Names In The News
In N.Y., Longman & Carvajal offer an extensive look at the career of FIFA VP and CONCACAF President JACK WARNER, who resigned from both positions yesterday. Warner has been a "powerful but polarizing figure in regional and international soccer circles" for nearly three decades. Warner, who "had been accused in a bribery scheme involving as much as" $1M, "had endured a number of scandals through the years before stepping down." Critics "have long contended that Warner epitomized FIFA's lack of accountability and transparency, reflected its outsized sense of entitlement, used soccer to enrich himself and his family and retaliated against those who opposed him" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/21).
MILLION-DOLLAR MEN: An AP review of '09 IRS returns, the most recent available, found that four of the six BCS conferences "paid their top executives $1 million or more." Big Ten Commissioner JIM DELANY "was the highest paid, receiving total compensation valued at" $1.6M. ACC Commissioner JOHN SWOFFORD earned $1.1M, SEC Commissioner MIKE SLIVE earned $1M and Big 12 Commissioner DAN BEEBE earned $997,000. Pac-12 Commissioner LARRY SCOTT earned $735,000 and Big East Commissioner JOHN MARINATTO earned $366,000, but both "started in July 2009, so their compensation figures are only for the last six months of the year." On an "annual or prorated basis, only Marinatto made less than the median pay of presidents of the nation's large research universities" (AP, 6/20).
LOSING THE BATTLE: ESPN N.Y.'s Franklin McNeil cited a source as saying that the possibility of MMA being sanctioned in New York state this year "all but vanished" yesterday. An assembly bill seeking to establish "protocols for combative sports and authorizing mixed martial arts events" did not get placed on the Ways & Means Committee agenda. As a result, the bill "can't be voted on by committee members." There is a "slim chance the bill could be revisited before week's end" (ESPNNY.com, 6/20).
ID NOT REQUIRED: In an op-ed piece for the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, StubHub President CHRIS TSAKALAKIS writes House Bill 308 was an "important piece of legislation" that the North Carolina General Assembly left "on the table" at the adjournment of its session. The bill "would have prevented ticket sales and distribution companies, such as Ticketmaster, from controlling the sale and resale of tickets by making fans show ID at the gate to validate their ticket purchases." Ticketmaster and the "major league sports teams in the state argue that a restricted ticketing system, where fans are required to present the photo ID and matching credit card of the original buyer to gain access to the event, is far more convenient for fans." But Tsakalakis writes the "reality is that restricted tickets take away your choice and right to do what you want with your tickets" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/21).
CAVALIER IDEAS: In Detroit, John Gallagher examines how Cavaliers Owner DAN GILBERT “hopes to change downtown Detroit.” Gilbert is transforming his Madison Theatre Building “into a hub for high-tech entrepreneurial activity.” Gilbert also has moved his Quicken Loan HQs downtown, all part of transforming the area into "what Gilbert calls Detroit 2.0 -- a city rich with high-tech entrepreneurial activity and a bustling new economy" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/21).
NAMES: Rams LB DAVID VOBORA has been awarded $5.4M “as a result of a suit he filed against a company for supplying a contaminated supplement.” The NFL suspended Vobora for four games in ’09 after he tested positive for a banned substance. The judgment “includes lost compensation from the four-week suspension and marketing opportunities,” as well as $2M for damage to Vobora’s reputation (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 6/21)….Former Stars and MLB Rangers Owner TOM HICKS’ Latrobe Specialty Metals “has agreed to a merger that will increase the value” of Hicks Equity Partners’ investment in the business from $20M to about $200M (DALLASNEWS.com, 6/20)….HarperCollins has partnered with JIMMY CONNORS for a memoir to be released in ’12, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of his last Wimbledon victory (AP, 6/19).
IN MEMORY: Former MLS Players Union President JOHN KERR SR. passed away Sunday night at the age of 67. Kerr, a “major figure in American soccer’s development,” also worked for the NFLPA (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 6/20).