Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 135

People and Pop Culture

Several sports business experts recently ranked the "best current commissioners in sports, factoring in various economic, labor and field-of-play issues," and the consensus was that NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN "is No. 1, though with an asterisk because of the labor dispute that led him to lock players out on July 1," according to Helene Elliott of the L.A. TIMES. Univ. of Pennsylvania Wharton Sports Business Associate Dir SCOTT ROSNER said, "At the collegiate level right now, no one's killing it like [Pac-12 Commissioner] LARRY SCOTT is. To do what he has done with the Pac-12 is astounding." Rosner added, "Track record, though, I think you have to give it to David. To think about where this sport was when he took over in the early '80s, so many teams losing money -- the majority of the teams losing money -- the Finals were on tape delay in many markets across the country, and David has brought the league to where it was" (L.A. TIMES, 9/20). Univ. of Central Florida DeVos Sport Business Associate Dir BILL SUTTON said of Stern, "I see him trying to make financial sense out of a game that's not making financial sense anymore. He'll endure the criticism and he'll endure whatever it takes to fix the game." New York Univ. Tisch Center Sports Business professor ROBERT BOLAND: "Stern's legacy is as one of the five or six or seven most important people in the development of sport." Stern is followed in the rankings by NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. Boland said Goodell deserves "fairly high grades for bringing football back and for the most part managing his lockout in a way that it did very little harm to the game overall." Tied for third on the list are SEC Commissioner MIKE SLIVE and Scott, who Rosner said has "taken the Pac-12 from the Dark Ages to the cutting edge in a very short period of time." MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG nabbed the fourth spot, followed by NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN, MLS Commissioner DON GARBER and PGA Tour Commissioner TIM FINCHEM (L.A. TIMES, 9/20).

Iowa Speedway President JERRY JAURON submited his resignation Monday to work at motorsports business C&L Companies. Jauron led the speedway for 3 1/2 years, "during the time of its most explosive growth." Jauron said that the "decision to leave was his" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 9/20)....Golf Digest Cos. named GQ Publisher PETE HUNSINGER President & Publisher. Golf Digest VP & Publishing Dir TOM BAIR and Golf World Publisher LAURA SEQUENZIA will report to Hunsinger (, 9/16)....BLAIR MCINTOSH has been named Dir of Sport for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. He previously served as Dir of Games for the Sport Alliance of Ontario (TO2015)....The Mariners named JOE MCILVAINE Special Assistant to GM JACK ZDURIENCIK. McIlvaine previously served as GM of the Padres and Mets, and has spent the last 11 years as a Special Assistant with the Twins (AP, 9/19)....The Tigers promoted DAVE OWEN to Dir of Player Development (, 9/19)....West Marine appointed Nike Global Direct-to-Consumer VP & COO CHRISTIANA SMITH SHI as its new Independent Dir (West Marine)....Wheaton College promoted Associate AD JULIE DAVIS to AD (Wheaton)....The MLS Dynamo named KEITH MALONE Ticket Sales Account Exec (THE DAILY).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

Byrne's base salary will increase to $440,000
under next contract extension
In Arizona, Greg Hansen reported a contract extension for Univ. of Arizona AD GREG BYRNE will bump his base salary to $440,000 "if approved this week by the Arizona Board of Regents." In the 17 months since joining UA, Byrne "has been a dynamo." He "has reworked the department's image locally by being visible and, as much as possible, transparent." Hansen noted Byrne's "early reputation is that he's tireless; a guy who gets things done and won't settle for middle-tier status" (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 9/18).

CHARITY STRIPE: Hockey HOF inductee PAT LAFONTAINE and former NHLer STEVE WEBB began a 550-mile bike ride yesterday morning from the Hockey HOF in Toronto to the NHL's store in Manhattan in support of their respective charitable efforts: the Companions in Courage Foundation and the W20 Foundation. They are expected to complete their ride tomorrow (NHL)....Bank of America yesterday announced $1M in educational grants to nonprofit organizations in Charlotte and a series of programs that provide students with NASCAR-themed curriculum and career opportunities. The donation is in conjunction with BofA's title sponsorship of the Oct. 15 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (BofA).

NAMES: The reward for information in last year's alleged murder of former NBAer LORENZEN WRIGHT "has increased to $21,000," thanks to a $10,000 contribution from the state of Tennessee and $5,000 from the Grizzlies (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 9/20)....In Boston, Tim McLaughlin profiles Fenway Sports Management Managing Dir BILLY HOGAN, whose job "is to promote some of the best-known brands in the world of sports." Hogan's responsibilities include the Red Sox, Liverpool and Heat F LEBRON JAMES, but he said that "there's nothing better than the face-to-face meetings he has with clients and prospects" (BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/16 issue)....The family of MARK BAVIS, one of two NHL Kings scouts "killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, settled its lawsuit against United Airlines and the company in charge of security at Boston's Logan Airport," where the L.A.-bound flight originated (, 9/19)....Giants DE JUSTIN TUCK will be featured on Sportsman Channel's "Bowhunter TV" this Friday at 10:00pm ET. Tuck will join co-hosts MIKE CARNEY and CURT WELLS during a hunt for javelina in South Texas. The network says Tuck bags two animals: one from a 30-yard shot and another from a 42-yard shot (John Ourand, THE DAILY)....The Lions before Sunday's home opener against the Chiefs "will conduct a moment of silence" for late beat reporter TOM KOWALSKI, who died last month. In addition, the Lions have "included a full-page memorial in the game program and placed the initials 'TK' on the roster cards given out to the media" (, 9/18).