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In response to recent allegations concerning Joe Montana's involvemtn in the federal probe of the memorabilia industry, Montana's agent, Peter Johnson of IMG, issued a statement yesterday saying that the N.Y. DAILY NEWS story regarding Montana was wrong. Johnson: "Joe Montana has always reported all income from private signings to the Internal Revenue Service, and, therefore, paid taxes on fees he received. He has participated in private signings in the past, including the 1991 signing organized by Michael Bertolini. Joe has been under contract to Upper Deck Authenticated for several years, and they hold Joe's exclusive rights for signed memorabilia. Joe's only dilemma is how certain reporters and publications can report erroneous stories and not be held accountable for their actions" (IMG).
EDWARD J. DeBARTOLO, former owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, died yesterday at age 85 (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/20). ....After 94 career titles and $20.5M in career earnings IVAN LENDL is expected to announce his retirement from tennis today (TORONTO SUN, 12/20).... MICHAEL KASSA was promoted to Raycom's Director of Event Sales (Raycom). 76ers guard DANA BARROS is getting high grades for his rap track "Check It" on the NBA star- studded CD entitled "B'ball's Best Kept Secret." Barros' song is getting airplay on FM stations (BOSTON HERALD, 12/18)....From this week's ELECTRONIC MEDIA: BARRY RONA was named Assistant General Counsel for ESPN, Hong Kong. Rona was Legal Counsel and Managing Director for Beinstock Sports in New York....JIM BURGOYNE was named Manager of Production and Programming at SportsChannel New England. He was Coordinating Producer....JACK PETER goes to Director of Production for the PGA Tour Productions. He comes from The Post Group at Disney-MGM....KEN REISOR was named General Sales Manager at Prime Sports Radio in Texas. He was at KVIL-FM in Dallas (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 12/19 issue).