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SBD/Issue 163/Sports IndustrialistsPrint All
Turner Has Signed With David Falk And
His Company, FAME, For Representation
DAVID FALK, once unquestionably the most powerful agent in basketball if not in all of sports, yesterday signed one of the most high-profile athletes in the country, Ohio State G EVAN TURNER. Falk and his company, FAME, will represent Turner for playing contract and marketing work. Turner, who was the consensus '10 Player of the Year as a junior at OSU, selected Falk and his company after what Falk said was an "extensive" agent selection process in which at least three other agents were interviewed. Turner is ranked No. 2 by websites nbadraft.net and draftexpress.com behind Kentucky G JOHN WALL. Powerful NBA player agent DAN FEGAN of BEST signed Wall. "It's a two-man draft," Falk said of the June NBA Draft, noting that either Wall or Turner could be selected first overall. Falk said Turner selected him over other agents because he is the only one who advised Turner last year to remain in school another year. Falk: "He called me last spring to advise him on whether he should leave college as a sophomore. I advised him to return to school. I told him if he returned to school he would go in the top eight players this year. ... He was very appreciative that one person told him to go back to school. Everyone else told him to come out." Turner is the first National Player of the Year that Falk has represented since '99, when he represented Duke F ELTON BRAND.
GETTING BACK IN THE GAME: Falk, who is best known as MICHAEL JORDAN's agent and who was Chair of the now defunct SFX Sports, did not recruit any NBA Draft prospects from '99-'07 in part because he said the business of recruiting top young players involves unethical business practices. "I never left (the agent business)," Falk said. "What I did do is stop trying to sign rookies for a period of time because of the way the process evolved or devolved. ... It made me sick. But I am a self-admitted dinosaur. I don't split fees with AAU coaches. I don't pay money to families." He added, "I know it's hard to sign a lot of players that way, but I am not interested in signing a lot of players." Falk said he was grateful to sign Turner. "What it means for me is it reaffirms my faith there are players who do it the old fashioned way," he said. Falk would not comment on Turner's marketability or how large a shoe contract he might sign. "I haven't talked to the shoe companies," he said. "There are many agents who call the shoe companies before they sign players, but I think that is unethical."
Gammons Plays Guitar,
Sings In His Own Band
PETER GAMMONS is best known for his breadth of baseball knowledge and extensive career in sports journalism that spans over four decades. But Gammons, who works for both MLB Network and NESN, also is an avid musician, playing the guitar and singing in his own band. The Baseball HOFer even released a studio album, “Never Slow Down, Never Grow Old,” in ‘06. Staff Writer Jessica Collins caught up with Gammons earlier this week at the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association’s Annual Awards Banquet in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he was inducted into the organization’s HOF.
Q: If you could play at any venue with any person or band, where would it be and with whom?
Gammons: I would probably play at the Palladium in New York with Pearl Jam.
Q: What are you more passionate about: baseball or music?
Gammons: Baseball. But I still love the music. It’s good to combine the two. It’s amazing how many musicians wish they were baseball players, EDDIE VEDDER being one of them. (Vedder’s) Cubs song “All The Way” is one of my favorite all-time songs.
Q: What is your favorite ballpark?
Gammons: Other than being a season-ticket holder at Fenway Park … I would say San Francisco, but I’m a little prejudiced because (former Giants Managing General Partner) PETER MAGOWAN and I went to school together. I actually think the greatest venue in baseball is Pittsburgh (PNC Park).
Q: What baseball story are you watching closely this year?
Gammons: I’m really looking at what is going to happen to the franchises in Tampa, Oakland and Cleveland.
Q: Which one is in the greatest danger?
Gammons: Tampa. It’s the best-run team in baseball and they’re not drawing anybody. Without some change of venue I don’t see how they can exist four years from now. It’s really a shame. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say what they’ve done is greater than what any other team has done in baseball.
Q: What advice would you give to people looking to get into the industry?
Gammons: Keep writing and working everywhere. Interning and writing. No one can tell you how to write or how to talk, you have to just practice. I was fortunate to go right from college to the Boston Globe and just start writing and doing a ton right away. Today, there isn’t that type of opportunity, but there are so many places you can write.
Burton earlier this week announced the departure of CEO LAURENT POTDEVIN after 15 years with the company. Potdevin plans to pursue other opportunities, and will remain as a consultant and advisor to Burton. Burton Chair JAKE BURTON will assume the CEO role on an interim basis while the company searches for Potdevin's successor (Burton).
EXECS: NFL Alumni Inc. has elected NFL Alumni Association Exec Dir GEORGE MARTIN as President & CEO, succeeding FRANK KRAUSER (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/5)....Majestic Athletic promoted STEVE ROCHE to Dir of MLB Team Services and DONNA ERNEY to Team Services Manager (Majestic Athletic)....NASCAR named Turner Motorsports PR Account Manager AMANDA ELLIS Communications Manager for the Camping World Truck Series (NASCAR)….Michigan Int'l Speedway named FS Detroit Senior Account Exec CHRIS BUSYN Corporate Partnerships Exec (MIS).
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Kaline Accepts Vin Scully Lifetime
Achievement Award For Harwell
Late Tigers broadcaster ERNIE HARWELL last night was "posthumously awarded the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in sports broadcasting." Baseball HOFer AL KALINE accepted the award on Harwell's behalf. Kaline's "emotions were visible as he spoke." When asked about his feelings, Kaline said, "I don't know how to answer that. I'm so proud to have known him and be able to celebrate what kind of man he was. But on the other hand, I'm sad that I'm not going to be able to see him again." Kaline said of Harwell's death on Tuesday, "We all expected it, but it's just like losing a parent. You know they are sick, you know they are going to leave, but you're never ready when it happens. We're very lucky we were able to have Ernie for so many years" (MLB.com, 5/5).
INCENTIVE-LADEN DEAL: New San Diego State Univ. AD JIM STERK's contract states the school "shall pay $7,500 for each NCAA postseason tournament in which the men's or women's basketball team participates," as well as $10,000 "for each NCAA postseason bowl game in which the football team participates and $15,000 for each postseason BCS bowl game." He also can make $5,000 for "each year that all SDSU intercollegiate athletics teams' Academic Progress Rate is at or above the NCAA-specified APR minimum." Sterk "could make a maximum incentive compensation of $50,000 every year until June 30, 2015, when his five-year deal expires" (DAILY AZTEC, 5/5).
CASE STUDY CHAMPIONS: A group of Howard Univ. students has won the NASCAR Kinetics program's Spring 2010 Case Study Competition, which "pitted teams in the NASCAR Kinetics program -- which is akin to an internship in which they learned about promoting and marketing the stock car racing circuit -- at six universities with the grand prize being a trip to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star week." NASCAR said that the Howard group "stood out for incorporating M&Ms eating and colorful fan face painting contests, a NASCAR educational component and live entertainment" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 5/5).
NAMES: Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES yesterday was inducted into the Boys & Girls Club Alumni HOF at the group's 64th annual Southwest Region Youth of the Year function at Cowboys Stadium. Meanwhile, Cowboys Exec VP/Brand Management and President of Charities CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON was presented the Chairman's Award, recognizing the team's "long support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/6)....ESPN was named Broadcaster of the Year for the third consecutive year at the New York Festivals Int'l Television & Film Awards. The network also was presented with the Grand Trophy for ESPN Films' "30 for 30" documentary "MUHAMMAD AND LARRY" (ESPN)....Magic C DWIGHT HOWARD "has a role" in the film "JUST WRIGHT," which is scheduled for release on May 14. Howard previously "had a bit part in the movie, 'VALENTINE'S DAY,' but his role was cut for the big screen and he only appears in the DVD version." Howard said that the "only thing that bothers him about making movies is the long days on the set and the reshooting of scenes" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/6)....ABC Family’s “Make It or Break It” has recruited U.S. Olympic gymnast NASTIA LIUKIN to “make a special appearance” in an upcoming episode (EW.com, 5/4)....A Miami-Dade County jury yesterday awarded former NFL WR O.J. MCDUFFIE $11.5M in his “professional malpractice suit” against former Dolphins team physician DR. JOHN URIBE, one of “several suits stemming from the handling of McDuffie’s injured big toe in 1999 that led to the end of his career.” Uribe called the decision “a travesty and an appeal is likely” (MIAMI HERALD, 5/6)....The Dolphins on Saturday are sending a contingent to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, including VP & Senior Advisor NAT MOORE, to aid in earthquake relief efforts (Dolphins)....The Butler Univ. men’s basketball team will serve as grand marshals at this year’s Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade, and JEWEL will perform the national anthem before the race (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/6)....Celtics CEO & Managing Partner WYC GROUSBECK will deliver the keynote address at Suffolk Univ.’s Sawyer Business School commencement on May 22. Grousbeck will receive an honorary doctorate of Commercial Science (BOSTON HERALD, 5/6).