SBD/March 3, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Kirby Hocutt formally introduced as new Texas Tech Univ. AD
In Dallas, Chuck Carlton writes if new Texas Tech Univ. AD KIRBY HOCUTT "manages to deliver on football and fundraising, Red Raider Nation will be very happy," as a "successful football program almost invariably means a gleeful and giving fan base." If he can "put the bitter feelings of the MIKE LEACH firing in the past" and if football coach TOMMY TUBERVILLE "produces a Big 12 contender, Tech has a blueprint for success." Upon his introduction yesterday, Hocutt "sounded like a PowerPoint presentation minus the visual aids." He "suggested an approach of Texas, excellence, champions and healthy relations," and he "invoked The Social Network, talking about using new media 'to get our brand, to get our message out there.'" Hocutt said of his decision to leave the Univ. of Miami for Texas Tech, "For me, it was coming home and being a part of something that is truly special and is in a position really to take off" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/3).

CHANGING DATES: The NASCAR HOF induction ceremony "has been tied with the May race weeks at Charlotte Motor Speedway" since the HOF's inception last year, but the induction ceremony "will move to a standalone event in January next year." Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CEO TIM NEWMAN, whose group runs the HOF, said, "We believe we can complement the star-studded main event with a full slate of activities that will draw fans from around the country" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/3).

GIVING BACK: Heat F LEBRON JAMES' Family Foundation and Hewlett-Packard yesterday in northwest Miami "began rolling out what will soon be 1,000 new computers to 59 different Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide." HP Strategic Advisor for Global Market Development Satjiv Chahil said, "We don't do celebrity sponsorships. We celebrate achievers from society who have multifaceted lives, who have an appreciation for technology and who have a human cause. ... We celebrate LeBron" (AP, 3/2)....Thunder G THABO SEFOLOSHA and his wife, BERTILLE, organized an event in Oklahoma City on Sunday that "included about 200 guests, who came from as far away as Switzerland to raise money to help children in South Africa." The event, entitled "A Night for Africa," raised $50,000. The Sefoloshas are working with Swiss foundation IMBEWU, "which establishes youth sports programs throughout South Africa" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 3/3).

LEADING THE WAY: In Boston, Stan Grossfeld profiled JUSTINE SIEGAL, who is "believed to be the first woman to pitch batting practice to a major league team," having done so with the Indians and A's last week. Siegal in '09 "became the first female coach in organized professional baseball with the Brockton Rox." She also coached at Springfield College, where "for three years, she was the only woman coaching men's college baseball." She is the founder of Baseball For All, which "advocates for baseball opportunities for girls and women." Siegal: "My goal is not integrating Major League Baseball, it's creating women's professional baseball" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/2).

NAMES: Int’l Soccer HOFer PELE this morning said that UEFA President MICHEL PLATINI “will run against SEPP BLATTER for the FIFA presidency.” Platini and Asian Football Confederation President MOHAMED BIN HAMMAM are “considered the two strongest potential candidates to take on Blatter” (AP, 3/3)....NASCAR driver TONY STEWART yesterday took “unsuspecting fans” in Las Vegas on “faux cab rides in one of his No. 14 race cars.” Also this week, Stewart dined at Tao Asian Bistro in Vegas and saw the Blue Man Group with fellow driver BRAD KESELOWSKI (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 3/3)....TOM ZBIKOWSKI, an NFL restricted free agent who played safety for the Ravens last season, “plans to return to boxing next week in the likely event that NFL owners lock out players.” Zbikowski would fight a “four-round bout as a cruiserweight on March 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on the televised undercard of the Showtime PPV card” (, 3/2)....Golfer JOHN DALY yesterday filed suit against the organizers of the PGA Tour Honda Classic, "claiming he injured himself while trying to stop his backswing after being distracted by a fan taking his picture" during the '07 tournament. Daly, who is "seeking $15,000 in damages," alleges he "aggravated an old injury" (REUTERS, 3/2).

BEST WISHES: IOC Marketing Commission Chair GERHARD HEIBERG in an e-mail said that he is "well on the mend after heart surgery last week after what has been described as a minor heart attack." Heiberg: "Things are now much better and I am almost one hundred percent back in action!" (, 3/3).
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