SBD/April 26, 2013/People and Pop Culture

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  • Execs From Investment Firm Hired By Billy Hunter Charged With Defrauding NBPA Of $3M

    Cleveland-based Prim Capital Corp. Managing Dir JOSEPH LOMBARDO and Dir CAROLYN KAUFMAN were “charged Thursday with attempting to defraud" the NBPA of $3M, according to Mitch Lawrence of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The investment firm once employed former NBPA Exec Dir BILLY HUNTER’s son, TODD. Neither Billy Hunter "nor his son" were named in the charges. In its “capacity as the primary outside investment firm for the players from 2001-2013, Prim and the union entered into a five-year contract deal, at $602,000 per year in 2011.” The contract contained a “highly-unusual provision that it could not be cancelled for any reason" by the NBPA and was "allegedly signed" by late NBPA General Counsel GARY HALL, who died in March '11. But the investigation “revealed that the signature of Hall was not authentic, while also finding that the signature of one other NBAPA employee, who was not identified, was also forged” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/26). On Long Island, Zachary Dowdy notes Prim Capital was contracted to “provide various financial services" to the NBPA (NEWSDAY, 4/26). CBSSPORTS.com’s Ken Berger wrote, "The mystery surrounding the alleged contract was one of many issues raised in an exhaustive review of former union chief Billy Hunter's leadership and governance published in January by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.” Prosecutors said that Hall's signature on the contract “was not authentic and the contract was created months after his death with a signature stamp created at Lombardo's direction.” The Paul-Weiss firm found that the other NBPA signature on the contract alleged to be forged “was that of then-director of player programs PURVIS SHORT.” Lombardo’s relationship with the NBPA via Prim “began before Hunter became executive director” (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/25).

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  • Neal Pilson's Weekend Plans: Spring Cleaning Around His Western Massachusetts Home

    Pilson spends many weekends enjoying quality time with his grandchildren

    After making a big impact in the sports media industry over two stints as CBS Sports President, NEAL PILSON is enjoying the next chapter of his life in the rural town of Richmond, Mass. He opened Pilson Communications consulting firm in '95, and then made the move to Berkshire County in western Massachusetts about three and a half years ago. The area, 140 miles due north of the Big Apple, is a far cry from the hustle and bustle he grew accustomed to in N.Y. He now works from an office less than 10 minutes away from home, in the town of Lenox.

    OLD MCDONALD: We live here year round. It’s so different from even the suburbs. There are farms nearby, they’re raising milk cows. Just down the road from us people have horses, chickens. It’s country. We actually are zoned for a farm; we have a barn. We have a large amount of property. Our property is actually zoned for all animals except pigs. But we don’t have pets. Even though we are 140 miles, I can easily get into the city. I often come in for meetings. I’m teaching a class at Columbia University, the graduate school, and have been for the last five years. During the spring semester I come into New York every week, from usually Wednesday through Friday.
     
    HONEY DO LIST: I have a list of about 20 chores that we have to do during the spring season. Everything from turning on the outside water, cleaning the tennis court, cleaning the garage, putting air in the bicycle tires, cleaning the kayaks, ... shoveling out the drain down at the bottom of the driveway that gets clogged during the winter, changing the storm windows to screens, moving the BBQ. I have a long list of chores that I usually accomplish over the weekend during the spring.

    SPRING IS IN THE AIR: Saturdays in the spring are usually chore time and then if we have time we usually take a walk either on the pathway near our house or into the hills or on the dirt road. We live on a gravel road and it’s about five miles from one end to the other; it’s a nice walk. There are bicycle paths throughout the area. We don’t ride too much on the road, but we put the bikes on the back of the SUV and go off to a number of different bicycle paths. What they’ve done up here is they used to have a lot of trains running through the county. That doesn’t exist anymore, but they’ve converted those to bike paths.

    PROUD GRANDPA: This Saturday night I’ll meet my daughter and her kid and husband for dinner. They live in Williamstown, which is only 40 minutes away, so we see them frequently. I also have children and grandchildren on Long Island and in Westchester County, so quite a few weekends we are visiting them or they are visiting us. I have six grandkids, three are away to school -- two in college and one going away next year -- so we try to attend some of their events.

    MAKING A RAQUET: Usually we have a tennis game Sunday morning. That’s a regular event from late April all the way to October. We play on my court or someone else has a court, so we go back and forth. Mostly doubles. It’s kind of a -- I won’t call us geriatrics -- but we’re of a certain age. So I still enjoy playing singles but most of the guys and a couple women who play, we generally play doubles. Nothing organized, we just pick sides and play.

    LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN: I take my kayak and I go out in the middle of some of the beautiful lakes that we have up here. I’m without cell phone or any other form of communication. I’ll just put my feet up and bring in the paddle and just coast. Let the wind take me from one end of the lake to the other. The only thing you have to be careful of is thunderstorms because they come in pretty fast and the lake can get a little rough. I’ve never been caught, but I’ve seen them coming. At that point you head for shore. The lake is called Stockbridge Bowl. It’s a very pretty lake just near Tanglewood, which is the music center here in Western Mass. During the summer we probably attend 20 to 25 Tanglewood concerts over the eight-week season. 

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  • Executive Transactions

    NASCAR on Thursday named General Motors Exec Dir of Global Product Development Quality GENE STEFANYSHYN VP/Innovation & Racing Development (NASCAR)....The Univ. of Tennessee named Univ. of Michigan Associate AD/ Football MIKE VOLLMAR Senior Associate AD/Football Administration (FREEP.com, 4/25)....USA Today NFL reporter ROBERT KLEMKO will join SI in the same role (THE DAILY)....Southeastern Univ. named interim AD DREW WATSON AD (Southeastern)....The AHL Iowa Wild promoted VP/Team Business Services TODD FREDERICKSON to President (Iowa Wild).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to: editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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  • Names In The News

    Dawson says he is now cancer-free after undergoing surgery in Miami

    Baseball HOFer ANDRE DAWSON on Thursday revealed that he "underwent robotic surgery in December" at the Univ. of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to "remove a cancerous prostate gland -- and that he is now cancer-free." Dawson's goal now is to "raise awareness about the importance of paying attention" to levels of Prostate-Specific Antigen (MIAMI HERALD, 4/26). Meanwhile, ESPN’s DIGGER PHELPS has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and “will begin treatment near his home in South Bend, Ind., next week” (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 4/25).

    PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ: Dodgers LF CARL CRAWFORD, Lakers Dir of Scouting JESSE BUSS and MLS Galaxy F LANDON DONOVAN all are living at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in L.A., a "collection of 224 luxury condo units that sits atop a 54-story tower." The complex was opened by AEG two years ago, and has "become popular with buyers from the sports world in large part because of its proximity to the city's major arenas, including the Staples Center next door and Dodger Stadium, a 10-minute drive away." Home Depot Center is "about 20 minutes away" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/26).

    NAMES: Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES on Thursday attended the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/26)....NASCAR driver DANICA PATRICK's divorce "is final, completing a process that began more than five months ago when she announced she was ending her marriage to PAUL HOSPENTHAL" (ESPN.com, 4/25)....Sabres G RYAN MILLER has listed his Buffalo townhouse for sale with an "asking price of $659,900." He purchased the residence in '06 for $348,500 (BUFFALONEWS.com, 4/25)....Knicks F CARMELO ANTHONY is a "co-founder and part owner of Haute Time, a high-end watch publication whose first edition dropped this week." Haute Time is one of "a series of enterprises being spun out of Haute Living." Anthony, an "avid watch collector, is only an investor in the timepiece portion of the company's media ventures" (N.Y. POST, 4/26)....Nike on Tuesday presented $250,000 in grants to local nonprofits and schools. Paralympic athlete WILL GROULX was a recipient of the Nike Employee Grant Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation (OREGONLIVE.com, 4/23).

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