Jon Krawczynski / AP Sports Writer, Published October 17 2013
Peterson back at practice after son's funeral
The star running back says he found out then he had a 2-year-old son living in Sioux Falls, S.D., named Tyrese Robert Ruffin. He had been working with Tyrese’s mother to arrange a meeting with the boy when he received a call last week that the child was in the hospital with severe injuries.
Peterson raced to South Dakota last Thursday, where he saw little Tyrese for the first time. The boy died a day later in an alleged case of child abuse, and Peterson has been trying to come to grips with it ever since.
Peterson attended Tyrese’s funeral Wednesday and returned to Minnesota for practice on Thursday. His voice wavered when he discussed Tyrese publicly for the first time, trying to grapple with mourning the death of a son he never got to know.
“I was planning on seeing him. I had a talk with his mom and we got some things together as far as financially helping her,” Peterson said. “Unfortunately, this situation took place. It’s devastating.”
A man the boy’s mother was dating, 27-year-old Joseph Patterson, is being held on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Tyrese died after Patterson was arrested, and prosecutors plan to convene a grand jury to consider more serious charges.
“It was a difficult day, just taking in the circumstance and the whole situation,” Peterson said of the funeral. “A child was buried. That’s difficult for anyone.”
Peterson played against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, rushing for 62 yards on 10 carries in a 35-10 loss, and he plans to play against the New York Giants on Monday night. It’s been a theme for Peterson for nearly his entire life – football has been a refuge in difficult times ever since he was a youth.
“A lot of people won’t ever understand the situation that I’m in and see it the way I’m seeing the situation,” he said. “It’s tough, but I’m able to deal with that and got a good supporting cast around me that’s been supporting me through this tough time.”
Peterson thanked his teammates and the Vikings organization for their support.
“They’ve been great, organization, teammates, they’ve been supporting me as well,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve gotten and texts from the guys up top in the organization and players just making sure that I’m OK and I’m doing well.”
Minnesota audit finds
missteps by stadium panel
ST. PAUL – The government panel that’s managing construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium made several mistakes related to finances in its first few months of operation, according to a state audit released Thursday.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority came into existence in August 2012 under the legislation that authorized stadium construction. In addition to overseeing that process, the authority also is managing the Metrodome until it is gets torn down to make way for the new facility.
The report from Minnesota’s legislative auditor covers financial operations from August to December 2012. It found that the authority incorrectly classified about $833,000 from the Vikings for stadium construction as operating income, in violation of accepted accounting practices.
The auditor also found that the authority failed to properly verify net profits reports from the vendor that managed concessions at the Metrodome. The report recommended that the authority should periodically verify that the vendor’s underlying revenue and expense records support its reported net profits.
Despite the weaknesses identified, the auditor’s report found that the authority’s financial statements for its first five months “were fairly presented in all material respects.” In response to the audit, authority officials pledged to correct the identified problems.
“We are committed to providing accurate financial reporting information and strive to maintain strong internal controls,” Ted Mondale, the authority’s CEO, wrote to the legislative auditor.
Groundbreaking for the new stadium is planned for November. The Metrodome is to be torn down sometime after the completion of the current Vikings season.