In Miami, Douglas Hanks notes Costa Cruises “faced outrage Monday over a purported offer by the Italian Cruise line that give survivors of the deadly Concordia capsizing 30 percent off their next voyage.” This is the “latest flashpoint in a public-relations response that has both Costa and Carnival’s Doral headquarters under fire.” The Wall Street Journal led its main Concordia story yesterday “with a blunt question for Carnival Corp.’s CEO: ‘Where is MICKY ARISON?'” It was the “11th day of silence from Arison," the Heat Owner who "has communicated only in written statements and allowed top Costa executives to face the cameras after the Jan. 13 shipwreck off an Italian island.” Critics see Arison “as dodging the spotlight over a deadly accident rattling the entire cruising industry.” Boardroom Communications President JULIE SILVER TALENFELD said, “Micky Arison should come out, and take ownership, and get in front of the story” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/24).
ROLLING THE DICE: The AP’s John Brennan wrote two bills “that would legalize sports betting at New Jersey racetracks and casinos were announced Monday by members of the state’s congressional delegation.” U.S. Rep. FRANK PALLONE is “seeking to add New Jersey to a list of states that would be exempt from a 20-year-old law, known as the Bradley Act, that bans wagering on professional and college sports.” The other bill, proposed by U.S. Rep. FRANK LOBIONDO, “would open a three-year window to allow any state to pass a law -- as New Jersey recently did -- to permit sports betting” (AP, 1/23). Meanwhile, Cavaliers Owner DAN GILBERT is “one of the chief investors in a consortium that submitted paperwork -- along with a $22.5 million application fee -- last fall to build a $310 million casino” in Baltimore. The casino “would be under Caesars’ Harrah’s unit” (CRAINSDETROIT.com, 1/22).
MAKING CONNECTIONS: In S.F., Eric Young notes BeRecruited, a “fast-growing firm, which relocated to San Francisco from Atlanta last year, operates a website that links high school athletes with college teams.” About 1 million high school students from around the country “have accounts with BeRecruited, up from about 600,000 a year ago.” The site “lists about 27,500 college coaches or about 79 percent of coaches nationwide, up from about 68 percent last year.” The privately held firm said that sales “have grown at 30 percent for the past two years” (S.F. BUSINESS TIMES, 1/20 issue).
ON THE MEND: Burton Snowboards Founder & Chair JAKE BURTON last week sent a note to all of his employees saying “it appears that my cancer is toast. … There is still the possibility of surgery or some radiation down the road, but it will be clean-up in nature and I’m not too stressed about it” (THE DAILY).
NAMES: Churchill Downs Inc. yesterday “agreed to continue payments to The Jockeys’ Guild, the riders’ trade association.” The announcement said that CDI “will make payments to the guild to subsidize health and life insurance and disability benefits for its riders” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 1/23)....The Celtics have named U.S. Rep. EDWARD MARKEY (D-Mass.) a “Hero Among Us” for a “lifetime of pioneering work promoting the rights of people with disabilities” (Celtics)....ESPN Event Production News Editor SANDY ROSENBUSH was named the ’12 Mary Garber Pioneer Award winner by the Association For Women in Sports Media (ESPN)....Ohio State Univ. football coach URBAN MEYER, “who agreed last October to be the keynote speaker” for the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce's 92nd annual dinner, "recently notified chamber officials via the agency that books his speaking engagements he could no longer honor his commitments" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 1/24)....Two anonymous donors “gave gifts totaling $1.05 million toward a basketball development center” at the Univ. of Connecticut (COURANT.com, 1/20)....Capitals RW ALEX OVECHKIN paid $4.28M on Jan. 3 for an estate in McLean, Va. (WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/20 issue).
IN MEMORY: Former Phillies broadcaster ANDY MUSSER, 74, died of a heart condition Sunday at his home in Wynnewood, Pa. Musser retired in ’01 after serving as a broadcaster for Phillies games for 26 years. He also did play-by-play “for other pro sports ... as well as college games.” Musser “most famously” teamed up with late Phillies broadcasters HARRY KALAS and RICH ASHBURN (PHILLY.com, 1/24)….Former Packers radio announcer JIM IRWIN, 77, passed away Sunday following a battle with cancer. Irwin was inducted into the Packers HOF in ’03 (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 1/24).