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Volume 24 No. 136
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Names In The News

In L.A., Lance Pugmire reports Clippers Owner DONALD STERLING yesterday testified "about his past deep loyalty and trust for" former Clippers VP/Basketball Operations ELGIN BAYLOR "despite an admission by the owner that he wasn't completely clear about" the Basketball HOFer, whom he hired in '86. As part of the trial over Baylor's wrongful termination civil lawsuit against the team, Baylor's attorney, CARL DOUGLAS, asked Sterling, "You didn't know about his basketball career?" Sterling: "No. ... I didn't know that. I hired him for $3,000 a month. I didn't really know what his role was." Pugmire writes Douglas' questions "revealed the significant distance Sterling kept from the team" (L.A. TIMES, 3/16).

PLAYING WITH A PURPOSE: Golfer RYO ISHIKAWA, in the wake of the earthquakes and tsunami that hit his native Japan last week, said that he "can do more for people in Japan," at this week's PGA Tour Transitions Championship -- "or at Bay Hill next week or Augusta in early April -- than he could by returning home early." Ishikawa: "I would love to win for the people of Japan, but that is a thought I have always carried with me when I represent the people of Japan when playing overseas. ... If I can produce a brilliant result, and if I can be in the news following all of the tragic events being reported and lead to news of encouragement or be a source of hope for people in Japan, I would be at my happiest" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/16). Meanwhile, in N.Y., William Rhoden noted WNBA Liberty G CAPPIE PONDEXTER in response to the earthquakes and tsunami tweeted, "What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes. ... They did pearl harbor so u can’t expect anything less." Pondexter Monday "issued the obligatory apology ... apparently after being told that she had offended a nation and embarrassed herself, her league and her team." NBA Senior VP/Basketball Communications TIM FRANK: "Obviously, the tweet was inappropriate" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/16).

IDEA PARKED: In Orlando, Scott Maxwell noted Florida politician JOHN THRASHER "wanted to develop golf resorts inside at least five state parks," and he "wanted his friend JACK NICKLAUS to be the only one to design them." The legislation "specifically excluded other designers and PGA pros with a clause that said every course 'must be designed by Jack Nicklaus.'" But ARNOLD PALMER's design company in a statement Friday said that "although it likes the idea of using golf to promote tourism, 'there are alternative options than using our state parks for 'new' golf course development.'" Maxwell noted the proposal "was dead" by Friday afternoon (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/13).

LOOKING FINE: Hamilton County (Ohio) Municipal Court Judge BERNIE BOUCHARD yesterday signed an order for Bengals WR CHAD OCHOCINCO to pay Cincinnati-area clothing store Amm One $11,717.39 for “merchandise he bought but didn’t pay for.” Authorities “twice tried to serve Ochocinco with the lawsuit but failed.” He never appeared in the case and, “when he didn’t appear Tuesday, Bouchard ruled for the clothing company” (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/16).

NAMES: In Toronto, Dean McNulty ranks ISC Vice Chair & CEO LESA FRANCE KENNEDY No.1 on his list of the "top 10 NASCAR women of influence," as she is the "matriarch of the France family that controls NASCAR." JR Motorsports co-Owner & GM KELLEY EARNHARDT ranks No. 2, while ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions JULIE SOBIESKI ranks No. 3 (TORONTO SUN, 3/16)....The T.J. Martell Foundation on March 28 will award Titans Owner BUD ADAMS with the Lifetime Humanitarian Award for his support to Middle Tennessee through the Titans Foundation, the Community Foundation, American Red Cross, Baptist Hospital Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/12)….Chicago-based marketing company rEvolution LLC “generated $20 million in 2010,” a 76% increase from ’09 as the firm nears its 10th year. rEvolution President & CEO JOHN ROWADY said that “consulting is projected to be” over 20% of the company’s business by the end of this year (, 3/8)….MLB has hired Scottsdale-based Martz Agency to handle PR and marketing for FanFest around this year’s All-Star Game at Chase Field (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/11 issue).