Departing with a lifetime of memories
Sunday, Aug 10, 2008 - 12:07 AM
By BOB LIPPER
This all started 43 summers ago at Tommy Tuttle's bowling lanes
in King, N.C., up above Winston-Salem. Tommy was the local-fave regular on the
PBA circuit. I was the greenhorn reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal, fresh
out of the local college and making my rounds to collect league reports for the
bowling roundup I put together as lovingly as Julia Child might present a recipe
They gave me a clattery Underwood typewriter and a desk next to chain-smoking Frank Spencer. I covered high school sports with the wonderful Mary Garber. I saw Pete Maravich put on a dazzling show at the state's all-star game that August. I filled in for the racing writer 3½ weeks later at cramped Bowman-Gray Stadium and watched Junior Johnson nose out Richard Petty for the win.
The money wasn't great.
But you couldn't beat the view.
That's how it began. This is where it ends. This is my final column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, my retirement swan song. For those of you who've hung in there for nearly three decades at this address, I thank you for your support. For those of you who think it's about time and worry this is a put-on, relax. I'm pulling an Annika here, not a Brett. This is for real. This is a wrap.
Our industry is on a nastier losing streak than Duke football these days, but my hindsight at this moment is 20/20 in favor of good times, good fortune and first-and-10 optimism. Or, as George Welsh put it the 1982 day he was hired to raise U.Va. football from the dead, "If it's a coach's graveyard, it's a pretty nice graveyard."
I was lucky enough to watch Welsh weave magic in Charlottesville (best coaching job in the history of college sports), to witness the 1974 N.C. State-Maryland ACC final and Randolph Childress' supernova outburst at the 1995 tournament, to be at Camden Yards that year when Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games record and in Atlanta when the Braves claimed their lone championship, to hang around the Dream Team in 1992 in Barcelona.
Those are games and events, though -- wins and losses, arenas, stadiums, stat sheets, that sort of stuff. And while they were fun and cool and I got paid to bleed on my keyboard while a clock ticked in the background, it's the people who enriched this gig.
I was blessed to know Arthur Ashe, who died too young but left so much. To spend a day at Grambling in the presence of Eddie Robinson. To share time with Kyle Petty at the extraordinary camp he and his wife birthed for grievously ill and impaired children. To bask in the good cheer of Rayna DuBose, the quadruple-amputee basketball player from Virginia Tech, and in the courage and grace of Kay Yow, the N.C. State basketball coach whose fight against cancer is sweet inspiration.
Big House Gaines once gave me a guided tour of Winston-Salem State and the wisdom of his ways. Mirsada Buric, a runner from war-ravaged Bosnia at the'92 Olympics, and Dieudonne Kwizera, a runner from war-ravaged Burundi four years later in Atlanta, provided eyewitness accounts of heartbreak and hope.
The same held true for James Holcomb, the AD at Prince Edward County High who was gang-tackled by the evils of segregation and forced to seek education elsewhere at age 12 because the schools were shut down -- but who returned to his origins years later to coach and teach and nurture.
"That was a promise I made to God," he told me. "This is my home. This is where my heart is."
Times like that, I felt privileged to do what I do.
Not that it's been an unbroken fast break. I was at Daytona the day Dale Earnhardt died, an epic tragedy. I watched the scuzzy descents of Clyde Austin, Monty Knight and Ralph Sampson. The shenanigans of the Vick brothers. The greed of ACC expansion, a case study in the excesses of big-time college sports.
Still, on balance, I give this run a Kerri Strug -- a 9.712 with (hopefully) a less painful landing.
What I won't miss? I-81 gridlock Saturday mornings above Blacksburg. NASCAR's relentless product placement. Those 9 p.m. ACC tipoffs. Gag-me-with-a-microphone references to "student-athletes" at NCAA pressers.
What I'll miss? Good friends. Pit stops at Jimmy's Barbecue on trips home from Charlotte. Night games at Grant Field. The perverse rush of beating deadline. Press box laughter.
And you guys.
Y'all take care, now, OK?
Meet the Cavs
Sunday, Aug 10, 2008 - 12:07 AM
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Want to meet the University of Virginia football team?
Today's the day.
U.Va. players and coaches will be available for photos and autographs at Scott Stadium from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Gates open at 2 p.m., and activities for youths will be held during the afternoon. Also, U.Va. merchandise and concessions will be sold at the stadium, at which parking is free.
The Cavaliers, who opened training camp Monday night, held the first of their three open practices yesterday morning. Sophomore quarterback Peter Lalich took most of the snaps with the first team. Lalich, who backed up Jameel Sewell last season, is vying with graduate student Scott Deke and sophomore Marc Verica for the starting job.
Sewell, a Hermitage High graduate, is on academic suspension from U.Va. He plans to return to the university in January.
Elsewhere on the offense, most of the starting slots appear filled. Cedric Peerman and Mikell Simpson are splitting time at tailback, Rashawn Jackson is back at fullback, Kevin Ogletree and Maurice Covington look to be the top wideouts, and John Phillips takes over as the No. 1 tight end. The first-team line consists of center Jack Shields, guards Zak Stair and B.J. Cabbell and tackles Will Barker and Eugene Monroe.
Virginia's other open practices are Thursday (5 p.m.) and Saturday (8:35 a.m.). The team practices on the fields behind University Hall and the McCue Center.
-- Jeff White
U.Va. Notes: Keeping it in-house
Saturday, Aug 09, 2008 - 12:07 AM Updated: 09:14 AM
Keeping it in-house
In one of his teleconferences with reporters this week, football coach Al Groh was asked, not surprisingly, about his players' offseason run-ins with police in the Charlottesville area.
This year alone, Will Barker, Dave Roberts, Peter Lalich, Mike Brown and J'Courtney Williams were involved in incidents that attracted the police. Brown and Williams were dismissed from the team, but Groh declined to discuss the other cases.
"There's certain things that we weren't pleased with," Groh said, "and we've dealt with them internally. But frankly, there are plenty of people out there who want to stir it up. I don't necessarily need to contribute to that."
Barker, a returning starter at offensive tackle, and Roberts, a walk-on offensive guard, are due back in Charlottesville General District Court on Aug. 26 to face charges related to an incident at a Charlottesville nightclub.
Asked if any players might lose playing time as punishment, Groh said, "We'll just handle all that internally."
Easy as 1, 2, 3
In the U.Va. media guide, the depth chart lists Scott Deke as the No. 1 quarterback, Marc Verica as the No. 2 and Peter Lalich as the No. 3. Don't read too much into that, Groh said.
"We went in on a seniority basis," he said, "and here for a little while, we'll probably stay that way."
This is the fifth year in the program for Deke, the third for Verica and the second for Lalich, who as a true freshman last year was Virginia's No. 2 quarterback. None emerged from spring practice this year with a significant lead on the other two.
Good news for trio
Three players who came to U.Va. as walk-ons recently have been put on scholarship for 2008-09 - sophomore Staton Jobe, senior Cary Koch and junior Hall Simmons.
Jobe and Koch were among the Cavaliers' top receivers in 2007. Jobe started 12 games and finished with 17 catches for 163 yards and one touchdown. Koch, a transfer from Tulane, caught nine passes for 97 yards and one TD. Simmons, a fullback, played on the punt-return team in the Gator Bowl.
It may not be as easy for Jobe and Koch to get snaps this season. This looks to be the best set of receivers Groh has had in his eight seasons as U.Va.'s coach. Other wideouts include senior Maurice Covington, junior Kevin Ogletree (who missed the 2007 season with a knee injury), sophomore Dontrelle Inman, redshirt freshmen Kris Burd and Jared Green and true freshman Javaris Brown.
Green, whose father is Pro Football Hall of Famer Darrell Green, came from a high school program that stressed the running game, and last year "he was as a receiver almost literally like a newborn," Groh said. "He's had a good work ethic from the start and good want-to, and he's now showing a little bit of polish in his game, along with the obvious speed."
Chasing NFL dreams
Among the rookies trying to make the New England Patriots are former U.Va. players Jonathan Stupar and Vince Redd.
Stupar, a 6-3, 254-pound tight end, had two catches for 17 yards Thursday in the Patriots' 16-15 preseason loss to the Ravens.
Redd, a 6-6, 260-pound linebacker, was credited with an unassisted tackle and a pass break-up. His break-up came on a fourth-and-1 pass attempt.
Redd began his college career at U.Va. before transferring to Division I-AA Liberty, where he made the all-Big South Conference first team in 2007.
Groh and Patriots coach Bill Belichick are longtime friends and former colleagues. - Jeff White
Is FSU's camp of past stars a glimpse into the future?
RECRUITING - Norm Wood | Inside Recruiting
August 10, 2008
Florida State's football camp featured a novel approach to
recruiting — a star-studded methodology that at least inspired interest from
coaches at Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Just don't expect the Cavaliers and Hokies to try to duplicate it.
In July, FSU hosted its second annual Seminole Showtime camp, complete with the seemingly requisite oversized speakers blasting rap music near the field. That's not what made the camp a one-of-a-kind opportunity for recruits. The presence of 30 former FSU greats serving as camp instructors definitely qualifies as unique.
Former Seminoles such as Charlie Ward, Anquan Boldin, Bryan McFadden, William Floyd, Derrick Alexander, Peter Warrick, Terrell Buckley, Casey Weldon, Corey Simon and Leon Washington were on hand.
Even if nothing the aforementioned players "taught" the recruits sunk in, the star power all on one field must have made an impression. In the seven days following the camp, FSU received six commitments. Defensive tackle Demonte McAllister, athlete Lonnie Pryor and wide receiver Rodney Smith — all ranked in the nation's top 50 at their respective positions by most recruiting analysts – were among the commitments.
Hmmm … UVa coach Al Groh could create quite a scene by inviting some of the Cavaliers' former top players to a recruiting camp, right? D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Elton Brown, Shawn Moore, Herman Moore, Chris Long, Heath Miller, Terry Kirby, Chris Slade, Patrick Kerney, Percy Ellsworth and Tiki and Ronde Barber — all names that resonate with recruits.
"It certainly is an interesting gimmick," Groh said. "We always try to find out what's going on in recruiting. ... I think (FSU's approach) has some relevance to high school players. It shows the legacy and the tradition of success that a team has, but certainly very, very important in the process is the players being made very well aware of where he fits into the future and not where those (former) players fit into the past."
OK ... there's at least a flicker of interest. Groh doesn't have many complaints with UVa's current recruiting-camp approach, which has garnered "four or five commitments on (recruiting camp) day each of the last two years," he said.
What if Tech brought in some of its most visible players of the past 25 years to serve as "instructors" at its one-day summer camps?
How about Jim Pyne, Corey Moore (if they could ever locate the elusive former All-American), Jake Grove, Jimmy Williams, Andre Davis, Bruce Smith, Lee Suggs, DeAngelo Hall, Kevin Jones, Xavier Adibi, Brandon Flowers and Darryl Tapp all back on Tech's campus at one time? That would be a pretty impressive group that might just draw some added attention.
What about Michael Vick when he gets out of jail? Controversial? Yes. An attention-grabber for recruits who recognize the name? You bet.
Well, it's a nice idea, but probably not realistic in Blacksburg. Jim Cavanaugh, Tech's recruiting coordinator and coach of strong safeties and outside linebackers, was intrigued by FSU's resourcefulness, but he likes his camps just the way they are. Who can blame him? Like UVa in each of the past two summers, Tech has enjoyed small-to-large flurries of commitments after its camps.
"I doubt if we would do that because we've got it down just about to how we want to do things," said Cavanaugh, who added that 189 recruits were at Tech's most recent one-day recruiting camp on July 12. "We've got it very well organized and structured and we can make all of our evaluations right there.
"We sell these kids on being evaluated by Virginia Tech people."
It's tough to argue Cavanaugh's point, which is basically the old if-it-ain't-broke, don't-fix-it philosophy. Then again, college football recruiting is becoming more and more about placing shiny objects (as many as permitted by the NCAA, of course) in front of recruits and seeing which ones bite on the lure.
Show off the facilities. Take a look at the trophy cases. See our new stadium expansion. Check out the brand new weight room.
It's fair to consider this kind of up-close-and-personal stargazing as one of the newest bobbles in the recruiting game, but FSU certainly isn't the only program using stars from the past to recruit for the future.
Lalich shines during UVa practice
The Virginia defense is able to put a lot of pressure on the Cavaliers quarterbacks against a rebuilt offensive line.
By Doug Doughty
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Whatever might have happened earlier in the week, Peter Lalich was much in evidence Saturday at Virginia's first open football practice of the preseason.
Maybe the prettiest pass of the morning came during a goal-line session, when Lalich spotted tight end John Phillips with a floater in the end zone.
Neither head coach Al Groh nor the quarterbacks were available for interviews, but it seemed as if Lalich, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, took more repetitions with the first team than his rivals.
Groh and the quarterbacks are expected to speak with the media this afternoon, when UVa holds its annual Meet the Team Day at Scott Stadium from 2-4:15 p.m.
None of the other Virginia quarterbacks have as much experience as Lalich, who played in eight games last year as the back-up to since-departed Jameel Sewell, but Groh has not chosen a front-runner.
Lalich was the third quarterback to see action in Virginia's spring game and was listed behind senior Scott Deke and sophomore Marc Verica in the depth chart that appears in UVa's media guide.
Moreover, Lalich was charged with underage possession of alcohol and using a fake ID in an incident July 13. Groh told the media earlier this week that the matter was being addressed internally.
The Virginia defense was able to put considerable pressure on the quarterbacks, who were operating behind a rebuilt offensive line, but running backs Cedric Peerman and Mikell Simpson did a good job of finding holes, particularly on the goal line.
"We've got a lot of good running backs, young guys, too," said Phillips, a Bath County product who is one of the UVa co-captains. "That position is going to do big things for us this year."
Virginia is looking to replace its first line of defense, most notably at the end spots manned last year by first-round NFL Draft pick Chris Long and Jeffrey Fitzgerald, who was dismissed as the result of an academic issue.
Senior Alex Field (6 foot 7, 270 pounds) has been penciled in at one spot and was joined on the first unit Saturday by Matt Conrath, a 6-7, 269-pound redshirt freshman. Sophomore Sean Gottschalk, returning from shoulder injury, was not in uniform after being described by Groh as "full go" earlier in the week.
At the outside linebacker spot where Jermaine Dias was a senior last year, 6-4, 230-pound junior Denzel Burrell was with the first group. Burrell has been competing with Aaron Clark, a 6-5, 250-pound senior from Rockbridge County, and they both were on the goal-line unit.
Kicking candidates Chris Hinkebein, Yannick Reyering and Robert Randolph all attempted field goals, with mixed results. After missing from 39 yards, Hinkebein was good from 44 and 45 yards. Reyering was 1-for-3 and Randolph was 1-for-2, with cornerback Dom Joseph blocking his second attempt.
Short but speedy wide receiver Javaris Brown was one of the few 2008 signees to get work with the regular units and had two eye-catching receptions. Two of UVa's veteran wideouts, Staton Jobe and Cary Koch, were celebrating their first week as scholarship players.
"At the top of my list, obviously, was getting on the field," said Jobe, an Austin, Texas, product who started 12 games last year as a redshirt freshman, "but the scholarship would have been next.
"My parents were definitely the first people I called when I found out Sunday. My dad was pretty pumped up when the first bill arrived and, under tuition, it said '$0.00.' "
Cavs'tandem packing a punch COLLEGE FOOTBALL
August 10, 2008 12:15 am
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
Cedric Peerman had a perfect view of the second-longest touchdown run in NCAA bowl game history.
The University of Virginia senior running back missed the final seven games of last season with a foot injury that required sur-gery.
He was standing on the sidelines at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., when he saw a massive hole open on the left side of Virginia's offensive line.
His replacement, Mikell Simpson, took full advantage and sprinted 96 yards for the touchdown in Virginia's 31-28 loss to Texas Tech.
Peerman felt no bitterness watching Simpson excel.
He knew when he returned this season, he would team up with the junior from Harrisburg, Pa., to form one of the best running back tandems in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
When Virginia opens its season with an Aug. 30 home game against powerful Southern Cal, both Peerman and Simpson will be major factors in the backfield.
"I'm looking forward to sharing the load with Mikell," said Peerman, who is fully healed from his injury. "He's a great runner. He brings a different dimension to the game than myself, so I'm really looking forward to it."
That different dimension is speed.
Peerman led the ACC in rushing (585 yards) at the time of his injury last season, but he did so using a bruis-ing, hard-nosed running style.
Simpson stood out with his shiftiness.
"Somehow he never gets hit face-up," Peerman said. "I don't know how he does it."
Simpson was a backup wide receiver for the Cavaliers last season when Peerman and later second-string running back Andrew Pearman were injured.
Simpson was forced to switch to running back and start against Maryland. He promptly made many wonder why he wasn't already in the tailback mix.
In an 18-17 win, he accounted for 271 all-purpose yards (119 rushing, 152 receiving), the sixth most in school history.
He went on to lead the Cavaliers with 10 touchdowns, including eight on the ground. He finished the season with 972 all-purpose yards (570 rushing, 402 receiving). He said he's even more prepared this season.
"I'm not saying I slacked last season, but I didn't know my role until the middle of the season," Simpson said. "Now I know the role I play for my team, and I have to live up to it."
Cavaliers head coach Al Groh has yet to name a starter at running back.
It likely won't matter.
Both Peerman and Simpson are expected to receive plenty of touches. They both said they're fine with however the coaching staff splits the carries.
An unsettled quarterback situation and the loss of the entire middle of Virginia's offensive line are two issues that could prevent a strong running game, but the Cavaliers are excited about the duo.
"I love it. I love it," Virginia senior wide receiver Maurice Covington said. "I'm looking forward to both of them having big seasons."
Groh compared the duo to Wali Lundy and Alvin Pearman, who were successful as a tandem attack at Virginia from 2002-04.
He said the trend in college football is for running backs to share the load.
"Across the board, that seems to be the case," Groh said.
Groh added that if Peerman or Simpson took all the carries, they would be exhausted by the end of the year.
Simpson and Peerman wouldn't complain if they were the primary workhorses, but they're also satisfied to have their load lightened.
"I think I've grown to understand it's really hard to take every carry in the game," Peerman said. "When you need a breather, it's always good for someone to come in."
If last year was any indication, Simpson will provide more than relief for Peerman.
He shocked the entire team with his performance in the final six games, propelling the Cavaliers to a 9-4 record.
"I don't know if anybody expected him to do what he did," Peerman said. "He blessed our team. We're just happy he performed the way he did."
Crawford returns to ‘family’ after forced hiatus
By Jay Jenkins
Published: August 9, 2008
Having been knocked from his football pedestal, junior Kevin Crawford realizes that he is playing on borrowed time.
After going through a handful of practices last season during training camp, the defensive end was told by program officials that he was academically ineligible, an act that earned him an 11-month vacation at his home in Northern Virginia.
Crawford returned for home football games and counted down the days, longing for a return to what he calls his family — his football family.
“It was hard,” Crawford said. “I just tried to stay motivated and I got a job.”
Tedious work filing documents at a law firm in Woodbridge served as one of Crawford’s few distractions.
“It was something to keep me occupied,” Crawford said. “It was a great experience. And after work every day, I would go and workout.”
The individual sessions have paid off — Crawford did not appear to have lost a step during Virginia’s open practice session on Saturday as several hundred fans spilled into the practice facility behind the McCue Center.
“He looks like a completely different player,” said Virginia linebacker Clint Sintim, who played at Gar-Field High with Crawford. “You can tell that he has his priorities in order.”
The return of Crawford, who has two years of eligibility remaining, comes at a position needing depth. The Cavaliers must replace both 2007 starters — Chris Long exited through the NFL Draft and Jeffrey Fitzgerald transferred to Kansas State after leaving school prematurely.
“I have my effort up and I am totally different person now,” Crawford said. “My want-to-win factor is what I call it, and that is just so high right now. I am willing to do anything now to help this team.”
Crawford’s sweat-stained uniform and his heavy breathing proved that.
“This is the first time that I have gotten tired in practice because I actually go so hard now,” he added. “It’s a good deal.”
Virginia coach Al Groh made the “deal” a tad sweeter, too. The coaching staff elected to put Crawford back on scholarship when he returned.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be on scholarship,” Crawford said. “I just wanted to be back with my family so bad I was going to walk on if I had to.
“I just wanted to be back with my team.”
The power of orange?
There was a glaring omission from Saturday’s practice session.
The veterans on defense viewed as clear-cut starters were dressed in blue jerseys just as the rookies and unproven players were. In years past, Groh has awarded orange jerseys to would-be starters to differentiate their status.
“It definitely sends a message,” said outside linebacker Denzel Burrell. “Everybody has to compete on every play. If you take off even one period out here you can lose what you have. It really creates an incentive when everybody starts out here the same. It is definitely a push every day.”
Burrell ran numerous plays with the first-team defense on Saturday and remains waged in a fierce battle with senior Aaron Clark for a starting spot.
“We are patiently waiting,” Burrell said. “Sometimes the [orange jerseys] don’t come out, sometimes they do. We are just waiting on Coach [Groh] and we are just fighting for spots in camp.
“It is hard work on every play and competition everywhere. Nobody really has any spots set in stone.”
Just for kicks
Virginia rotated three placekickers during a field-goal drill during the session.
Redshirt freshman Chris Hinkebein opened the rotation at five different distances. The rookie made three of his five attempts, including a 44- and 45-yarder.
Yannick Reyering, a senior that played soccer the past three years at UVa, made two of his five kicks, but displayed the strongest leg in the group.
Rob Randolph, a recruited walk-on, made two of his four attempts, one of which was blocked.
A meet and greet
Virginia’s players will arrive at Scott Stadium today at 3 p.m. for the program’s annual Meet the Team Day.
The gates open for fans at 2 p.m. and the event will last until 4:15 p.m. The event is free to the public.
Vick adviser accused of swindling $500,000 in church case
Published on: 08/09/08
Norfolk, Va. — The man imprisoned Falcons quarterback Michael Vick picked to help him navigate bankruptcy has been accused of helping swindle more than $500,000 from church members in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Bureau of Securities filed a civil complaint Friday that accuses David A. Talbot and two other men of spending more than $500,000 from investors on themselves.
The complaint says the men appealed to investors' religious beliefs by telling some of them the money would be used for charity, including the purchase of a church.
Talbot, 54, described himself as a spiritual and financial adviser to Vick when the Newport News native and Atlanta Falcon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.
Peter Ginsberg, a lawyer for Vick, said Friday he was shocked to learn of the complaint against Talbot and said a motion would be filed in bankruptcy court to withdraw a request for Talbot to help in Vick's case.
Ginsberg said he hasn't yet spoken to Vick about the matter but said "there's no appropriate alternative." Besides the complaint in New Jersey, Talbot has a history of financial troubles that were not disclosed in Vick's case. Talbot filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, and his landlord is currently trying to evict him.
Vick, 28, is in a federal prison in Kansas, serving a 23-month sentence on a dogfighting conspiracy charge. He listed his assets and liabilities between $10 million and $50 million.
Talbot said in bankruptcy court documents filed last month that he had earned the trust of Vick's family and already had been working with him for several months.
Jeff Lamm, a spokesman for the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, said the state began investigating Talbot before Vick filed for bankruptcy protection.
Jeffrey Lichtman, an attorney representing Talbot on the securities case, said he learned of the complaint Friday and couldn't comment.
The complaint says Talbot and two others moved the investors' money between business and personal accounts, used it on themselves and never registered themselves or the securities with the bureau.
Vick's attorneys filed a document that declared Vick had given Talbot power of attorney on June 7 and named Talbot as his "chosen advisor, manager and responsible person to manage my affairs." Included was a signed agreement between the men that Vick would pay Talbot $15,000 per month during the bankruptcy proceeding.
The trustee in Vick's bankruptcy proceeding, as well as attorneys for some of Vick's creditors, have objected to Talbot's appointment as adviser. One questioned his qualifications — noting that an Internet search for Talbot & Associates, the consulting business Talbot said in his affidavit that he ran out of offices in Miami and New Jersey, did not readily return any information about Talbot or the business.
In 2002, Talbot filed for bankruptcy protection in New Jersey. A judge dismissed the petition later that year.
The order said Talbot missed a confirmation hearing and regular payments in his repayment plan.
Talbot's landlord filed an eviction notice against him this week.
Talbot owes about $6,000 on his high-rise apartment in Hackensack, N.J., said Christine Turner, a property manager for Excelsior Apartments.
In his affidavit to the court in Vick's bankruptcy case, Talbot listed Vick and six other people on a "short list" of clients. One was New York radio and TV personality Joe Franklin.
Franklin, reached last month, said he knew Talbot's father well.
"David is a very enterprising man," Franklin said. "So far as I'm concerned, he's as good as gold." Talbot carried business cards that said "Jesus Christ," Franklin recalled.
"He's very sincere about that," Franklin said.
Talbot wrote in his affidavit that he was arranging for spiritual fellowship for Vick with several celebrities, including Pastor Kevin Jonas, father and manager of the popular music group The Jonas Brothers.
Jonas is the former pastor of the Wyckoff Assembly of God church, of which Talbot was once a member, according to the New Jersey securities complaint.
The complaint accuses Talbot, Kenneth Simmons of California and Robert Schroy of Illinois of running a scam from March to October 2007 and using Talbot's ties to Wyckoff Assembly and another church to recruit investors.
Some investors planned to donate their returns so a group called New Horizons Fellowship could buy the Wyckoff church, the complaint said.
New Horizons Fellowship has since disbanded, the complaint said.
Talbot used some of the money from investors on personal expenses, including checks for his son, rent and purchases at Best Buy, Geico, the Direct Shopping Network, PayPal and Bidz.com, the complaint says.
Attempts to reach Talbot during the past several weeks have been unsuccessful.