SBD/June 15, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Caribbean football leaders requested investigation into Blazer's remarks
The PA's Martyn Ziegler reports officials "at the centre of a FIFA investigation have made a complaint against" FIFA Exec Committee member CHUCK BLAZER, the "whistleblower who sparked the bribery scandal that has rocked football's world governing body." The "heads of 11 Caribbean associations have written to FIFA's ethics committee calling on them to investigate Blazer over remarks he was alleged to have made in a meeting in Zurich on May 31." However, Blazer said that he has "no concerns about the complaint and will be responding to the ethics committee." Ziegler notes Blazer "set in train the investigation that led to the suspension of fellow FIFA members JACK WARNER and MOHAMED BIN HAMMAM on bribery charges" (PA, 6/15).

CONTROVERSIAL ATTENDEES
: In London, Heidi Blake reports MUHAMMAD GADDAFI, the eldest son of Libya leader MUAMMAR GADDAFI, "has been officially allocated hundreds of Olympic tickets to" the '12 London Games. The Libyan regime has "successfully requested close to 1,000 tickets to events at the London Olympics and the country's attendance at the Games is being co-ordinated by the Gaddafi family." The Libyan Olympic Committee is "headed by Muhammad Gaddafi and the Government now fears a major diplomatic embarrassment over the attendance of regime figures." LOCOG is "obliged to sell Libya tickets," but officials are "understood to be preparing to make representations to the IOC to ban the dictator if he has not been deposed by next year" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/15).

HEAT BEAT: MICHAEL ROSENBERG, Exec Producer of the forthcoming sports comedy film "BALLERS" featuring Heat F LEBRON JAMES, said the film is "not shooting this summer." He added that the script is "still being developed ... in the wake of Miami's NBA Finals loss." James has been attached to the film since September '09, and after an "initial yearlong delay to accommodate his summer 2010 free agency," production had been "pushed to next month." The film "follows five guys who attend the LeBron James Adult Basketball Camp in Las Vegas, but end up dragging the phenom into their myriad life issues" (VARIETY.com, 6/14)....ALLISON MATHIS, Heat F CHRIS BOSH's ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Monday filed a lawsuit against Bosh, alleging that he "prevented her from appearing on the reality show 'BASKETBALL WIVES.'" The lawsuit filed in Orange County (Fla.) Circuit Court claims Bosh "'intentionally, knowingly, maliciously and without justification interfered' in her employment, prompting the television show's production company to fire her." In early May, Bosh "sued Mathis and Shed Media, the show's production company, alleging they were trying to exploit her relationship with Bosh for 'commercial gain'" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/15)....Heat G DWYANE WADE penned a piece for NEWSWEEK as part of the magazine's "My Turn" feature. Wade writes under the subheader, "Recently Awarded Full Custody Of My Kids, I Now Know What Winning Really Means" (NEWSWEEK, 6/13 & 6/20 issue).

CHARITY STRIPE: MLB players yesterday presented $150,000 in grants from the MLB Players Trust to five Volunteers of America programs, which received grants ranging in size from $20,000-50,000 (MLBPA)...Jaguars C BRAD MEESTER, DE AARON KAMPMAN and LB RUSSELL ALLEN all "saw poverty-stricken conditions during visits to Third World Countries" this offseason. Meester "recently went to Haiti with a group sponsored by the KORE Foundation." Kampman and Allen "went to El Salvador in February under the auspices of Compassion International" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 6/15)....This morning’s edition of NBC’s “Today” featured co-host AL ROKER in Houston donating merchandise to Casa de Esperanza, which for 29 years has provided a safe place for more than 3,000 infants and young children in crisis. Rockets G KYLE LOWRY donated 200 pairs of sneakers and 1,000 Rockets tickets for next season, with Lowry noting Rockets Owner LES ALEXANDER “has been giving back to this charity since 1995.” Astros manager BRAD MILLS, P MARK MELANCON and C J.R. TOWLES donated $5,000 and 1,000 Astros tickets (“Today,” NBC, 6/15).

NAMES
: THE STREET’s Dan Freed reported Dolphins Owner STEPHEN ROSS is “running out of time in his bid to invest in struggling banks and may soon have to return $1.1 billion he raised for the purpose via an investment vehicle called SJB Escrow Corp.” Ross and other top execs at his Related Cos. “attracted the money from big name hedge fund investors” in February ’10, and a company official said that SJB Escrow “must return the money in August if it doesn’t make an investment” (THESTREET.com, 6/14)....Former President GEORGE W. BUSH will throw out the first pitch before the opening game of the College World Series on Saturday, the event’s first year in TD Ameritrade Park (Omaha WORLD-HERALD, 6/14)….The Univ. of South Florida’s new soccer stadium, opening in August, “will carry the name” of former Tampa Bay Rowdies Owner CORNELIA CORBETT, who along with her husband, RICHARD, donated $1.5M to the USF athletics department (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/14)….Wizards G JOHN WALL was spotted Monday night having dinner with team Owner TED LEONSIS and President ERNIE GRUNFELD at Cava Mezze near DC (WASHINGTON POST, 6/15).
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