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Volume 24 No. 115

People and Pop Culture

World Triathlon Corp. yesterday announced that it has named AEG Sports President ANDREW MESSICK CEO. He succeeds BEN FERTIC, who will continue serving on the organization’s BOD and will assume the newly created position of President (WTC). Messick, a two-time Ironman finisher, "will run the day-to-day operations" of the Tampa-based company. He said that WTC made an "offer he couldn't refuse." Messick: "To help shape the global direction of the sport of triathlon was an offer too good to pass up." He said the new organizational structure of AEG's Amgen Tour of California is expected in the "next week or so," and mentioned AEG Sports Senior Dir KRISTIN BACHOCHIN as his likely successor to oversee the cycling race. Messick added, "I think the last few years have proven that the Amgen Tour of California has gotten big enough that it's bigger than any one person, certainly bigger than me." His departure comes as Amgen is "weighing the return on investment of its title sponsorship" (, 5/31).

PLAYING THROUGH: PETE BEVACQUA, the former USGA business chief who left on March 22, has been hired by CAA Sports. Bevacqua will be an executive in the company’s growing golf practice and will work alongside CAA’s other executives in golf, ANDY PIERCE and MICHAEL RIELLY. CAA’s golf business includes events, sponsorship and individual clients, such as JACK NICKLAUS, GREG NORMAN and TOM WATSON. CAA’s consulting work in golf includes Royal Bank of Scotland. Bevacqua, who had been the USGA’s Chief Business Officer since ‘07, will be based in CAA’s N.Y. office (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal).

EXECS: The NTRA has hired STEPHEN PANUS as VP/Communications. Panus, and a second media specialist to be hired in the near future, will work to expand the NTRA’s media and PR efforts, with an emphasis on mainstream media exposure. The organization also announced plans to relocate the NTRA Communications office from its present HQs in Westchester County, New York, to The Jockey Club offices in Manhattan (NTRA)….Farmers Insurance Exec VP & CMO KEVIN KELSO “has quietly left” the company. There is “no immediate word on what caused Kelso’s exit” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/30 issue)….Betfair named former Yahoo Head of Engineering for Real Time Communications RAJ VEMULAPALI VP/Mobile Engineering (, 5/27)….Australian Ladies Professional Golf has hired former Great White Shark Enterprises VP FRANK WILLIAMS as Dir of Corporate Development & Sales (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/29)....The Packers have selected three new BOD candidates, to be voted on by shareholders: V&J Holdings Companies President & CEO VALERIE DANIELS-CARTER; former Brown County Exec THOMAS HINZ; and Kohler Co. President & COO KARGER DAVID KOHLER (, 5/27)....Jacksonville State Univ. has named Coastal Carolina AD WARREN KOEGEL to the same position (JSU).

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Boxer MANNY PACQUIAO yesterday said that he “has settled his lawsuit” with Golden Boy CEO RICHARD SCHAEFER and President OSCAR DE LA HOYA, “two of the four individuals he alleged defamed him.” Pacquiao in December ’09 filed a suit in federal court in Las Vegas alleging that boxer FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. and his father “defamed him with their comments saying the Filipino star has used performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids.” Pacquiao also named Mayweather's promoters, De La Hoya and Schaefer, as defendants. In L.A., Lance Pugmire wrote the settlement “could restore relations” between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions, who “haven't made a major fight together since May 2009” (, 5/31). DANIEL PETROCELLI, Pacquiao’s attorney, said that the “suit against the Mayweathers continues” (, 5/31).

COACH CRIS: In Cincinnati, Richard Skinner reports NBC "SNF" analyst CRIS COLLINSWORTH has “accepted an offer” from Highlands High School football coach DALE MUELLER to “join his staff as wide receivers coach.” Collinsworth’s son JAC is a wide receiver for the Cincinnati-area high school and Collinsworth “made an agreement with NBC when he landed the position that he wouldn’t have to travel to the site of Sunday games until after attending Friday Highlands' games.” Collinsworth on his website wrote, “What the heck, the NFL will probably miss at least half of their season anyway, (and) I agreed” (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/1).

LAW & ORDER: In Milwaukee, Lori Nickel profiled National Football Post President and ESPN analyst ANDREW BRANDT, who has been “decoding the legal strategies and rulings of the NFL lockout” and “boils down the legal jargon into digestible terms.” As a former Packers VP/Player Finance & General Counsel, player agent and World League GM, Brandt “draws upon nearly three decades of experience in all of those fields to help him in his latest career venture.” The 50-year-old has been “officially out of the NFL three years now.” Brandt also “teaches sports law and negotiations” at the Univ. of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/29).

ROCK ON: Elway lead singer TIM BROWNE said that the punk band “has been asked in a letter to change its name” by Broncos Exec VP/Football Operations JOHN ELWAY’s representatives. But there was “no cease and desist letter that came with the request.” Browne said that he is “sticking true to his punk roots and won’t be kept down by the man.” Browne: “It’s not a direct reference to John Elway. We make no mention of him in records or in our art work” (, 5/29).

WHEN YOU’RE GONE: In St. Petersburg, Rick Stroud reported singer AVRIL LAVIGNE, who experienced a “dead microphone to begin her performance” Saturday night after a Rays game at Tropicana Field, “reacted to a chorus of boos by peppering the crowd with an expletive, multiple times, reminding her audience technical glitches happen during a live concert ‘at a baseball stadium.’” Rays Public Address Announcer RUSTY KATH after the concert apologized to the crowd of 24,717-- "many of them families with children -- that remained for the show for the foul language." Kath: “That’s not what the Tampa Bay Rays are about” (, 5/29).

NAMES: Massachusetts Northwestern District Attorney’s Office prosecutors “plan to drop domestic and police assault charges” against ESPN’s HOWARD BRYANT. Bryant said, “I’m gratified that the Commonwealth has determined that all allegations against me are unsubstantiated” (BOSTON HERALD, 5/28)….Singers GLORIA ESTEFAN, QUEEN LATIFAH, LIL WAYNE, LUDACRIS, actress GABRIELLE UNION, WR TERRELL OWENS, tennis player SERENA WILLIAMS, filmmaker JERRY BRUCKHEIMER and record producer TIMBALAND were in attendance at last night’s Mavericks-Heat NBA Finals Game One in Miami (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 6/1)…. NFL Giants Chair & Exec VP STEVE TISCH and Dolphins Owner STEPHEN ROSS were spotted at T-Bar at Savanna's in Southampton, N.Y. (N.Y. POST, 6/1)….The NCAA yesterday announced that Univ. of Oklahoma AD JOE CASIGLIONE, Univ. of Nebraska Chancellor HARVEY PERLMAN, Big 12 Commissioner DAN BEEBE, Penn State AD TIM CURLEY and American Express CEO KENNETH CHENAULT will be part of the D-I Bowl Licensing Task Force (, 5/31)….Princeton Univ. yesterday gave Baseball HOFer HANK AARON an “honorary doctorate of humanities” (AP, 5/31)….The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Raleigh graduates selected Hurricanes Dir of Forwards Development ROD BRIND’AMOUR as its Distinguished Leader of the Year (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/1).