SBD/Issue 13/Sports Industrialists

Names In The News

Former heavyweight boxer CHUCK WEPNER’s lawsuit “will go forward against actor SYLVESTER STALLONE, contending his name was inappropriately used to promote the ROCKY movies.” But two additional claims of Wepner were dismissed yesterday by U.S. District Judge KATHARINE HAYDEN in Newark: that Stallone was “unjustly enriched by trading on Wepner’s life story and that Wepner suffered by relying on Stallone’s promises” (AP, 9/28).

HUSH HUSH: Lakers G KOBE BRYANT, hours after his “sexual encounter with a hotel employee in Colorado” last July, told investigators that then-teammate SHAQUILLE O’NEAL had paid up to $1M to women to “keep them quiet about ‘situations like this.’” O’Neal was informed of Bryant’s comment last September. O’Neal’s agent, Perry Rogers, said yesterday the allegation was untrue and “undeserving of a response” (L.A. TIMES, 9/29).

MAKING THE GRADE: Texas A&M’s LABORATORY FOR THE STUDY OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS (LSIA) has developed a new system to rate college athletic departments. The rankings are based on areas such as graduation rates, gender-equity opportunities, financial responsibility and national postseason finishes. PENN STATE, STANFORD, OHIO STATE, WASHINGTON and ARIZONA finished one through five (Eric Prisbell, WASHINGTON POST, 9/29).

A Lesson In Some Of That
“Crazy Kung Fu” Perhaps?

TOP TEN: Last night’s Top Ten list was “Top Ten New York Yankees Strategies For Winning The World Series.” The list was read by Yankees RF GARY SHEFFIELD from the dugout at YANKEE STADIUM.” No. 8: “We added a home run-hitting kangaroo and there ain’t a thing anyone can do about it.” No. 3: “HIDEKI MATSUI taught us some crazy Kung Fu.” No. 2: “Convince [Yankees Owner GEORGE STEINBRENNER] to spend a little money on this team for once” (CBS, 9/28).

GO PATTERN: The owners of CONNER’S A-MAIZE-ING ACRES, a cornfield maze and agricultural amusement park in Hilliard, Florida, “received NFL approval earlier this year to use the SUPER BOWL XXXIX logo as the pattern for their maze.” The maze opens Saturday. NFL Dir of Marketing TY STEWART said that it “will make the promotional records book as the first ever Super Bowl maze,” adding, “It’s absolutely one of the more creative ways to promote the Super Bowl in our history” (Amelia Hart, FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/29).

TROPHY CASE: NFL Panthers Owner JERRY RICHARDSON was honored yesterday with the ’04 WORLD CITIZEN AWARD, presented by the World Affairs Council of Charlotte. NFL Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE was one of the award presenters. Former Bank of America Chair & CEO HUGH MCCOLL also spoke at the black-tie affair. Also in attendance were Steelers Chair DAN ROONEY and NFL Exec VP/Communications & Public Affairs JOE BROWNE (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/29).

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