SBD/May 11, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Green feels Dallas needs
regional sports commission
North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee VP & COO TARA GREEN yesterday said that "creating a regional sports commission is 'critical' to helping" the Dallas-Ft. Worth area "draw more sporting events." Green: "Every time we go after a big event, we're doing it ad hoc." Green said that a "dedicated sports commission could help boost Dallas' identity." She "envisions a body with, initially, three staff members, funded by corporate, sports venue and convention bureau dollars -- but not a specific tax" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/11).

FASHION FORWARD: In Philadelphia, Elizabeth Wellington profiles Boathouse Sports, which was founded by former U.S. rower JOHN STROTBECK and is the official sponsor of the U.S. Rowing Team. Strotbeck "has quietly built his company to a fashion force in the world of high school and college sports that can be played at the Olympic level." Strotbeck projected that the company will reach $20M in sales this year (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/11).

TICKET TAKERS:  In N.Y., Kevin Deutsch cites sources as saying that several N.Y. police officers "involved in a massive ticket-fixing scandal got pricey tickets to Yankees games and other sporting events for making summonses disappear." Sources said that the "premium seats were 'thank-you' gifts from cops whose relatives got out of speeding and red-light violations in the 40th, 48th and 52nd precincts." Sources also said that officers in Manhattan and Queens "scored tickets to Mets and Giants games for getting rid of moving violations" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/11).

HONORS & RECOGNITION: Heat President PAT RILEY and Bulls GM GAR FORMAN yesterday were named co-winners of the '10-11 NBA Exec of the Year Award. Forman: "What is meaningful to me is that it's my peers that voted on the award" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/11)....Denver Post sports columnist WOODY PAIGE "will receive the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's 2011 Public Education Award" tonight in N.Y. Paige was recognized for "raising national awareness about suicide prevention in his September 2010 column about the suicide of Broncos wide receiver KENNY MCKINLEY, and how Paige dealt with his own depression and planned intention to commit suicide years ago" (DENVER POST, 5/11)....Suns G STEVE NASH "will accept the 2011 International Award, presented by the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, at a gala dinner" in Winnipeg on Sept. 12 (WINNIPEG SUN, 5/11).

COURTING CONTROVERSY: Former Colts cheerleader MALORI WAMPLER is "suing the organization, claiming she was discriminated against when they fired her for posing in risque photographs." Wampler was "fired in November after a fan sent the Colts pictures that showed her posing in what resembled a painted-on bikini." Wampler's attorney claims that she "didn't violate any of the Colts' rules of conduct for cheerleaders ... because the photos were taken before the Colts hired her." Wampler, "who is Indonesian, says the Colts discriminated against her based on her gender and ethnicity" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/11)....In N.Y., Jere Longman reports six of FIFA's "top officials" yesterday were "accused of participating in a bribery scandal related to bids for the 2018 and the 2022 World Cups." The news was "particularly embarrassing and perhaps threatening" for FIFA President SEPP BLATTER, who "faces re-election next month as his reputation continues to suffer." Blatter "may feel pressure to act swiftly and harshly to deal with the new allegations" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/11).

NAMES: LSU Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Senior Associate AD HERB VINCENT said that the school "plans to unveil a bronze, life-size statue" of Celtics C SHAQUILLE O'NEAL "dunking in his LSU basketball uniform outside of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center's new practice facility." Vincent said that the "tentative plan is to unveil the statue during the NBA off-season." The statue "would represent the first on campus of a former LSU student athlete" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 5/11)....The Oklahoma state legislature "passed a bill last week that would punish agents and their runners with fines up to $250,000" for giving college athletes "loans, lying or contacting athletes before they're eligible to be drafted" (TULSA WORLD, 5/10)....White Sox P JOHN DANKS, a former smokeless tobacco user, is partnering with Oral Health America and Little League baseball to promote the message, “Smokeless does not mean harmless” (White Sox)….SI’s JOE POSNANSKI yesterday revealed he is leaving his longtime home in K.C. to relocate to Charlotte, where he attended both high school and college. Posnanski wrote he and his family are moving to Charlotte “for many reasons, personal and professional -- it is the right thing for us -- and the last couple of months have been wrenching, both physically and emotionally” (KCSTAR.com, 5/10).

IN MEMORY
: Longtime N.Y. Daily News sports cartoonist and columnist BILL GALLO “died of complications from pneumonia at 88” last night. His cartoon drawings appear both in the Baseball HOF and an art gallery in Manhattan (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/11).
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