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  • "REAL SPORTS" EXAMINES STEFFI GRAF'S OFF-COURT TROUBLES

              HBO's "Real Sports" examined the tax evasion case
         against PETER GRAF, father of STEFFI GRAF, as his trial in
         Germany winds down.  HBO's Jim Lampley noted that during its
         investigation of Grafs' finances in '94, German tax
         prosecutors compiled a list of Steffi's income from
         tournaments over the years, which included appearance fees
         of more than $1M.  Lampley added that "several" of these
         tournaments were officially sanctioned by the WTA Tour. 
              BOOK OF RULES:  WTA Tour regulations "specifically
         forbid such guaranteed payments."  According to those rules,
         a player receiving an appearance fee could be subjected to
         "hefty fines" and a suspension of up to three months.  Corel
         WTA Tour CEO ANNE PERSON WORCESTER sent HBO a letter reading
         in part: "The Corel WTA Tour continues to utilize both its
         internal and external resources to monitor the Peter Graf
         tax evasion trial ... and determine the validity of the
         allegations regarding appearance fees allegedly paid to
         players.  To date, the tour has still not been able to
         obtain, or has [not] been presented with any substantiated
         evidence, of appearance money being paid to any tour
         player."  Chief trial prosecutor HUBERT JOBSKI said during
         the investigation of Graf's finances, it "surfaced ... that
         certain organizations have paid appearance fees.  They were
         officially declared as appearance fees."  But, according to
         Lampley, no one from the WTA has contacted Jobski regarding
         that information.  Tennis Week Publisher GENE SCOTT: "It is
         absolute nonsense to think that [Graf] would have been paid
         those amounts of money were it not as an incentive to show
         up in the tournament.  ... Without admitting that there is a
         problem, how can they [WTA Tour] come up with a solution?"
              PLENTY MORE READING:  KLAUS BRINKBAUMER, a writer for
         the German magazine Der Spiegel, co-wrote a book outlining
         "how the Grafs' allegedly bilked the German Government out
         of millions."  Brinkbaumer, on the WTA's reluctancy to
         investigate: "Everybody in women's tennis wants to keep
         Steffi Graf on the tour.  So there is nobody in the world of
         women's tennis who wants to go after this, or who wants to
         find out what's going on."   After the segment, Lampley told
         Bryant Gumbel that if the WTA Tour knew about the fee, "they
         probably preferred to believe that the money was being paid
         to Steffi as promotional money for services related to the
         tournaments, and if they knew more than that then it was
         probably in their best interest to look the other way." 
         Lampley added, "This is a very difficult time for the WTA
         Tour.  They are just finishing their first year of their new
         sponsorship deal with Corel.  In that first year, it is
         known that Corel is not happy that Graf played [Monica]
         Seles one time, and ...it never happened in a WTA Tour
         event.  [GABRIELA] SABATINI and [KIMIKO] DATE, two top-ten
         players, have just retired.  Seles is heading for probable
         shoulder surgery.  So to lose Steffi Graf for a long period
         of time to suspension would be a critically damaging blow to
         the WTA Tour" ("Real Sports," HBO, 1/13).
              WTA: PERSON WORCESTER, in response to the report: "We
         are actively monitoring the Peter Graf tax evasion trial and
         have attempted to obtain documents.  But the German system
         doesn't allow disclosure of documents.  Our course of action
         will be decided after the trial" (USA TODAY, 1/13).
    
    

    Print | Tags: HBO, People and Pop Culture, Time Warner
  • EXECUTIVE TRANSACTIONS

              ESPN International has named BEN NICHOLAS Dir of Sales,
         Europe (ESPN International)....CBS Sports named DANA
         MCCLINTOCK Dir, Olympic Communications (CBS Sports)....The
         International Motor Sports Association has promoted H. DOUG
         ROBINSON to VP/Race Operations (IMSA)...The Dodgers have
         hired STEVE GARVEY and RON CEY to their community and
         marketing departments (Atlanta Constitution, 1/14).
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, Los Angeles Dodgers, News Corp./Fox, People and Pop Culture, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • HELP WANTED: THE DAILY SEEKS ASSISTANT EDITOR

              THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY is looking for an Assistant
         Editor.  Qualified candidates must possess superior writing,
         editing and grammatical skills and an exceptional
         understanding of the sports industry. Interested?  Fax cover
         letter/resume to Abraham Madkour at (203) 857-5590.
    
    

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
  • NAMES IN THE NEWS

              WAYNE HUIZENGA's Republic Industries Inc., said it has
         a deal with General Motors allowing it to acquire GM car and
         truck franchises throughout the U.S. (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
         1/14)....JOHN MCENROE and his band, the Johnny Smyth band,
         hope to release their first album this summer on the
         independent label 21 West Entertainment (TIME, 1/20)....19
         year-old Olympic skating champion OKSANA BAIUL "was driving
         under the influence of alcohol" when she suffered a
         concussion from an accident in CT (HARTFORD COURANT, 1/14). 
    
    

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  • THIS MERCHANT OUT OF WOODS' BUSINESS

              A "struggle for control of TIGER WOODS' charitable
         endeavors" has ended with EARL WOODS, Tiger's father,
         "firing" JOHN MERCHANT as Tiger's primary legal advisor,
         according to Adam Barr of GOLFWEEK.  Earl Woods said the
         reason for the split was Merchant's role as Exec Dir of the
         National Minority Golf Foundation: "We felt it was in our
         best interests to have John pursue full time the NMGF,
         because he was getting stretched pretty thin.  He was a
         full-time employee of ours, and yet, he was trying to get
         the NMGF started."  Barr notes that members of the Woods
         family want to "channel" their charitable efforts into the
         newly formed Tiger Woods Foundation, and according to Barr,
         Merchant's relationship with the Woods' was dissolved "after
         a tense" December 10 business meeting where "tempers flared
         when Merchant expressed his opinion that Tiger and Nike Inc.
         ... were planning their own charitable agenda without
         involving Merchant and the National Minority Golf
         Foundation."  Barr notes that Merchant said he has decided
         to resign his NMGF post (GOLFWEEK, 1/11 issue).
              TIGER NEWS & NOTES: Woods will play in the AT&T Pebble
         Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament later this month, and
         "Tin Cup" star KEVIN COSTNER will be his amateur partner,
         tournament Exec Dir Lou Russo confirmed yesterday (S.F.
         CHRONICLE, 1/14)....Amidst reports that Woods rebuffed a
         request from BOB HOPE to play in the Bob Hope Classic, Bob
         Hope Classic President Ernie Dunlevie said yesterday that
         Woods "absolutely did not blow us off.  Bob did call Tiger. 
         Tiger was very nice.  Our tournament does not fit into his
         schedule."  But IMG spokesperson Bev Norwood said that Woods
         never spoke to Hope (WASHINGTON POST, 1/14). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: ATT, IMG, Nike, People and Pop Culture
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