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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Nike Chair PHIL KNIGHT ranks first on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential People In Oregon Sports, according to John Canzano of the Portland OREGONIAN. The Nike co-Founder and top Univ. of Oregon donor last year “opened his legacy project (Matthew Knight Arena).” Knight's $100M pledge to UO and “his status as the state's No. 1 fan and booster gives him big-time juice.” Canzano: “Think the Ducks could have reached the national title game without Knight? Would you bet against them getting back someday with Knight around?” MLS Timbers Owner & President MERRITT PAULSON, who owns “not the state’s biggest sports operation, just the one run the best,” is second on the list. Paulson has “raised the profile of the state nationally.” Trail Blazers President LARRY MILLER ranks No. 12 on the list, and Canzano wrote Miller “keeps his head down, and the revenue flowing.” But his “failure" is an "awful Comcast television deal he can’t seem to solve” (Portland OREGONIAN, 7/24).

Nike Chair Phil Knight
MLS Timbers Owner & President Merritt Paulson
Trail Blazers and Seahawks Owner Paul Allen
Complete Scouting Services Owner Willie Lyles
Univ. of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly
Trail Blazers C Greg Oden
UO AD Rob Mullens
Oregon State AD Bob De Carolis
OSU football coach Mike Riley
Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan
Timbers COO Mike Golub
Trail Blazers President Larry Miller
UO QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James
UO men's basketball coach Dana Altman
Timbers Army fan group
Vulcan Sports Vice Chair Bert Kolde
OSU men's basketball coach Craig Robinson
OSU baseball coach Pat Casey
Trail Blazers Senior VP & COO Sarah Mensah
Trail Blazers acting GM Chad Buchanan
Timbers coach John Spencer
Linfield College baseball coach Scott Brosius
UO Associate AD Vin Lananna
Oregon Tech men's basketball coach Danny Miles
Trail Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge


The Women's Basketball Coaches Association has elected Florida State Univ. coach SUE SEMRAU as VP of the organization. Semrau also serves as President-elect and will automatically succeed incoming WBCA President CHARLI TURNER THORNE, head coach of Arizona State Univ., when her terms expires in two years (WBCA)....The National Sporting Goods Association appointed DALE DONALDSON and reappointed JEFF BRUSATI to its BOD (NSGA)....The Colts have hired Redskins Media Relations Assistant MATT TAYLOR as Assistant Dir of Communications (THE DAILY)....Former Lawrence (Kan.) Police Chief RON OLIN, hired by the Univ. of Kansas athletic department in Sept. 10 as Dir of Security, "has resigned his position effective at the end of this month" (K.C. STAR, 7/26)....REBECCA BRUTLAG has left the Triple-A PCL Sacramento River Cats' communications department (THE DAILY)....The Univ. of Delaware named JIMMY SMITH Dir of Multimedia (UD)....Marshall Univ. has hired JASON CORRIHER as Assistant AD for Media Relations (Marshall).

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DAILY VARIETY's Dave McNary reported Fox yesterday secured the rights to adapt JIM MILLER and TOM SHALES' book, "ESPN: THOSE GUYS HAVE ALL THE FUN," into a film. Fox "has set the project up with" producers MICHAEL DE LUCA, DANA BRUNETTI and JULIE YORN. No "writers or directors are attached" to the project (, 7/25).

: PRESIDENT OBAMA yesterday welcomed the Giants to the White House for the "traditional visit from the reigning World Series champions." Giants manager BRUCE BOCHY "presented Obama an autographed jersey bearing the number 44." Giants P MATT CAIN "handed the chief executive a personalized and signed bat." Managing General Partner & CEO BILL NEUKOM and Senior VP & GM BRIAN SABEAN "brought Obama a set of fielder's gloves for him and his family" (, 7/25).

SWEET HOME ALABAMA: BASS LLC investor DON LOGAN said that the company "will return to Alabama where it was founded some four decades ago." Logan, one of three partners who purchased BASS from ESPN last year, said, "Our headquarters will be in Birmingham, where I have prior business interests and a lot of talented people already on tap. It also makes sense because it's in the heart of our tournament circuits geographically, as well as in the heart of bass fishing fan density" (HUNTSVILLE TIMES, 7/22).

WORK OF FICTION: In Chicago, Rick Telander noted former Bills coach and GM MARV LEVY has written "BETWEEN THE LINES," in which, "among other things, the Super Bowl is rigged." Levy, who lost four Super Bowls as Bills coach, said the book is "complete fiction." Levy: "It's exaggerated. ... I never have suspected or sensed a whiff of cheating in any of our Super Bowls." The book "won't be out for a month" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/24).

NAMES: The Rays will host their first Tweet-Up on Aug 4 during their game against the Blue Jays. CNBC’s DARREN ROVELL will “sing the national anthem and tweet from different locations inside Tropicana Field during the game.” Rovell will also report live throughout CNBC’s Business Day programming on game day (, 7/22). Rovell earlier this year tweeted that he "wanted to sing the National Anthem in a major league stadium," and the Rays gave him the "best offer." Rovell: "A full social media day, a Tweet up with fans and the National Anthem of course, including the Canadian one" (, 7/22)....PBR CEO JIM HAWORTH offers his business advice, saying, “If you try to listen to your customers and give them what they want, you’re going to be OK. If you’re going to make a mistake, then make it following what the customer wants and you still [will] be OK” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 7/26)....MLB Rangers DH MICHAEL YOUNG has launched the Michael Young Family Foundation, which will “focus on improving children’s health, whether it’s physical, social, mental or educational” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 7/26).

: Oregon State Univ. AD BOB DE CAROLIS "has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease but he plans to fulfill his contract." De Carolis signed a five-year contract extension earlier this year that "keeps him in the AD's office through June 2016" (AP, 7/25).

: Former motorsports exec DON NAMAN passed away yesterday at the age of 75 "after an extended illness." Naman was the first GM of Talladega Superspeedway in '70, and also served as Dir of the Int'l Motorsports HOF & Museum at the track for 12 years (HUNTSVILLE TIMES, 7/26).