DAN WASSERMAN, an attorney/writer who contributed legal
reports to WFAN, NewSport and recently, the Newark Star-
Ledger, is the new Communications Dir of the NBPA (NEWSDAY,
10/10)....The Nashville NHL expansion team named GERRY
HALPER VP/Communications & Development. Halper has been
involved in the NHL since '79 (Nashville NHL)....JOHNNY
CAPELS, the current U.S. Auto Club Competition Dir, "will
move up" to USAC President & CEO in December. Capels was
elected to succeed DICK KING by the Board of Dir. King will
remain as Vice Chair of the USAC Board. MIKE DEVIN,
Technical Dir since '92, succeeds Capels as Competition Dir
(ESPN SportsZone, 10/9)....The Southern League announced a
three-year contract renewal for league President & General
Counsel ARNOLD FIELKOW (Southern League).
"First Time," part of the "Nickelodeon Sports Theater
With SHAQUILLE O'NEAL" series, will air Saturday at 9:00pm
ET/PT. The program is narrated by O'Neal, who is also one
of the co-producers. The First Time episode is produced by
MICHAEL TOLLIN & BRIAN ROBBINS, who produce HBO's "Arli$$"
(Nickelodeon). In L.A., Larry Stewart: "Need a lift? This
one-hour dramatic special should do it" (L.A. TIMES, 10/9).
...John Feinstein, on DEAN SMITH: "Dean Smith could have
made a lot more money than he did, but he turned down
endorsement opportunities. ... He was always outspoken on
behalf of the players, and that's gotten lost a little bit
in this rush for all these coaches to have their fancy suits
and their endorsement contracts the last few years"
("Newshour With Jim Lehrer," PBS, 10/9)....The body of DON
LEVENTHAL, who wrote the NBA Draft Report and contributed to
ESPN SportsZone, was found Thursday in Philadelphia, after
an apparent suicide (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/10).