SBD/Issue 198/Sports Industrialists

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  • New Republic Profiles Sonny Vaccaro's Fight Against The NCAA

    Former adidas, Nike and Reebok exec SONNY VACCARO since his '07 retirement has "waged a single-minded campaign against ... the NCAA," according to Jason Zengerle of THE NEW REPUBLIC. Vaccaro has visited colleges nationwide to "speak to students about the evils of the NCAA." Vaccaro during a lecture at the Univ. of Maryland last fall said, "The NCAA is the most fraudulent organization that ever lived." Vaccaro believes that the NCAA is "fraudulent for two fundamental reasons: The first is that the NCAA is more devoted to business than to education; and the second is that the NCAA makes its money by exploiting the talents of the young men it is supposed to be educating." Zengerle writes Vaccaro, because of his experience, "presents the college sports reform movement with an opportunity that holds both peril and potential. At one level, Vaccaro could harm the cause of reform by sullying it. ... At the same time, Vaccaro, more than anyone else in the movement, knows the nature of the enemy -- Having once been the enemy."

    OVER THE HILL? Vaccaro since retiring from Reebok has had "several conversations ... with people on Capitol Hill about potential congressional hearings into the NCAA's tax-exempt status." Vaccaro believes that the NCAA losing that status and "being recognized as a business would force the organization and its members to compensate student-athletes beyond providing them with a scholarship that many of them are effectively unable to use." Vaccaro is "optimistic that he'll get his congressional hearing," and a Congressional aide said that his committee "could hold hearings on the NCAA as early as September" (NEW REPUBLIC, 7/9 issue).

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  • Executive Transactions

    Coyotes Assistant GM BRAD TRELIVING has added the title of AHL San Antonio Rampage GM. In addition, the team named DAVID VEST VP/News Content, ASHLEY OGLINE Ticket Operations Coordinator and FRANK EFFINGER Head Pro Scout and promoted JULIE ATHERTON to VP/HR, STEVE LYONS to Assistant Dir of Amateur Scouting and DON SCHWARTZ to Manager of Community Relations. The team also extended the contract of Dir of Amateur Scouting KEITH GRETZKY (Coyotes).

    FRANCHISES: The Blackhawks have named AHL Norfolk Admirals VP & Assistant GM MARK BERNARD GM of Minor League Affiliations (Blackhawks)....The Tigers have promoted the following: VP/Corporate Sales STEVE HARMS to VP/Corporate Partnerships & Ticket Sales, Dir of Suite Sales & Services SCOT PETT to VP/Suite Sales & Services, Event Operations Manager JILL BARAN to Manager of Events & Guests Services and Sponsorship Services Manager ELI BAYLESS to Dir of Promotions & In-Game Entertainment. The Tigers also hired MALLORY SEIDE as Sponsorship Services Coordinator (Tigers).

    EXECS: as hired ED HINTON as a senior writer focusing on motorsports. Hinton most recently was the senior motorsports reporter for the Tribune Co. newspaper chain (ESPN)....The LPGA has named Nike Senior HR Consultant CAROL CORCORAN to the newly created position of Chief Administrative Officer, effective August 4 (LPGA).....Columbia Sportswear named TIM BARTELS VP/Global Footwear Sales and promoted National Sales Manager of Men’s Apparel MITCH FIELDS to VP/Global Apparel Sales. Previously, Bartels was VP/Global Sales for Keen (Columbia)….KemperSports promoted GARY BINDER to Exec VP (KemperSports)…The Indiana Sports Corp. named JULIE ARNOLD Dir of NCAA Special Projects (Indiana Sports Commission).

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  • Names In The News

    Pistons Owner BILL DAVIDSON has endorsed presumptive Republican presidential candidate JOHN MCCAIN. Davidson: "Ordinarily, I wouldn't say because I'm not a Democrat or a Republican, but to me, it's pretty clear cut. ... I just don't think [presumptive Democratic candidate BARACK] OBAMA has the type of experience so far that is necessary" (AP, 7/2).

    MEDIA FIX: Fox' TERRY BRADSHAW and Saints RB REGGIE BUSH have helped in the production of "WALKING ON DEAD FISH," a new documentary about the effect Hurricane Katrina had on Louisiana's East St. John High School. Bush, who donated $20,000 worth of football equipment to the school, and Bradshaw, who narrates the picture, both "helped finance the film." Meanwhile, Author JON KRAKAUER has withdrawn the manuscript he submitted to Doubleday for a book on late NFL Cardinals S and Army Ranger PAT TILLMAN. The book was scheduled for an October release (SI, 7/7 issue)....USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes ESPN's LINDA COHN's new book titled, "COHN-HEAD," is a "refreshing departure from the sugar-coated autobiographies." Cohn in the book "paints herself as plucky and, at times, something rhyming with witchy." Hiestand also writes, "Give her props for writing that 'why do I always have the feeling that when my looks finally go, then so will my career?'" (USA TODAY, 7/3).

    Univ. of Tennessee Extends Pearl's
    Contract Through 2014
    NOT QUITE VOLUNTEERS: The Univ. of Tennessee has signed men's basketball coach BRUCE PEARL and football coach PHILLIP FULMER to contract extensions through 2014. Pearl, whose salary will average $2.3M per year over the whole deal, received a $300,000 raise to $1.6M for the '08-09 season, and his contract will increase to $2.5M by 2014. Pearl also received a bonus of $250,000 and a retention bonus of $1.5M. Fulmer, whose annual salary jumped to $2.99M, received a $350,000 raise to $2.4M for the '08 season, and his contract will jump to $3.3M by 2014 (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 7/3).

    NAMES: The Patriots cheerleaders this week are in China as part of an initiative with BOCOG. Eight cheerleaders are hosting clinics for Chinese dance teams that will perform at this summer's Beijing Olympics, and the Patriots cheerleaders also are "participating in a number of community- and fan-related activities while in China" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/3)....Colts TE DALLAS CLARK Sunday signed autographs at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, Iowa, "asking people to donate $20 to help" victims of the floods and tornadoes in Iowa. Clark raised more than $18,000 during his four-hour signing (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/1)....Cavaliers F LEBRON JAMES and English Premier League (EPL) club Manchester United F WAYNE ROONEY Saturday night hung out at the Blush nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 6/30)....Russian President DMITRY MEDVEDEV Thursday removed EPL club Chelsea Owner ROMAN ABRAMOVICH from his post as Gov. of Russia's Chukotka region (AFP, 7/3).

    IN MEMORY: S.F. State Univ. history professor and baseball author JULES TYGIEL, who in '83 wrote "BASEBALL'S GREAT EXPERIMENT: JACKIE ROBINSON AND HIS LEGACY," died Tuesday after a "nearly three-year battle with cancer." Tygiel was 59 (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/3).

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