SBD/November 26, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

McLaughlin says hockey execs can see instant impact when implementing change
In Austin, Greg Barr profiled AHL Texas Stars President RICK MCLAUGHLIN, who got his start in an accounting job in '83 under former 49ers Owner EDDIE DEBARTOLO SR. and later became VP/Finance for the Penguins. Barr asked, "You had a successful career with major professional sports teams. Why take a job overseeing a minor league team in a smaller city?" McLaughlin said, "At the time, [former MLB Rangers Owner TOM HICKS] approached me about the opportunity to start a brand-new team and a new facility, so it seemed like a good opportunity." McLaughlin when asked about a new $55M arena for the team that sits on 17 acres of mostly undeveloped property, said, "The Hicks family is just now getting development underway. It's in the planning stages, with discussions about a hotel and mixed-use commercial." McLaughlin said of a naming-rights deal for the arena, "We've just brought in Legends, effective Nov. 1, to represent us to find a naming-rights partner." McLaughlin, when asked the difference between pro baseball and pro hockey, said, "The baseball business is much bigger. It's like a big ship and turns very slowly. In hockey you can make changes instantly and then see the results right away" (AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/22 issue).

GAME PLAN: Colorado State Univ. AD JACK GRAHAM on Dec. 1 will reach his two-year anniversary in the position, and said that thinking "big in college athletics, and specifically at Colorado State, means having a top-25 football team, going to the NCAA Tournament in men's and women's basketball, 'and doing what our women's volleyball team does: win.'" Graham said, "We do have a plan. It's people, capital and culture. We've got the people. We've got the culture. And we're working to raise the opening capital so that we can run this thing the way we want" (DENVER POST, 11/24).

NEARING THE FINISH: A federal judge yesterday approved an estimated $85M class-action settlement of a suit in which trucking customers alleged Pilot Flying J -- headed by Browns Owner JIMMY HASLAM III -- “defrauded them over several years through a diesel-rebate program.” The settlement is “between Pilot and plaintiffs in 10 of about 20 pending lawsuits” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/26). The settlement “resolves the majority of civil claims against Haslam’s family-owned chain of service station plazas” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 11/26).

MEET & GREET: Heat F LEBRON JAMES after Saturday’s game against the Magic had a “meet and greet” with billionaire CARLOS SLIM HELU. The two held the meeting “over dinner at Soho Beach House on Miami Beach.” While James said that the two “have recently become friends, the meeting was also to discuss possible business ventures” (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 11/25).

NAMES: James ranked No. 1 in GQ magazine’s ratings of the “20 Most Stylish Athletes of 2013.” Giants WR VICTOR CRUZ was No. 2 and Rangers G HENRIK LUNDQVIST was No. 3 (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 11/22)….An online-only auction for a chance to spend the day with Yankees SS DEREK JETER has opened at $90,000. All proceeds will benefit Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation (AP, 11/25)….The First Tee CEO JOE LOUIS BARROW JR. was “hospitalized last weekend after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke.” He is listed “in stable condition in the intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.” (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 11/25).
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