SBD/May 12, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

In N.Y., Julie Macur notes PETER VIDMAR lasted in the role of U.S. chef de mission for the '12 London Games "for only eight days" before resigning last Friday, "after several reports revealed that he had supported initiatives against same-sex marriage." 776 Original Marketing CEO and former USOC CEO JIM SCHERR said, "I think there are a number of issues that athletes or people in prominent sports roles just shouldn't take a position on because opinions on those issues are so split down the middle. ... If I were them, I wouldn't touch the same-sex marriage issue. I wouldn't touch abortion." Former U.S. Olympic swimmer DONNA DE VARONA said, "I just think we live in a completely different era right now, and you have to be very careful about what you say if you have hopes of being a figurehead. You can't be naive" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/12).

SUMMER CAMP: Heat G DWYANE WADE will host a fantasy basketball camp August 18-21 at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, "where the hotel's ballroom will be fitted with basketball courts." Wade is "hoping to fill the high-end fantasy camp void now that" Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN "has temporarily shelved his Michael Jordan Senior Flight School" (CNBC.com, 5/11). The cost of attending the camp is $12,500, which "falls in line with the $15,000 charged" for Jordan's camp. An NBA lockout "could impact some of Wade's plans," as Heat coach ERIK SPOELSTRA and assistant coach DAVID FIZDALE are "listed among guest coaches" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 5/11).

NEW PROGRAM: The Univ. of Georgia Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication is establishing a program in sports journalism thanks to a gift from the Atlanta-based John Huland Carmical Foundation. A gift and pledge agreement totaling $1M will fund the creation of a Chair in Sports Journalism & Society. It will be the only sports journalism program of its kind in the Southeast (UGA).

LEGAL BEAT: Former FanHouse.com columnist JAY MARIOTTI "has been charged with three felonies -- stalking, domestic violence and assault -- after he confronted his ex-girlfriend the same day a court ordered him to stay away from her." Mariotti yesterday "pleaded not guilty" to those charges. He "was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order." If convicted, Mariotti "faces up to five years in state prison" (LATIMES.com, 5/11)....Former Mets clubhouse manager CHARLIE SAMUELS was arrested yesterday "on charges of stealing $2.3 million worth or Mets memorabilia, embezzling nearly $25,000 in inflated expense reports and failing to report more than $200,000 in income." The Mets fired Samuels in November, and they said that he was fired for "conduct in violation of club policies" (NEWSDAY, 5/12).

NAMES: Talladega Superspeedway and The NASCAR Foundation are partnering to raise funds for storm ravaged areas in the Southeast. Through the NASCAR Unites website, the foundation will raise funds through donations of $5 for NASCAR Unites wristbands and through an auction of a DALE EARNHARDT JR. autographed helmet and exclusive race track experiences (Talladega Superspeedway)....Former CFL Commissioner and Montreal Alouettes President LARRY SMITH "placed third" last week in the voting for the Lac St. Louis electoral district's seat in the Canadian House of Commons. The election marked the "first foray into federal politics" for Smith, a Conservative (Montreal GAZETTE, 5/12)....Directors MICHAEL HAMILTON and COREY OGLIVIE released a trailer for their upcoming documentary “NASH,” chronicling the life of Suns G STEVE NASH (AZCENTRAL.com, 5/11)….Singers SEAL and KELLY CLARKSON will sing the national anthem “as a duet” and DAVID FOSTER “will accompany them on a grand piano” during the pre-race ceremonies for the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29 (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/12).

IN MEMORY: Former Reds GM BILL BERGESCH has died at the age of 89. Bergesch served as the team’s GM from ’84-87 (AP, 5/11).
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