SBD/Issue 244/Sports Industrialists

Names In The News

Former Predators Investor William "Boots" 
Del Biaggio III Sentenced To Eight Years
Former Predators investor William "Boots" Del Biaggio III yesterday was sentenced to eight years in prison. Del Biaggio admitted that he "used phony documents to borrow $48[M] from banks and big lenders, while mismanaging another" $20M that was entrusted to him by friends and other investors. Del Biaggio, in his first public comments since being accused of fraud, said, "I'm incredibly sorry. I can't begin to express how sad and ashamed I am" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/9).

TAKING THE COURT: N.Y.-based attorney ALAN RICH, who is filming a documentary titled "FIRE IN THE BELLY" about wheelchair tennis players, yesterday filed suit against the USTA, "claiming it discriminates against wheelchair players by refusing to sell broadcast licensing rights to their matches." Rich is "seeking a court order that would allow him to film wheelchair competitors" during the U.S. Open when their matches start tomorrow. The USTA "does not allow matches to be filmed by anyone but its rights holders" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/9).

FEELING BLUE: Univ. of Kentucky (UK) men's basketball coach JOHN CALIPARI last week "posted a video on his Facebook page and his Web Site, www.coachcal.com, asking fans to guess who'd be receiving a No. 44 UK jersey that he held up to the camera." In the comments section below the video, "many UK fans guessed correctly that PRESIDENT OBAMA ... was the intended recipient." Calipari in a post wrote he "deleted the original post because there were comments not appropriate for this Facebook page." Calipari added that he is "aware that 'politics and sports don't mix' and that the gift is 'simply a way of spreading the word of Big Blue Nation into the White House'" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 9/6).

HITTING THE BIG SCREEN: Director STEVEN SODERBERGH will direct "KNOCKOUT," a "spy thriller that will mark the screen starring debut" of MMA fighter GINA CARANO. The film casts Carano as a "girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is given a second chance to use her skills for constructive purposes." Relativity Media will "fully finance" the film, which will be produced by GREGORY JACOBS (VARIETY.com, 9/7). Meanwhile, MMA fighter QUINTON "RAMPAGE" JACKSON "might not fight RASHAD EVANS in December because he's, instead, going to be the next B.A. BARACUS in the remake of 'THE A-TEAM'" (SI.com, 9/8).

NAMES: ARNOLD PALMER threw out the first pitch before last night's Cubs-Pirates game as part of a three-day celebration of Palmer's 80th birthday. Palmer "attracted two, separate standing ovations" from fans at PNC Park. Pirates Owner BOB NUTTING and President FRANK COONELLY, "whose introduction drew boos from much of the small crowd," stood at home plate for the festivities (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/9)....BONNIE KRAUSS, who "had been an administrative assistant in the Bills' marketing and broadcasting department for about a decade," yesterday pleaded guilty to "illegally using team credit cards to make purchases for her family before her dismissal last year." Krauss "came to court with certified bank checks for slightly more than the $70,382 she actually stole" from the Bills (BUFFALO NEWS, 9/9)....Colts QB and Univ. of Tennessee (UT) alum PEYTON MANNING announced a pledge of $1M to the UT athletics department Saturday. The gift will be used toward a new football facility scheduled to break ground this fall (UT)....The Dayton Daily News and the Reds are teaming to honor HOF baseball writer HAL MCCOY prior to the Astros-Reds game on September 16. McCoy, 68, is retiring in October after covering the Reds for 37 years. Fans can buy tickets to Hal McCoy Night for half price, compliments of the Dayton Daily News (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 9/6)….Angels P SCOTT KAZMIR, who was traded from the Rays last month, thanked the Rays organization and fans in a half-page ad that appeared in yesterday’s St. Petersburg Times (TAMPABAY.com, 9/8).

IN MEMORY: Former N.Y. Post sports writer PETE COUTROS died Monday from heart failure. He was 86 years old (N.Y. POST, 9/9)….Former MLBer and broadcaster BUDDY BLATTNER died Friday at the age of 89. Blattner covered games for the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals, Angels and Royals and was the radio voice of the St. Louis Hawks during the ‘50s (MLB.com, 9/8).

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