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.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Three University of Alabama football players have been charged with knocking students unconscious and stealing their wallets, while a fourth player has been charged with using a stolen debit card, officials said Tuesday.
Linebacker Tyler Hayes, 18, and safety Eddie Williams, 20, confessed to robbing a student who was punched in the head and face and kicked in the ribs and back early Monday morning, according to court documents. Williams said D.J. Pettway, 20, a defensive lineman, and Hayes waited in a nearby vehicle about an hour later while he knocked out and robbed another student. Williams and Hayes both admitted to their involvement, according to the documents.
Williams and running back Brent Calloway, 20, both admitted to using a stolen credit card to buy snacks from vending machines inside a dormitory, the documents said.
All four students were indefinitely suspended by coach Nick Saban.
Pettway and Hayes were charged with second-degree robbery. Williams was charged with fraudulent use of a credit card and second-degree robbery. Calloway was charged with fraudulent use of a credit card. Williams was released on $65,000 bond, while Hayes and Pettway were released on $60,000 bond each. Calloway was released on $5,000 bond.
"This behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football program," Saban said in a news release.
All four players were backups last season for Alabama, which has won two straight national titles and three of the past four. Williams didn't play in 2012. But he was one of the nation's top prospects the previous year and moved from receiver to safety.
The first student reported having his Apple Macbook Pro stolen from his backpack. Both sustained mild concussions, cuts on the face and heavy swelling, and had their wallets taken, according to documents.
University police posted an advisory Monday saying two students reported being approached by two men who asked for a light for a cigarette.
Police also said Williams had been arrested on a charge of carrying a pistol without a permit a day before his arrest on the robbery charges. Tuscaloosa police Sgt. Brent Blankley said in a news release that a clerk at a gas station called police early Sunday, telling officers that Williams threatened that he had something in his trunk after a fight about paying for gas.
Officers who pulled over Williams found a pistol in his pants pocket, the release said. In that case, he was released on $500 bond.
Jail records did not show whether any of the players had an attorney.
Pettway, who was a redshirt freshman, played in 13 games and had 2 1/2 sacks and eight tackles.
Hayes had 14 tackles as a freshman.
Calloway played mostly on special teams but gained 63 yards on 10 carries. He has moved around on the field, working as a linebacker, tight end and H-back since Alabama signed the onetime Auburn commitment.
Calloway was arrested on a charge of marijuana possession in October 2011 during a redshirt season.