SBD/Issue 241/Sports & SocietyPrint All
In L.A., Carla Hall noted Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt last week promised to give the 10,000 men and women of the L.A. Police Department "vouchers for four tickets apiece." Dodgers VP/PR & Broadcasting Josh Rawitch said that the 40,000 tickets are worth about $1.25M-1.5M. Rawitch: "This is certainly one of the largest charitable donations made to a single organization by the Dodgers in recent memory." Asked whether McCourt, who is "embroiled in a multimillion-dollar divorce with his estranged wife, Jamie," could afford it, Rawitch replied, "Yes, of course" (L.A. TIMES, 8/28). However, in L.A., T.J. Simers wrote, "I wonder, was it an act of generosity, or are the city's police officers being used -- once again McCourt getting something for nothing?" On top of the "great public relations gained already in exchange for seats that will probably be empty, he fills them with civil servants who will still have to pay for parking and who will undoubtedly fill up on concessions." McCourt "turns a profit, and it costs him nothing to appear charitable" (L.A. TIMES, 8/29).
HELPING OUT THE SCHOOLS: In Charlotte, Ron Green Jr. reported in a front-page piece the Bobcats and Owner Michael Jordan today announced a $250,000 donation to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system to "help fund middle-school athletics programs." The donation, co-sponsored by FS Carolinas, is the "largest ever announced" for the school system's athletics. School officials had previously announced a "pay-to-play plan" for middle school and high school sports. The Charlotte Touchdown Club has donated $56,000 "to middle-school athletics, including contributions" from the NFL Panthers and the NFLPA, and two individuals "have donated $5,000 apiece." However, the Bobcats' donation is the "largest ever announced to CMS athletics." Jordan said, "We investigated the situation. … This was one of the options presented to us" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/29).
Selig Endows Chair At Univ. Of
Wisconsin's History Department
STAY TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL: In Milwaukee, Anthony Witrado reported MLB Commissioner Bud Selig last week teamed with some MLB owners and Baseball HOFer Hank Aaron to "endow two scholarships and a chair for the history department" at his alma mater, the Univ. of Wisconsin. Selig and his wife, Sue, endowed the Allan H. Selig Chair in History, "supporting a new faculty position that will focus on the relationship between sports and society from 1900 to the present." Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio, Red Sox Chair Tom Werner and A's Owner Lew Wolff, a former UW roommate of Selig's, teamed to establish the "Great People Scholarship" in "honor of the Seligs." Aaron's Chasing the Dream Foundation "endowed a '4 for 4' scholarship designated to help students with financial need from under-represented groups" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/28).
AWARD-WINNING PERFORMANCE: Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols received the Hope Award for his off-the-field success at the "Restoring Honor" rally held by Fox News' Glenn Beck in DC Saturday. Pujols was introduced by Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. La Russa said, "His baseball exploits are not the reason that he is the Hope Award recipient. What separates Albert is his total commitment to his life in and out of baseball, his commitment to his family ... his commitment to his faith and his tireless in- and out-of-season commitment to community" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/29).