SBD/December 21, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Favor Hamilton has spent the last year working as high-end escort
In Milwaukee, D'Amato & Walker report former U.S. Olympic runner SUZY FAVOR HAMILTON "has admitted to leading a double life for the last year as a high-priced call girl." In a "stunning confessional via her Twitter account following a story published on thesmokinggun.com, Favor Hamilton wrote that she was drawn to escorting 'in large part because it provided many coping mechanisms for me when I was going through a very challenging time with my marriage and my life.'" She competed in the '92, '96 and '00 Olympic Games. Favor Hamilton "commanded $600 an hour for her services and charged $6,000 for a 24-hour period." Favor Hamilton beginning last December "booked scores of  'dates' in Las Vegas and other U.S. cities," including L.A., Chicago and Houston (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/21).

WATCH WHAT YOU SAY: In L.A., Baxter Holmes cites sources as saying that the NCAA has "fired ABIGAIL GRANTSTEIN, its lead investigator during the organization's eligibility probe" of UCLA F SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD. Her firing comes "a month after" the L.A.  Times reported that "an attorney overheard Grantstein's boyfriend loudly discussing Muhammad's case on an airplane in early August, before key facts of the case had been gathered." The boyfriend "indicated that Grantstein would make sure Muhammad never became eligible because he had broken rules" (L.A. TIMES, 12/21).

WHO'S THE MAN? Panelists on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's "Chronicle Live" Thursday debated who should be the area's sports exec of the year. KGMZ-FM’s Dan Dibley said A’s VP & GM BILLY BEANE should win the honor, as he "concocted a team that somehow won the AL West.” The Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s Lowell Cohn said it should be Giants GM BRIAN SABEAN because his club "won the World Series (and) he put that team together.” Cohn noted 49ers GM TRENT BAALKE “is not even in this discussion, he’s never won anything.” The S.F. Chronicle’s Ann Killion said Sabean “won the World Series. He kept the team going, he filled the holes when they were there, he made the right moves” (“Chronicle Live,” Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 12/20).

CHARITY STRIPE: Golfer BUBBA WATSON on Thursday donated $250,000 toward the "construction of an orthopaedic gait lab in the new Motion Analysis Laboratory at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and gave $20,000" to the Desert Mission Food Bank (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 12/21)....The Orange Bowl organization recently "distributed more than 2,300 pairs of new and used sneakers to disadvantaged children who want to participate in sports and exercise." The shoes were collected through the "Kicks for Kids School Challenge" in Miami-Dade and Broward County schools (MIAMI HERALD, 12/21).

NAMES: Celtics G JASON TERRY this week called sailors deployed on the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to “let them know he and the team are thankful for their service” (BOSTON HERALD, 12/21)….Regan Communications Group Chair GEORGE REGAN this week “threw a holiday party” and invited New Balance CEO JIM DAVIS (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/20)....Former Zodiak USA Dir of Business & Legal Affairs AMBER JORGENSEN and former IMG Event Coordinator SARAH SPEIRS recently founded branding and media company C6 Sports in L.A. The company focuses on maximizing professional athletes' visibility (C6 Sports).

IN MEMORY: Dallas-based Elias Sports Management founder ALBERT ELIAS died in his sleep this week at the age of 42. Elias' clients included Rams DT MICHAEL BROCKERS, Bills DT KYLE WILLIAMS and CB RON BROOKS (NOLA.com, 12/20).
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