers: True source of Nile found in Rwanda
    • Indiana springs forward reluctantly
    • Most viewed on
    Play Fantasy Sports
    • Get latest on football, baseball, more
    By Mike Celizic
    MSNBC contributor
    Updated: 12:18 a.m. ET April 1, 2006

    Mike Celizic
    After much soul-searching, 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart has decided to forego a career in the NFL and pursue his true passion, ballroom dancing. The shocking news was learned exclusively by late Thursday and confirmed by the quarterback.

    “Positive,” Leinart said when asked by this reporter in a cell phone conversation if the stunning news was true. “Most people don’t know this about me, because I never talked about it; it’s not something football players want to get around the locker room. But as a kid, I’d watch Fred Astaire movies with my mom and dad and I’d think, ‘If I could be him, I’d be the happiest man in the world.’ Sure, I wanted a shot at another national championship, but the real reason I stayed an extra year in school was to take that ballroom dancing class to see if it was for me. And it was.”

    Rarely does any athlete with a shot at the big time turn it down. And no one of Leinart’s stature has done so since Jay Berwanger, the winner of the first Heisman Trophy in 1935, bypassed the NFL to become a foam-rubber salesman. But Berwanger’s decision was made because George Halas, the coach and owner of the Chicago Bears, refused to give him $25,000 for two years of play. Leinart is bypassing the millions of dollars that would have been coming his way as one of the first players taken in the draft.
    Story continues below ↓ advertisement

    “If the object of your life is to make money, you’re not going to have much of a life,” he said. “It was during the Olympics that it all became clear to me. I was watching the ice dancing and thinking about the incredible rush I had in my ballroom dancing class when the spotlight was on me and my partner, and I realized I couldn’t give that up, not even for football.”

    Leinart said that his decision, which is going to destroy a lot of NFL draft boards, is irrevocable. He’s already lost 20 pounds — “to be lighter on my feet” — and is on the verge of signing an endorsement contract with Paoul, the Italian dance shoe manufacturer. He also has a partner with whom he hopes to debut at next month’s MIT Open Ballroom Dance Competition.

    Former USC co-ed Cinnamon Rogers is to be Leinart’s partner, both she and Leinart confirmed. Her identity was learned the same way Leinart’s decision came to light: This reporter’s daughter, Jane Celizic, a sophomore at the University of Albany, heard rumors of the story through an online acquaintance she had met at The online friend said she is the niece of a friend of one of Rogers’ sorority sisters who let the news slip after six Jagermeisters and three car bombs while on spring break in Cancun. Although the story seemed farfetched, Jane told her father, who began making inquiries and finally confirmed the story through Leinart.

    2006 NFL draft
    • Young's stock is dropping
    • Borges' mock draft | Draft Insiders
    • Commentary: Is glitter gone from QB class?
    • TSN: Packers' dream pick should be Hawk
    • TSN: Texas' Huff could be next Polamalu
    • TSN: Leinart a safer bet than Young
    • Bush not worried about any Heisman hex
    • Top 50 prospects
    Once confirmed, comment was sought from Leinart’s college coach, Pete Carroll, who was, surprisingly, not surprised. “I always knew Matt had a dancer’s heart,” Carroll said. “Every time he’d slip away from a blitzer in practice, he’d say, ‘Let’s see Travolta do that!’ I really envy the guy.”

    Of all the reasons for trading football for dancing, Leinart said the biggest was the quality of teammate. “Nothing against Reggie and LenDale and the guys, but who do you want hugging you after a big play, a sweaty offensive tackle or a gorgeous woman? Do you have any idea what it’s like to have to reach under a center’s butt 60 times a day? Have you ever seen a center’s butt, I mean up close? If I’ve gotta touch somebody’s butt, I’m going with my dance partner and not some 300-pound slob who smells like a dead goat.”

    Slide show: The Week in Sports Pictures
    18th Commonwealth Games - Day 7: Diving

    • Week in Sports Pictures
    Surviving a 75-foot ski fall, enduring March Sadness, losing your head over rhythmic gymnastics and more.
    Leinart’s partner, Cinnamon Rogers, is, by some magic quirk of serendipity, the granddaughter of Astaire’s movie dance partner, Ginger Rogers. The young Rogers’ mother is Anise Rogers. “My mother got divorced and we both took grandma’s last name,” Cinnamon said. “My mom used to joke that she and Gran were the original Spice Girls, and she kept the tradition going when she named me.”

    Such stories don’t fall in a reporter’s lap very often. And this reporter has only once before had a scoop this big. It was some 20 years ago when he learned that George Steinbrenner was selling the Yankees to a group of Japanese investors and retiring to a monastery. By coincidence, that story, too, broke just in time for April 1.
    Mike Celizic writes regularly for and is a freelance writer based in New York. And if you take the first letter of each paragraph of this column, you'll know what he's celebrating.

  • #2
    Re: Huge News! Breaking News **leinart Not Entering Nfl Draft. Won't Get Nfl Career

    Glad to see even the folks over at MSNBC can enjoy a little 04/01 humor.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.


    • #3
      Re: Huge News! Breaking News **leinart Not Entering Nfl Draft. Won't Get Nfl Career

      ya april fools


      • #4
        Re: Huge News! Breaking News **leinart Not Entering Nfl Draft. Won't Get Nfl Career

        Haha I know I was hoping you guys wouldn't see it


        • #5
          Re: Huge News! Breaking News **leinart Not Entering Nfl Draft. Won't Get Nfl Career

          I'm glad to see he's following his dreams.

          Remember how the media said how much they respected Ricky Williams when he chucked everything to study Yoga in India (or wherever it was)? I remember hearing all these experts (Chris Mortensen I remember distinctly) saying they talked to Ricky and he's really matured and he's finally at peace and he's not coming back. His mind is made up and one really has to respect someone like him.

          Then we found out he was facing a Drug Suspension so he knew he couldn't play at least 4 games that season.
          Then how long was when Ricky was suing to get back into the league (UNRETIRE). It's funny these guys that say these ridiculous things (Like Sean Salisbury) never own up to them or mention their terrible predictions.
          In fact, they act like it never happened. I remember Sean Salisbury predicting the Arizona Cardinals would win the Super Bowl in Dennis Green's first season. I think they won 4 games or something.



          Related Topics


          • DJRamFan
            Leinart delays decision about entering NFL Draft
            by DJRamFan
            Jan. 13, 2005
   wire reports

            LOS ANGELES -- Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart has delayed announcing whether he will return to Southern California for his senior season or turn pro, saying he will reveal his plans Friday.


            "I need an extra day to continue gathering information," the USC quarterback said Thursday, the day he originally set as his deadline for the decision.

            The NFL deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Saturday.

            Two other USC juniors, linebacker Lofa Tatupu and punter Tom Malone, also are expected to say Friday whether they will enter the draft.

            Leinart, 21, obviously is having a difficult time deciding. Early this week he said he has sometimes changed his mind almost hourly.

            The redshirt junior and the Trojans didn't play their final game of the season until Jan. 4, when he threw an Orange Bowl record five touchdown passes in a 55-19 win over Oklahoma that gave USC a second consecutive national title.

            Orange Bowl MVP Matt Leinart plans to make his NFL decision on Friday. (AP)
            The 11 days between that game and the NFL deadline hasn't given him much time to weigh his options.

            He has consulted with coaches, friends, teammates, NFL quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger and -- mostly importantly, Leinart said -- his own parents.

            "I'm allowed to talk to really anybody. I can talk to (NFL) head coaches, I can talk to GMs, and coach (Pete) Carroll has told me that whoever I want to talk to, just let him know and he has the numbers," Leinart said earlier this week.

            "There's just so much stuff. It's almost like I learn something new every day, so it makes the decision a lot harder when you find out new information. If I declare for the draft, then you have to think of every possible thing. You've got to think of what other quarterbacks are going, like where do you want to train."

            Leinart said his final decision will be "Really what I want to do and what's going to make me happy and what's best for my family at this time."

            If he opts for the NFL now, he will become a multimillionaire. If he plays another season for USC, his goal will be to lead the Trojans to an unprecedented third straight national championship.

            His stock in the 2006 NFL draft probably would depend on whether he made it through this year's USC's season without a significant injury, and on whether his performance was up to this season's Heisman Trophy-winning caliber.

            Leinart returned to class this week after winter break, carrying an 18-unit load that would enable him to graduate with a degree in sociology.

            "I realize you can always come back and finish up. A degree from here...
            -01-14-2005, 10:37 AM
          • MOM
            Awesome News From Momville!!!!!!!!!!!
            by MOM
            I as driving down the road this afternoon, and my cell phone rang. Normally, I wouldn't answer it, but this tiny little voice told me I needed to, so I did. It was my dad, who NEVER calls me, unless it for the Weekly football picks. My mom just got out of surgery this afternoon. She had a mass removed from one of her ovaries. It was a little smaller than a Nerf Football, but the same shape. It weighed approximately 6-7 pounds. They did a biopsy on this mass, and according to the results, it was

            NOT CANCER!!!!!!!!!

            I am now bouncing off the walls, and thought I would share my joy!!

            -10-07-2005, 05:17 PM
          • Nick
            Peter Jennings dies of lung cancer
            by Nick
            ABC News anchor Peter Jennings dies of cancer
            By Cal Mankowski

            Peter Jennings, prime-time anchorman for ABC News for more than two decades, has died of lung cancer at his home, the network said. He was 67.

            The Canadian-born Jennings, host of ABC's "World News Tonight" since 1983, died on Sunday, five months after he announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

            "Peter died with his family around him, without pain and in peace. He knew he'd lived a good life," his family said in a statement.

            Jennings was the last of a generation of long-serving lead anchors for major U.S. broadcasters.

            "He was a superb writer," ABC colleague Barbara Walters said in a special broadcast on ABC. She also recalled that "no one could ad-lib like Peter."

            Jennings had a 41-year career with ABC, having joined the network in 1964. He soon went head-to-head with the toughest competition in the business, anchoring the network's prime-time news from 1965 to 1967 at a time when Walter Cronkite on CBS and the team of David Brinkley and Chet Huntley on NBC were dominant.

            Jennings established the first American television news bureau in the Arab world in 1968 when he served as ABC News' bureau chief for Beirut, a position he held for seven years.

            In 1972, he had a major role in ABC's coverage of the Summer Olympics in Munich, when Israeli athletes were taken hostage.

            "For four decades, Peter has been our colleague, our friend, and our leader in so many ways. None of us will be the same without him," ABC News President David Westin wrote in announcing Jennings' death to colleagues.

            The Toronto-born newsman and high school dropout, who smoked when he was younger, stunned colleagues when he informed them of his illness in an e-mail on April 5. He soon began a program of chemotherapy.

            "There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky," he wrote.

            ABC noted in its special broadcast that Jennings regularly called into the program during his illness, offering suggestions, comments and criticisms.

            Ted Koppel, anchor of ABC's "Nightline" program, recalled the anchor's dashing good looks, and noted a resemblance to the actor Roger Moore in some of the James Bond movies.

            "He and I joked the last time I went up to visit just a few days ago that between the two of us we'd put in 83 years at ABC News." Koppel said. "He was a warm and loving and surprisingly sentimental man."

            Jennings was named anchor and senior editor of "World News Tonight" in 1983. He won numerous awards and honors in his more than 20 years in the position.

            "It's impossible to believe that he is not going to be with us,"...
            -08-07-2005, 11:33 PM
          • DJRamFan
            Kiwanuka everybody's All-American -- but Uganda on mind, too
            by DJRamFan
            Aug. 26, 2005
            By Dennis Dodd
            CBS Senior Writer
            Tell Dennis your opinion!

            Preseason All-American team
            The first memory Mathias Kiwanuka has of Uganda is vomiting.

            "The first impression was the smell," Boston College's senior defensive end said. "I was warned about it, but I don't think there's anything that can prepare you for it. There's some kind of plant in the air. It's an adjustment. The plane de-pressurized, I smelled it, and immediately I threw up."

            Mathias Kiwanuka is eyeing a huge season as Boston College joins the ACC. (Getty Images)
            Kiwanuka lost his lunch but gained perspective as a third-grader while visiting his parents' homeland in 1991. Culture shock doesn't even begin to describe what he encountered.

            Poverty, disease, strife -- and incredible heroism. As the grandchild of Uganda's first prime minister, Mathias quickly found out he was a descendent of a legend. Benedicto Kiwanuka took office in 1962 after Uganda won its independence from the United Kingdom. Ten years later, he was assassinated by dictator Idi Amin during a military coup.

            "(A) number of people back in Uganda ... would just come up and shake my hand, saying, 'I have a tremendous amount of respect for your grandfather,'" Mathias said. "People appreciate honest, genuine individuals. From my standpoint it motivated me not necessarily to aspire to be a big political figure. But if you can change one person's life that dramatically, a couple of decades later ... and shake your grandchild's hand, that's something that is unmatched."

            Mathias Kiwanuka is as American as a Big Mac, but a part of his heart is in Uganda to this day.

            "Seeing the lifestyle at that young of an age, not having the things that America has," he said. "It's hard for children, especially, to understand that.

            "There's a lot of things that could be changed -- the AIDS epidemic. You think, why isn't anybody doing anything about that? It kind of keeps you grounded."

            The NFL was slobbering over him last year when the kid they call "Kiwi" could have easily forsaken his senior year and been drafted high. A member of CBS's preseason All-America team, Kiwanuka is attempting to become the defensive player of the year in two conferences.

            Posting 11½ sacks and 25 tackles for loss earned him that honor in the Big East last year. With Boston College moving to the ACC, Kiwanuka already has been named the conference's preseason defensive player of the year.

            Why stop there? Kiwanuka goes into 2005 as the best defensive player in the country.

            He grew up playing AAU basketball back in Indiana. Only halfway through his senior year did...
            -08-28-2005, 08:27 AM
          • DJRamFan
            USC's Hollywood Star
            by DJRamFan
            Aug. 8, 2005

            By Brian Litvack


            If you happened to be mingling in an exclusive and trendy Sunset strip L.A. nightclub recently, you may have bumped into pals Matt Leinart and Nick Lachey. You would most likely marvel at the USC quarterback and the teen heartthrob as two guys living the good life in Hollywood.

            So, who is the bigger Hollywood star these days?

            True, Leinart's boy band buddy Lachey can be seen on MTV's Newlyweds with his wife Jessica Simpson. But Leinart has his own show as well at, a video blog that will allow Leinart and his star back Reggie Bush to chronicle the 2005 season.

            The fact that the USC quarterback and Heisman trophy winner can even compare his celebrity status to Lachey is a Tinseltown tale in itself. After all, Mr. Jessica Simpson works as hard as anybody in Show Biz, outside of Paris Hilton, at his celebrity status. Meanwhile, Leinart spent his summer recovering from shoulder surgery, studying game film and enrolling in classes for the fall semester.

            Matt Leinart, a laid-back and humble college student, is the darling of college sports. He has lead USC to a 22 victories in a row and has a career pass efficiency rating (157.83) that rivals Einstein's IQ. In February, he decided to put his professional career on hold and return to USC for a fifth season.

            Leinart is proud to "send a message throughout college football that money and the pros can wait. College football is a time where it's fun and you're never going to get that back."

            He returned to college because he loves the lifestyle. Who wouldn't?

            Leinart's rise to glory has skyrocketed like Google's IPO. Three years ago, he was battling for the backup QB position at USC. Two years ago, Leinart attained "Big Man On Campus" status by leading the Trojans to a National Championship. Last year, he hard-coded his name in the record books by taking home Johnny Heisman's trophy and leading the Trojans to a second straight National Championship.

            This season, Leinart has the chance to become the most celebrated and accomplished quarterback in the history of college football. Even if all you read for the next few months is Teen People, you'll still be sure to hear about it.

            That's right. Leinart's name appeared in the magazine, romantically linked to actress Alyssa Milano. The rumor mill also has him dating Kristen from MTV's Laguna Beach, and the point guard on the USC women's basketball team. Supposedly, this has all happened since he dumped his surfer/model girlfriend Veronica Kay. Paris can't be far behind, and perhaps even Lachey should keep close tabs on his...
            -08-21-2005, 02:20 PM