Tom Jones was born and raised in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied English at the University of South Florida from 1982 to 1986.
He began his writing career with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1985. He then went on to work for the St. Petersburg Times from 1987 to 1991, the Tampa Tribune from 1991 to 1996, the St. Petersburg Times again from 1996 to 2000 and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune from 2000 to 2003. He then rejoined the St. Petersburg Times for a third time in his career in 2003, where he worked ever since.
Jones has spent most of his career covering the NHL, including being a beat writer for more than 15 years of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Minnesota. Wild. He also spent two years on the Tampa Bay Rays beat. He then become a columnist at Times starting in 2007. Jones has won several national and state writing awards, including a top 10 game story in the nation in 1998 as named by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Over the course of his career, Jones has covered the Olympics, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup finals, baseball and hockey all-star games, the NCAA basketball tournament and the Frozen Four.
Jones lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Patty, and sons, Sam and Andy.
With over two decades of reporting on professional and collegiate sports for the Tampa Bay Times, through performance and work experience in journalism and broadcasting in television and radio, Rick Stroud has cultivated an impressive list of sources and utilized his knowledge to produce an outstanding body of work in both print and electronic mediums.
During his career, Stroud has reported on national sporting events including 22 Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, and the Major League Baseball Playoffs. While working as the beat writer assigned to the University of Florida at the Times, Stroud’s stories documented NCAA rules violations by the football and basketball programs. The stories for which Stroud won second place for Best Investigative Reporting from the Associated Press Sports Editors, led to sanctions against both Gators programs.
Since 2004, Stroud has appeared as an NFL Insider for ESPN2’s First Take and is a regular contributor to ESPN’s SportsCenter, NFL Live, Outside the Lines and Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. He also contributes to NFL Network’s Total Access.
Stroud becan covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the National Football League in 1990. Since then, the Bucs have undergone seven coaching changes, the death of owner Hugh Culverhouse and the sale of the franchise to billionaire owner Malcolm Glazer and a stadium referendum. They also celebrated a Super Bowl XXVII victory. His reporting was referenced in Tony Dungy’s best seller, Quiet Strength, particularly because it was Stroud who informed Dungy of the Bucs’ plan to replace him with Giants Super Bowl coach Bill Parcells.
A former Div. I-A baseball player at Arkansas , Stroud brings a unique perspective to sports reporting. During the NFL lockout in 2011, he also served as one of the Times’ beat writers responsible for covering the Tampa Bay Rays.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The lawyer brought in by Penn State to help settle Jerry Sandusky-related claims said Monday that he recently gave university officials monetary settlement offers from most of the people asserting they were molested by the former assistant football coach.
Attorney Ken Feinberg told The Associated Press that he delivered the demands to Penn State administrators, lawyers and members of the board of trustees during a meeting Friday in Philadelphia.
"The next step is Penn State — we'll see how Penn State responds in the next few weeks," Feinberg said.
Asked about the meeting, a university spokesman declined to comment. Reactions by lawyers for the claimants ranged from hopefulness to no comment. None would say what dollar figure he or she is seeking.
Feinberg "has assured us that within a degree of somewhat certainty, like 85 percent, he thinks he can get our case settled," said Harrisburg attorney Chuck Schmidt, whose client's lawsuit is on hold. "So far as it moving forward, I'm cautiously optimistic."
Bala Cynwyd lawyer Mike Boni, who represents Aaron Fisher, the young man whose story launched the investigation into Sandusky and who wrote a book about the abuse, said Feinberg's response to his settlement offer was "hope springs eternal."
"He said what he had to say, which is, 'You're asking for too much, I'll see what I can deliver,'" Boni said. "At the end of the day, I don't think we're all that far apart."
Sandusky, 69, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term for the sexual abuse of 10 boys over 15 years, including attacks on children inside Penn State athletics facilities. Penn State's president issued a statement the day Sandusky was convicted in June, vowing to settle "privately, expeditiously and fairly."
Feinberg disclosed last month that he was working with 28 claimants, 18 more than were the subject of Sandusky's criminal trial. He emphasized Monday that not all claimants have made settlement demands.
Also Monday, a Penn State trustee called on the university governing board to re-examine the findings of former FBI director Louis Freeh's school-sanctioned investigation into the scandal.
A critique released this weekend by Joe Paterno's family raised "serious and troubling" questions about Freeh's findings, trustee Alvin Clemens said in a statement.
Former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh was among the experts brought in by the Paterno family to review the Freeh report, which concluded that Paterno and other university officials covered up allegations against Sandusky to spare the university bad publicity. The family's review said the cover-up claims were inaccurate, were unfounded and equated to a "rush to injustice."
Freeh has defended his work and stood by his findings. He has called the Paterno family's review self-serving and a campaign to shape the late Hall of Fame coach's legacy.
Paterno died in January 2012 at age 85.
The NCAA levied unprecedented sanctions on Penn State less than two weeks after Freeh released his stinging findings in July.
Freeh's firm was hired by the board of trustees to perform "an independent, full and complete investigation of the Sandusky scandal," said Clemens, a trustee since 1995. "In addition to questions about accuracy and fairness, there is little question that the Freeh report is less than complete."
Through a spokesman, the school declined comment on Clemens' request.
Penn State had said Sunday that Freeh was brought in to conduct an independent investigation of the school's response to the allegations, and not actions of entities unrelated to Penn State. Freeh offered 119 recommendations to strengthen governance and compliance, the majority of which have been implemented, the school said.
Freeh's report has never been formally discussed by the board as a whole. At the time of its release, trustees said they had accepted responsibility for failures of accountability.
The public should devote equal time reading the Paterno family's critique and the Freeh report, said another trustee, former football player Adam Taliaferro. He joined the board last summer, but was not a trustee at the time of Paterno's firing in November 2011.
In a phone interview, Taliaferro said Monday the board was off to a good start in implementing Freeh's recommendations. "But for me, personally, it wouldn't hurt for us to look at both sides ... There are always two sides to a story," he said.
Paterno's family offered its answer to the Freeh report on Sunday, with experts attacking what they called flawed techniques and a lack of evidence.
Paterno's widow, Sue, and three of the Paternos' children spoke with Katie Couric in an interview that aired on her syndicated TV show Monday. Former NFL linebacker and Nittany Lion standout Greg Buttle defended Paterno on the program as someone who would have taken issue and "taken care of it" if the coach knew of Sandusky's crimes.
"Joe Paterno didn't conspire to do anything," Buttle said. "The conspiracy to me was perpetrated by a cabal of trustees, and others that felt they needed a convenient way out to relieve Penn State of what had happened."