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THOMAS DUFFY has been named VP/Finance and Royalty Administration for MLB Properties. Duffy had served as Controller for MLBP. Duffy will be responsible for all financial operations of MLBP (MLBP)....Former Eskimos kicker DAVE CUTLER has been hired by the B.C. Lions as a marketing consultant (Vancouver PROVINCE, 4/4)....Former Bulls coach DOUG COLLINS said he is not interested in becoming Warriors VP of Basketball Ops (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 4/5)....DR. JOHN SMYTH has been named Dir of the USOC's Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Smyth has served as interim Director since July 1 (USOC)....LARRY ELDRIDGE, former editor of the Christian Science Monitor, has taken over as sports editor of the Interchange Online, AT&T's soon-to-be launched computer service (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/4).
The UCLA MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM were guests on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. Jay Leno: "Did you see ED O'BANNON last night? At one time he had five guys on him. Five guys hanging all over him! I don't know why they let those agents in the locker room after the game." UCLA Coach JIM HARRICK came out with the NCAA Trophy, which he reluctantly handed over to Leno. Harrick: "I remember what you said last year. ... You dogged us just a little bit. But I am going to forgive you" ("Tonight Show," NBC, 4/4). UConn's basketball standout REBECCA LOBO was a guest on "Late Show" with David Letterman. Lobo said she wants to be a sports broadcaster (CBS, 4/4)....Astros Manager TERRY COLLINS and Tigers Manager SPARKY ANDERSON appeared on "Good Morning America" (ABC, 4/5). Dodgers Manager TOMMY LASORDA appeared on "CBS This Morning" (CBS, 4/5)....Heat Owner MICKY ARISON remained hospitalized after heart surgery in London for a partially blocked artery (Mult., 4/5).... NewSport's Question of the Day found 63% believing NOLAN RICHARDSON will head to the Grizzlies (NewSport). LETTERMAN'S TOP TEN WAYS THE METS CAN IMPROVE THIS YEAR: 10) Don't just suck -- suck 110%; 9) Require players to bet on games so they care about outcome; 8) Instead of baseball hats -- Donahue wigs; 7) No beers till the seventh inning; 6) A little less "polishing the bat," if you know what I mean; 5) Wait at least until All-Star break to get indicted; 4) Stop letting KATO KAELIN sleep in the dugout; 3) Two words: Coach Gump; 2) Forget about Letterman hosting annual awards banquet; 1) Keep the replacements (CBS, 4/4).
The prospects of a '98 gubernatorial run in Alabama by "conservative" Suns superstar CHARLES BARKLEY is examined by Gene Owens of NEWHOUSE NEWS. Owens lists several of Barkley's "political assets," which on the surface, "seem formidable": He is an "articulate conservative, a self-described Republican with exceptional mass-media connections"; his name is a household word and "he is worth millions." On the other hand, Alabama GOP leaders, while "intrigued" by Barkley, "can quickly sketch the downside of his potential candidacy" as he has a "habit of saying what he thinks -- often in jest and just as often at the wrong time and in the wrong place" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/31).