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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

In N.Y., Claire Atkinson reports Univision President & CEO JOE UVA "shocked the industry yesterday by quitting the Spanish-language media giant." The move comes "less than two months after the company beefed up its executive team by hiring" RANDY FALCO as Exec VP & COO "in charge of sales, marketing and corporate development." Sources said that Falco, the former CEO of AOL, is the "most likely candidate to step up" to replace Uva (N.Y. POST, 3/15). DAILY VARIETY's De La Fuente & Lowry reported Uva "will resign effective April 2 after four years in the post." Univision Exec Chair HAIM SABAN "will assume additional responsibilities until a new CEO is appointed." A source said that a search firm "has yet to be hired" (, 3/14). Several industry execs suggested that the move "might be related to even more ambitious plans by Univision and its Mexico-based programming partner, Televisa, to expand Univision's position" in the U.S. (, 3/14)

EXECS: The Thoroughbred Owners of California have selected PABLO SUAREZ to replace MARSHA NAIFY on the NTRA BOD (, 3/11)....Cal Poly has hired San Diego State Univ. COO & Senior Associate AD DONALD OBERHELMAN as AD, effective April 4 (Cal Poly)....Next Marketing has hired The Marketing Arm VP/Operations MICHAEL GOVER as Dir of Experiential Marketing (THE DAILY).

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In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle noted former Rice Univ. football player JOSEPH AGNEW has "filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA," arguing that one-year limits on athletic scholarships is a “blatant price-fixing agreement” between the NCAA and its member schools. Agnew claims that NCAA member schools “have ‘conspired to maintain the price of bachelor’s degrees for NCAA student-athletes at artificially high levels’ by refusing to offer multi-year discounts and limiting the number of scholarships a college can offer to athletes.” Agnew is “seeking class action status for his lawsuit so all other student-athletes who have had their scholarship reduced or revoked can benefit” (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/14 issue).

GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE... SCP Auctions announced that the personal basketball memorabilia collection of Basketball HOFer RED AUERBACH will be auctioned in three successive Internet auctions. Bidding on its website,, begins April 15 and runs through April 30. Items up for auction include Auerbach’s ’68 Basketball HOF induction ring, his first contract to coach the Celtics and his 1,000th career win trophy presented to him on Feb. 13, 1966, at Boston Garden (SCP Auctions). SCP “expects to raise at least $500,000 for Auerbach’s family” (BOSTON HERALD, 3/15).

FROM THE BOX OFFICE: The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will feature the premiere of “CATCHING HELL,” directed by ALEX GIBNEY. The movie explores the relationship between Cubs fans and STEVE BARTMAN. The festival will also debut ERIC DRATH's “RENEE,” which tells the story of RENEE RICHARD’s struggle to enter the international sports stage as the first transgender tennis player (ESPN)….“ELEVATE,” a documentary that follows four basketball players from Senegal to U.S. prep schools and eventually to college basketball, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin Sunday. The Spurs and GM R.C. BUFORD invested in the film, which was directed by Buford's sister, ANNE. R.C. Buford and Owner PETER HOLT are listed as executive producers (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 3/13).

CHARITY STRIPE: The Canucks and the team’s charitable arm, the Canucks for Kids Fund, on Sunday announced a C$5M donation to BC Children’s Hospital and diabetes research, the “largest single gift in the fund’s 25-year history.” BC Children’s Hospital said that C$2M will “go toward diabetes research” and C$3M will “go to the Campaign for BC Children, a fundraiser launched in April 2008 to raise money to rebuild the hospital into one of the world’s leading pediatric care and research centres” (VANCOUVER SUN, 3/14)....Vikings RB ADRIAN PETERSON, Bengals S ROY WILLIAMS, Buccaneers DT GERALD MCCOY and former Bears DT TOMMIE HARRIS are among a group of NFL players who "will be in Africa this month on a charity mission to help promote hearing for the deaf." The players are "accompanying a team of audiologists to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Pemba Island and Tanzania." The group, sponsored by the Starkey Hearing Foundation, "will distribute 22,000 hearing aids to the hearing-impaired" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 3/13).

NAMES: LOCOG officials are “chasing their ultimate guest for their VIP tours around the Olympic Park -- BARACK OBAMA.” The President is due “on a three-day state visit to the UK in May and lobbying has started for Obama to make a trip” to the London Games’ facilities (London DAILY MAIL, 3/15)….Heat G DWYANE WADE has “won custody of his two children” who previously lived in Chicago with his ex-wife (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/14)….Centerplate named Anheuser-Busch its Supplier Partner of the Year last week at the concessionaire’s annual meeting in Louisville, which featured appearances from Dolphins CEO MIKE DEE, The Bigelow Companies President CHRIS BIGELOW and William Caruso & Associates President BILL CARUSO (Centerplate).

BEST WISHES: NFL Films President STEVE SABOL is "resting and progressing in a Kansas City hospital after suffering a seizure before a March 5 banquet." His prognosis is "good" (, 3/14)....Pacers radio analyst BOB LEONARD “suffered a heart attack on the team bus” following Sunday’s game against the Knicks at MSG. The Pacers said that Leonard had “two stents inserted at a New York hospital and will return to Indianapolis later this week.” Former Pacers F AUSTIN CROSHERE will fill in for Leonard on the radio until his return (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 3/15).