SBD/January 12, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

The Univ. of South Florida and former football coach JIM LEAVITT reached a settlement that will pay him $2.75M to “resolve a wrongful termination suit.” The settlement includes $2M for salary and benefits as well as a payment of $750,000 “acknowledging Coach Leavitt’s contributions to building USF’s nationally respected football program.” Leavitt “had sought as much as” $7.1M from what was remaining on his contract (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/12)….Former Univ. of Minnesota associate women’s golf coach KATHRYN BRENNY yesterday filed a lawsuit “alleging that athletic department officials took away her coaching duties after the golf director learned she is a lesbian.” UM General Counsel MARK ROTENBERG has said that the school “does not agree with Brenny’s claims and didn’t discriminate against her” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/12).

UPPING THE ANTE: In Portland, Rachel Bachman wrote the Univ. of Oregon “still has much to do to keep up with other BCS title contenders,” as Autzen Stadium is the “smallest stadium” of any team to reach a BCS championship game since '98. UO AD ROB MULLENS said that he anticipates about a 10% “increase in football ticket prices,” and that the university “also will look at increasing donation levels for priority seating.” Mullens added that UO is also “planning to start a waiting list for season tickets” (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/11).

PEELING THE ONION: Comedy Central's "Onion SportsDome" debuted last night, and in Toronto, Chris Zelkovich writes, “It’s hilarious at times, tasteless at others.” A “rapid-fire segment entitled ‘Who Would You Kill?’ couldn’t have come at a worse time considering the events of the past week.” Former Rogers Sportsnet anchor JIM VAN HORNE said, “I’m curious to see how long it is before somebody takes one of these stories seriously. Somebody will because it’s so authentic-looking. It just looks like ESPN or TSN” (TORONTO STAR, 1/12).

NAMES: JIM MACKAY, who caddies for PHIL MICKELSON, “worked the sidelines” at Monday’s Tostitos BCS National Championship Game “lugging … equipment around” as an assistant to SI photographer ROBERT BECK (AP, 1/11)....Astros GM ED WADE "has been training this offseason to run in the Houston Marathon on Jan. 30" (MLB.com, 1/11)....The opening morning of the Jan. 27-29 PGA Merchandise Show will begin with a keynote presentation on the Asian marketplace featuring an address by GREG NORMAN regarding golf business developments in Asia (PGA)....Yankees P CC SABATHIA and his wife, AMBER, "will be honored for their charitable work at the Baseball Assistance Team's annual dinner" Jan. 25 in N.Y. The dinner also will celebrate the legacy of late Yankees Chair GEORGE STEINBRENNER (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/12)....MLB Network reporter HAZEL MAE got married last weekend (BOSTON.com, 1/11).

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