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SBD/Issue 136/Sports Industrialists
People In The News: William Wesley A Power Broker In Sports
Published April 7, 2008
In N.Y., Pete Thamel profiled Greentree Mortgage broker WILLIAM WESLEY, who has extended a "puzzling and powerful reach throughout sports," and is "known to the people in the know but remains a face in the crowd to most everyone else." Wesley is a "confidant" of Bobcats Managing Member of Basketball Operations MICHAEL JORDAN and a "close friend" of Cavaliers F LEBRON JAMES. Wesley, who has "gained power through his connections," is a "sideline presence from summer basketball games to the NBA finals to the Super Bowl." Thamel: "He has the ear of NBA owners and junior high phenoms alike. He had strong enough ties in the music and sports worlds to introduce James and JAY-Z." Wesley has been "linked with the family of [Memphis G] DERRICK ROSE and to one of the country's top high school players, TYREKE EVANS." Univ. of Connecticut coach JIM CALHOUN: "If someone brought him in for show and tell, I'm not quite sure what Wes would present. It was easy to identify SONNY VACCARO because of Nike and later adidas. It was easy to identify DAVID FALK because of the players he represented. It's difficult to identify Wes, but in some ways he's a power broker of the same scale." Big Ten Commissioner JIM DELANY: "Whether college, professional or youth basketball, shoe companies or media, U.S. or international, I would guess that Wes is as connected as any individual that I've observed. That said, I still don't know much about him." Delany told Wesley that he "would love to have him help Big Ten programs recruit players if he knew for sure that what Wesley was doing was allowed." NCAA Associate Dir of Enforcement LUANN HUMPHREY has "been asking college coaches and administrators about Wesley's role in recruiting for months." NCAA President MYLES BRAND: "Am I concerned about people who have an influence on basketball that one might not consider healthy, leaving aside this one individual? You bet, all the time" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/5).
Fantasy Sports Ventures Founder Says Network
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WOMEN'S TOUR NEXT? Outback Champions Series Founder & InsideOut Sports & Entertainment co-Founder JIM COURIER in a Q&A with the BOSTON GLOBE, was asked if he has considered adding a women’s tour to the series. Courier: “The second that we get enough buy-in from the right women, we will attempt to launch one of these, if someone doesn't beat us to the punch. I'm sure it's not a novel idea. It's name recognition. The most attractive thing that I think tennis brings in comparison to other sports at our biggest and best events is men and women competing at the same event. You don't see that in any other sport. And we'd love to be able to have STEFFI GRAF and MONICA SELES and MARTINA NAVRATILOVA and GABRIELA SABATINI and [LINDSAY] DAVENPORT, when she's finished playing in the WTA. We'd love to have them come and play, and the fans would love to see them" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/6).