SBD/Issue 94/Sports Industrialists

Names In The News

U.S. District Court Judge RICHARD SULLIVAN Tuesday rejected "all claims" made by former MSG and MSG Network President BOB GUTKOWSKI that he gave Yankees Chair GEORGE STEINBRENNER the "idea for the YES Network." Gutkowski, who was seeking "at least $23[M] in damages," said that in "meetings held over the course of several years, he suggested that Steinbrenner start his own television network and that Steinbrenner promised Gutkowski he would run the network or be part of it." Sullivan "focused on the vagueness of the oral agreement that Gutkowski said he had with Steinbrenner," and he also ruled that Gutkowski "'alleges no plausible facts' to support his claim that Steinbrenner never intended to deliver on his promises." Gutkowski's attorney, NEAL BRICKMAN, said that he is "analyzing whether to appeal the decision" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/28).

Dumars Says That He Has No
Plans To Run For Public Office
POLITICAL BEAT: In Boston, Shanahan & Goldstein cite sources as indicating that Red Sox Senior Advisor of Baseball Projects JEREMY KAPSTEIN is "considering running for office in his native Rhode Island, perhaps for governor after Republican DONALD CARCIERI finishes his second term" in January '11 (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/28)....Reports have indicated that Pistons President of Basketball Operations JOE DUMARS is "being pursued by power brokers in the Democratic Party to run for governor" of Michigan. Dumars yesterday said in a statement, "I am flattered by and very much appreciate those who strongly believed I would make a formidable candidate and an effective governor for the state. But I am not a politician and do not have plans to run for public office" (FREEP.com, 1/27).

LEGAL PROCESS CONTINUES: In Toronto, Morgan Campbell reports Univ. of Kentucky (UK) P JAMES PAXTON yesterday filed an appeal in Kentucky court, "drawing out a lawsuit against the school his lawyer says is extorting him." UK in October ruled that Paxton "couldn't play until he agreed to speak to an NCAA investigator" about an investigation stemming from the NCAA's "uncertainty regarding Paxton's amateur status because of his relationship with" MLB player agent SCOTT BORAS. But Paxton "refused to sit down with the NCAA and sued the school for the right to return to the field." Paxton "argued that forcing him to talk to the NCAA violated his rights under the school's student code and Kentucky's state Constitution." The appeal "means a new set of judges will review" the decision to deny Paxton a temporary injunction to play this season, and Paxton's attorney, RICK JOHNSON, is "confident they'll have an answer before UK's baseball season begins" on February 19 (TORONTO STAR, 1/28).

Gill's Five-Year, $10M Deal With Kansas 
Makes Him Fifth Highest-Paid Coach In Big 12
NAMES: The Univ. of Kansas' athletic department yesterday made public new football coach TURNER GILL's five-year, $10M deal, which "makes him the fifth-richest coach in the Big 12 conference." Gill will "earn an annual base salary of $229,900 in addition to an annual media payment of $1,770,100." If Gill "coaches all five years of his contract, he will receive a retention payment of $500,000," and if he is "terminated without cause, he will receive $100,000 for each year that he coached." Gill also is "eligible for incentive payments that could total as much as $400,000 in any one year" (K.C. STAR, 1/28)....Nuggets G J.R. SMITH yesterday "beat an agreed-upon deadline by just eight minutes to make a 'good faith' down payment on a debt owed to" Houston-based attorney RUSTY HARDIN and avoid a lawsuit (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/28)....Mariners GM JACK ZDURIENCIK yesterday was named the recipient of the '09 Andrew "Rube" Foster AL Exec of the Year award, with Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd the NL recipient. The awards will be presented Saturday at the 10th annual Legacy Awards at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in K.C. (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 1/28)....Retired golfer ANNIKA SORENSTAM has been named the Honorary Chair of the '11 U.S. Women's Open. Sorenstam will host an exhibition during the week of the championship (USGA)....Former NFLer EMMITT SMITH will "appear on a new alternative series 'Who Do You Think You Are?' premiering" March 5 at 8:00pm ET on NBC. The series "gives viewers an up-close and personal look inside the family history of celebrities" (DALLASNEWS.com, 1/27)....The ZAC BROWN BAND will "perform at the 32nd annual Budweiser Shootout" February 6 at Daytona Int'l Speedway. The group will "perform a pre- and post-race concert and the national anthem" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 1/28). 

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