Noll’s funeral to be held on Tuesday

PITTSBURGH – Funeral arrangements have been set for former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll.

A public viewing is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at John A. Freyvogel Sons in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.

The funeral home’s website says visitation is also being held Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m.

Noll died of natural causes Friday at his home near Pittsburgh. He was 82. The Hall of Fame coach won a record four Super Bowl titles with the Steelers.

A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland.

Brent leaves jail

DALLAS – Former Dallas Cowboys tackle Josh Brent was released from jail on Sunday following his conviction for a drunken car crash that killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown, the Dallas County sheriff’s office said.

The 26-year-old Brent was convicted in January of intoxication manslaughter for the December 2012 crash that killed Jerry Brown, a Cowboys practice squad player. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years’ probation. It was not immediately clear whether he would be required to report to a rehab facility to complete his six-month sentence, which was expected to end in July.

Brent crashed his Mercedes sedan on a suburban Dallas highway on the way back from a nightclub. Brown was in the passenger’s seat. Witnesses recalled seeing Brent trying to pull Brown from the wreckage of the vehicle.

Tests later showed Brent to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Texas.

Brent faced up to 20 years in prison for intoxication manslaughter, and prosecutors pressed hard for prison time, saying his case would send a message to other would-be drunken drivers.

But Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, testified she had forgiven Brent and that “you can’t go on in life holding a grudge.”

Brent and Brown were college teammates at the University of Illinois and roommates in Texas, where Brown was a practice squad linebacker for the Cowboys.

Brent was a defensive tackle for the Cowboys. He retired from the NFL months before his January trial, though he could attempt to be reinstated now that he has been released. It’s unclear whether the NFL will suspend him before he can play again.

At least one Cowboys player, linebacker Sean Lee, attended part of Brent’s trial, and owner Jerry Jones has said he is supportive of Brent.

Ex-Titans RB dies

FORT WORTH, Texas – Rodney Thomas, who played running back for the Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons during a seven-year NFL career, has died. He was 41.

Thomas died Saturday at the home in Groveton, a small East Texas town where he grew up, that he bought for his mother after signing his first professional contract, Groveton Funeral Home owner Terry Cartwright said Sunday. The cause of death wasn’t known and an autopsy was underway, he said.

The Oilers selected the Texas A&M running back in the 3rd round of the 1995 draft, and he ran for 947 yards and five touchdowns during his rookie season. The team finished the season 7-9, though, and drafted Heisman Trophy-winning running back Eddie George in the first round the following spring, making Thomas a backup.

Thomas remained with the team as a backup after it moved to Tennessee and became the Titans, but eclipsed 200 rushing yards in a season only once more, when he ran for 310 yards during the Titans’ 1997 campaign.

He played in Super Bowl XXIV, when the Titans lost to the Rams, and played his seventh and final season with the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. He finished his career with 1,973 rushing yards, 631 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns.

Cartwright said Thomas had been living in Spring, near Houston, with his wife and 4-year-old child, and that he often visited Groveton on business and to see his mother and other relatives who live in town. He said Thomas was well-liked in the community because he was “down to earth and humble.”

Thomas led the high school football team to back-to-back state championships, in 1989 and 1990.