SBD/July 16, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Penn State BOT has decided, for now, to leave statue of Joe Paterno standing
The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Miller, Bachman & Woo noted Penn State Univ. "began taking steps Friday to set up new levels of oversight and considered actions to begin repairing the school's reputation." Board of Trustees members "shied away from the hot-button issue of what to do about the legacy" of late football coach JOE PATERNO (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/14). Meanwhile, ESPN.com's Don Van Natta Jr. cited soures as saying that the Board of Trustees quietly has "decided to leave Joe Paterno's statue standing -- at least for now and, some hope, forever." Sources said that the trustees' "reluctance to remove the statue is motivated, in part, by a desire not to offend alumni and students who adore the late coach despite the damning findings of his role in the JERRY SANDUSKY child sexual abuse cover-up detailed in the Freeh report." Some trustees also said in interviews that they "want to resist being pressured by the media into a sudden decision about such an emotionally charged issue" (ESPN.com, 7/14). The AP's Genaro Armas reported Penn State "plans to renovate the building where former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually molested boys, confronting one of the most potent and sinister symbols of a scandal from which it is still trying to recover." Penn State spokesperson DAVID LA TORRE Friday said that the school intends to "remodel the football team shower and locker room area as a direct result of Sandusky's crimes" (AP, 7/13).

SEEING GREEN: POLITICKER.com's David Freedlander noted Jets Owner WOODY JOHNSON is the head of Republican presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY's "fundraising efforts in the political goldmine that is New York, New Jersey and Connecticut." Romney's fundraising is "going gang green busters: close to $300 million already." At the "center of this record fundraising has been Mr. Johnson, who was by Mr. Romney's side nearly every time" he appeared in the tri-state area. Former U.S. Rep. RICK LAZIO (R-New York) said, "He is exuberant about this role. You can see why he owns a football team. He loves the competition. He loves the rah-rah camaraderie. He is all in on this campaign. I think he is the indispensable player in New York City." When asked to estimate how many people he has contacted on behalf of the Romney campaign, Johnson said, “Oh, brother. Every Republican in New York ... several thousand.” He said that he spends "25 hours a week just making phone calls, plus whatever time he spends heading to lunches on behalf of the candidate." It is hard to ignore Johnson’s "proximity to the Jets as draw for donors." His position with the team "gives him what one donor called, 'some regional celebrity,' and another said that dreams of being invited to the owner’s box dance in the heads Mr. Romney’s big donors" (POLITICKER.com, 7/11).

NAMES: The Mobile Bay World Leisure Congress named Baseball HOFer HANK AARON the Honorary Chair for the int'l gathering in September '14. Mobile will be the first U.S. city to host the conference (AL.com, 7/13)....Gunmen in Tripoli, Libya yesterday abducted Libyan Olympic Committee President AHMED NABIL AL-TAHER AL-ALAM. There has been no contact with him since (AP, 7/16)....Baseball HOFer JIM PALMER Saturday was "immortalized in bronze and put on display in the Garden of Greats" behind center field at Camden Yards. Baseball HOFer BROOKS ROBINSON attended the event, which Palmer called "the ultimate gesture" (Baltimore SUN, 7/15)....Marlins LF LOGAN MORRISON and team President DAVID SAMSON had their heads shaved before Saturday's game as part of the Marlins Charity Partner Weekend benefiting Miami Children's Hospital (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 7/14)....New Univ. of South Carolina AD RAY TANNER will be paid $675,000, approximately $200,000 less than he made as baseball coach last year. His department will include two administrators who are staying on with new titles -- Deputy AD CHARLES WADDELL and COO KEVIN O'CONNELL (Columbia STATE, 7/15)....Heat F LEBRON JAMES on Friday served as “Guest DJ” for Sirius XM Radio and listeners “were treated to an hour-long mix of James’ favorite tunes.” He also spoke about “his experience with the 2012 Olympic team,” and promoted next year’s Sprite Uncontainable Game (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 7/13)….USC football coach LANE KIFFIN and his wife, LAYLA, bought a 7,308-square-foot home in Manhattan Beach, Calif., that includes six bedrooms and seven bathrooms for $5.5M (LATIMES.com, 7/15)….Heat G RAY ALLEN bought a full-page ad in yesterday’s Boston Globe “thanking Boston fans for his past five seasons with the Celtics” (ESPN.com, 7/15). 
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