Romanowski found innocent in pill case

Published June 30, 2001|Updated Sept. 10, 2005

Denver Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski was acquitted Friday on charges of illegally obtaining prescription diet pills.

Romanowski, 35, was accused of obtaining phentermine from prescriptions written for his wife and two other people during the 1998 season.

Investigators said the two-time Pro Bowl player used phentermine, a drug not banned by the NFL, to enhance his play.

"I am just so thankful to the jury that they found us not guilty," Romanowski said, fighting back tears after the jury at Douglas County District Court found him innocent. "I take a lot of pride in being a good person and being a role model, and a lot of that was in question in the last two years."

Jeff Springer, one of Romanowski's lawyers, said the trial took a toll on the player and his family. "This has been a terrible, terrible ordeal," Springer said.

Jurors left the courthouse through a back door without speaking to reporters. Prosecutors declined comment, but district attorney's spokesman Michael Knight said a trial was necessary.

"We felt there was sufficient evidence to go forward with the case," Knight said. "We felt we needed to bring this to a jury for the community to have a chance to speak."

Romanowski, who has won two Super Bowls with the Broncos, was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and deceit, and two counts of conspiracy.

His wife, Julie, is scheduled to go on trial Aug. 14 on eight counts of illegally obtaining phentermine and one count of conspiracy.

BEARS: The team signed 1996 Heisman Trophy winner and former Gator Danny Wuerffel, who spent last season as a third-string quarterback with the Packers, to a one-year contract.

Neither the Bears nor Wuerffel's agent, Michael Moye, would disclose financial terms.

The Bears also released running back/kick returner Glyn Milburn in a salary-cap move, though they said they hoped to negotiate a new contract with him before training camp starts.

The Bears used Shane Matthews, Jim Miller and Cade McNown at quarterback last season.

Wuerffel, 27, appeared in one game with the Packers. He spent the 2000 season with the NFL Europe's Rhein Fire and led the team to a 13-10 win over the Scottish Claymores in the championship game.

Wuerffel was drafted by the Saints in the fourth round in 1997. He was released after the 1999 season.

DOLPHINS: The team signed free agent Shawn Wooden to a two-year contract, bringing the safety back to the team he began his career with.

The deal is worth at least $1.377-million, reported.

The Bears waived Wooden, 27, on Tuesday after one season. He played in 11 games last season with 13 tackles on defense and seven on special teams.

Wooden was Miami's sixth-round pick in the 1996 draft out of Notre Dame. He spent four seasons with the Dolphins before signing with Chicago as a free agent before last season.

"Any time we can add a player with Shawn's abilities, its makes us a better football team," coach Dave Wannstedt said.

STEELERS: A burning scoreboard at Heinz Field, the team's new stadium, resulted in minimal damage and no injuries, said Sgt. Charles Mares of the Pittsburgh Fire Department. Team spokesman Ron Wahl said a welder accidentally set waterproofing material near the scoreboard on fire but construction workers quickly put out the flames.

VIKINGS: Rookie running back Michael Bennett pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and paid a $1,315 fine to resolve a court case that followed him into the draft.

The former Wisconsin player entered the plea to a charge of unlawful use of a telephone stemming from an argument at a Madison apartment in February.

Bennett had been accused of criminal damage to property for kicking in the door of a woman's apartment and of making threatening phone calls to her. Bennett also lived in the building.

Under a plea agreement, Dane County prosecutors dropped the criminal damage count. Bennett has denied kicking the door.