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Greentree Mortgage broker William Wesley is "close to formalizing an agreement with Creative Artists Agency to work for the company as an agent" for NBA and college basketball coaches, according to sources cited by Seth Davis of SI.com. The sources indicated that Wesley has "been in conversations for several months with CAA," which represents "two of the basketball figures who are most often linked" to Wesley -- Cavaliers F LeBron James and Univ. of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari. Wesley is "close friends" with James' agent, CAA Sports' Leon Rose. One source said the Wesley-CAA deal is "imminent" and likely will be signed this summer. Davis noted Wesley will "focus mainly on representing NBA coaches but will also represent some college coaches as well." His decision to become an agent marks an "uncharacteristic shift into a public role for a man who has long been content to operate behind the scenes." Wesley's connections "throughout all levels of basketball have earned him the nickname 'World Wide Wes.'" In addition to his relationship with Calipari, Wesley has "developed many other friendships with college coaches across the nation," which will "ostensibly provide Wesley with a rich pool from which he can select his prospective clients for CAA" (SI.com, 3/5).
GETTING INTO THE GAME: In Phoenix, Mike Sunnucks reports local law firm Snell & Wilmer LLP this month "launched a subsidiary called Athlete Management Professionals LLC, which will represent professional athletes in contract negotiations and help them with endorsement, equipment and marketing deals." Snell finance attorney TRAVIS LEACH serves as Managing Partner of AMP, which is based at Snell's downtown Phoenix HQs and "plans to focus largely on football and baseball players." Leach said that AMP "already has 10 athletes signed up, and Snell does other legal work for 10 pros unrelated to the management side." He noted that AMP's "most high-profile client" is NFL free agent LB JOEY PORTER (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/5 issue).
Maple Leafs Assistant GM & Dir of Hockey Operations JEFF JACKSON "has left the team." Jackson was the team's salary cap expert and "one of the last" holdovers from previous GM JOHN FERGUSON's staff (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/8)….The Bulls have hired LINDSEY HUNTER as Player Development Assistant after waiving him last week (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/6)….Augusta State Univ. (ASU) has named MELISSA MULLINS to the position of Senior Woman Administrator & Assistant AD of Student-Athlete Services (ASU)….The PGA Tour Bob Hope Classic has named LARRY THIEL as Tournament Chair. Thiel previously served as Exec Dir of the The International, which was canceled prior to the '07 season (Bob Hope Classic)….New Hampshire Union Leader columnist BRIAN MACPHERSON is leaving the paper to join the Providence Journal as a Red Sox reporter, replacing JOE MCDONALD, who left for ESPNBoston.com (BOSTONSPORTSMEDIA.com, 3/6)….Learfield Sports has hired Arizona Golf Association Manager of Corporate Sales TED HRITZ and Staples Business Development Associate STACI HASTINGS as Account Execs for its New Mexico Univ. Sports Properties (Learfield).
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Elisabeth Hasselbeck Set To Host
New ABC Ice Dancing Reality Series
BBC Worldwide Productions last week announced that it is "planning an ice dancing reality series for ABC." The company, which produces ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," is "planning a format that's very similar to its current ABC hit, with six celebrities paired with professional skaters" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/5). ELISABETH HASSELBECK, co-host of "The View," reportedly is set to host the series, currently called "THIN ICE" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/6).
LEADING THE FIGHT: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir profiled New York State Athletic Commission Chair MELVINA LATHAN, who "appreciates mixed martial arts enough to want the State Legislature to legalize the sport." Legalization "may come soon," as New York Gov. DAVID PATERSON in his proposed '10-11 budget "included legislation to repeal the ban, a maneuver that is designed to accelerate approval and help raise tax revenue for the deficit-strapped state" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/6).
HEADED TO COURT: Cowboys scouting assistant RICH BEHM and special teams coach JOE DECAMILLIS, both injured in the collapse of the Cowboys' practice facility last May, "for the first time ... took legal aim" at team Owner JERRY JONES Friday. Behm and DeCamillis "did not target him personally or the Cowboys, but they did add three Jones businesses as defendants in lawsuits filed in August against the builder and related parties." The amended lawsuit alleges that three Jones businesses -- Blue Star Land LP, Blue Star Development Co. and Cowboys Center Ltd. -- "failed to have their collapse expert review final repair plans" for the facility (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/6).
NAMES: Pursuant to Heat Owner MICKY ARISON's request, Carnival Corporation donated the entire amount of his Non-Equity Incentive Plan Compensation ($2.2M) to the following relief organizations: UNICEF, the Univ. of Miami's Project Medishare, American Red Cross and Save the Children to aid in the relief efforts in Haiti (THE DAILY)....76ers G ALLEN IVERSON's home outside Philadelphia reportedly is "under agreement of sale." Iverson put the Villanova home on the market in '07 for $6.3M, before lowering it "several times, most recently" to $3.25M (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/7)....Former tennis player PETE SAMPRAS and his wife, actress BRIDGETTE WILSON-SAMPRAS, have listed their home in Lake Sherwood, California, for $25M (LATIMES.com, 3/5)....Bears DE JULIUS PEPPERS after signing with the team on Friday "purchased 25 bottles of Perrier Jouet Fleur de Champagne ($350 per bottle) at the River North club" in Chicago and "had them distributed" to patrons at 2:30am Saturday morning (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 3/7)....U.S. Gold Medal-winning snowboarder SHAUN WHITE appeared at Vanity Fair's post-Oscars party last night at the Sunset Towers Hotel in L.A. (N.Y. POST, 3/8).