Don Tollefson worked in the local media in Philadelphia for decades and was well known for his charity work. Heck, in a post on this website in 2010, he was dubbed "Tolley Sunshine" and described thusly:
By all accounts he’s a terrific guy who tirelessly supports and promotes local charities. He’s also, by a wide margin, the most optimistic person to ever walk the face of the earth. He makes Pat Croce seem depressed.
But maaaaybe not so much. That was back when Tollefson was doing television work on Eagles pre-season games.
Now, Tollefson has found himself in a bit of hot water with numerous claims of shady activity and perhaps even fraud surrounding some of that charity work he was so well known for.
The tag team of William Bender and Molly Eichel reported for the Daily News on the trips Tolley organized to Eagles away games that were supposed to help some of his multiple charities. Problem is, people paid good money -- thousands and thousands of dollars from "more than 100 victims" -- and never received the tickets or airfare they were promised.
Sources tell the Daily News that Tollefson's charities have been raising eyebrows for more than a decade, going back to his days at Fox 29, and the multijurisdictional criminal probe into the alleged scam has already expanded beyond the Eagles road-trip snafu.
The investigation now involves the IRS and a grand jury, according to a source recently contacted by a law-enforcement official working the Tollefson case. Websites for most of Tollefson's charities have gone dark.
And, very much in line with our original posting on Tolley back in 2010, one of the "charity" websites that is still active "is written mostly in all-caps."
The whole report is worth reading if you're interested in the subject. There are also plenty of people who defend Tolley's legit charity work over the years. It sounds like he did actually do a ton of good work at points but somewhere along the way fell into some very shady things. That may have spiraled a bit too far.
>>Victims in Tollefson's alleged charity scam want refunds, not criminal charges [DN]
Have any doubts about Joel Embiid's health?
Well take a look at this.
How about now?
Of course, this isn't live NBA action, and it is against 5-11 Drew Hanlen, a skills coach and consultant, but it's impressive nonetheless.
Charles Barkley is jumping on the Sixers bandwagon.
"I think the Sixers gonna get really good, really quickly, but it all depends on (Joel) Embiid," Barkley said. "They're not gonna win a championship the next couple years, but I think they can really become a perrenial playoff team in the next three years."
Sounds good, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of "ifs" according to Barkley.
Most of those "ifs" ride on the health of center Joel Embiid. If the big man gets healthy, and the Sixers can resolve the "glutton of big guys," Barkley likes the Sixers chances.
"I think the most important thing they need to figure out is if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy. ... I like (Jahlil) Okafor and I like (Nerlens) Noel, but they gotta figure out if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy.
"I like Ben Simmons, but that team's got a long way to go," Barkley said.
To hear more of Barkley's thoughts on the Sixers' future, watch the full video above.
The Eagles have a serious depth problem at linebacker, and they're looking at a local prospect to try to fix it.
The team will sign former Villanova linebacker Don Cherry on Sunday, pending a physical, a league source told CSNPhilly.com. ESPN's Adam Caplan first reported the deal.
Cherry, 21, first signed with the Bears after going undrafted in the spring, but was cut by Chicago in June.
The 6-1, 240-pound Cherry was an All-CAA selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. During his time on the Main Line, he was credited with 331 tackles, 46 1/2 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Even with Cherry, the Eagles are still light in the depth department at linebacker. After starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, the team has Najee Goode, Deontae Skinner, seventh-rounder Joe Walker and a couple of other undrafted free agents.
After cutting wideout Jonathan Krause on Friday, the Eagles had three vacancies on their 90-man roster. They're filling another of those openings with former Alabama safety Nick Perry, according to a league source. The perry deal was first reported by Al.com's Matt Zenitz. The 6-1, 211-pound Perry spent last season on the Ravens' practice squad after going undrafted in 2015.
Eagles training camp kicks off Monday, and the first full-team practice is Thursday.