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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

The MLS Whitecaps Thursday announced JOHN FURLONG as the team’s new Exec Chair, according to Jenelle Schneider of the Vancouver PROVINCE. Furlong has already “delivered the Winter Olympics to Vancouver, and ran them as head of VANOC,” but this is “potentially a huge move for the second-year MLS club.” Furlong said, “What they want is to be a complete and thoughtful organization that does a great job on the field, that does a great job for the fans, that is an honourable organization, that is really trying to find ways to really build something with the community and to deserve to be who they are.” The Whitecaps’ first CEO PAUL BARBER left at the end of February and the team originally said that it “would not rehire his position,” with President BOB LENARDUZZI and COO RACHEL LEWIS taking on the responsibilities. However, the “chance to add Furlong proved irresistible.” Whitecaps co-Owner JEFF MALLETT said that Furlong “will be involved in the day-to-day business,” and his value will also be in “visioning and leadership and his contacts in sport, business and government.” His first duties will include a “training centre deal to finalize, a fan and sponsorship base to grow and a culture to nurture” (Vancouver PROVINCE, 4/13). Furlong said, “I’m a bit stunned myself. This has all happened very quickly.” In Vancouver, Bruce Constantineau writes before Furlong accepted his new job he “tried to get a better sense" of MLS by flying to watch a Whitecaps-Union game at PPL Park on March 31. Furlong was “impressed with what he saw" (VANCOUVER SUN, 4/13).

The USA Today Sports Media Group yesterday named AP Deputy Sports Editor MARY BYRNE Managing Editor/Sports for the paper. She will be based at the outlet's HQs in McLean, Va. Byrne also previously served as USA Today's Olympics Editor from '04-06. She succeeds MONTE LORELL in her new role and becomes the fourth person in USA Today's nearly 30-year history to hold the position (USA Today Sports Media Group).

EXECS: Chip Ganassi Racing named JMI VP/Partnership Development CHRISTIAN CINGOLANI Dir of Business Development. Cingolani will be responsible for selling the team's racing assets in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Izod IndyCar Series and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series (Chip Ganassi Racing)....XOS Digital promoted MARK HUDGINS to Exec VP/Finance & Administration and ANNA NERI to VP/Marketing & Affiliate Networks (XOS Digital)....Green Savoree Racing Promotions named former IndyCar Commercial Division President TERRY ANGSTADT Exec VP & GM (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/13)....Modell's Sporting Goods promoted CHARLES CASTANEDA to Exec VP/Planning, Allocation, Replenishment & E-Commerce Merchandising and TODD SMYTH to Licensed Product Division VP/GMM (Modell's)....Keystone Marketing named former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Account Manager STACIE BRENNER Dir of Business Development (Keystone)....Jacksonville Univ. named JOEL LAMP Interim AD, replacing ALAN VERLANDER (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 4/13).

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In L.A., Pringle, Lin II & Blankstein note a new city report "assails officials in charge of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for failing to impose even basic financial controls, allowing the routine squandering of public money and permitting corruption to take root in 'a dysfunctional and risk-prone culture.'" Auditors also found that the commissioners gave former GM PATRICK LYNCH an "annual bonus of $125,000 for several years without requiring him to undergo a performance review." The 70-page report stated that the commission, made up of three L.A. County supervisors and three appointees "each from the city and state, freed Lynch to manage the taxpayer-owned stadium in a setting 'void of essential formal policies, procedures and protocols'" (L.A. TIMES, 4/13).

Newton said he wants to become more
involved in the Charlotte community

MAN AROUND TOWN: In Charlotte, Joseph Person notes Panthers QB CAM NEWTON kept his media responsibilities "to a minimum and was selective in his appearances at charitable events" during his rookie season. But Newton Thursday said that he "plans to reach out more into the Charlotte community this year through his foundation." He added that his foundation will "focus on youth initiatives." He did "not announce any specific events, but said he plans to sponsor youth camps, 7-on-7 summer football leagues and activities to combat childhood obesity." Newton: "I'm here to show my face and come up with different ventures so that I can make myself accessible and available to the community of Charlotte" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/13).

BO KNOWS CYCLING: GQ's Lang Whitaker noted former NFLer and MLBer BO JACKSON at the end of the month "will spend a week bicycling across his home state of Alabama to raise money for small towns and communities that were ravaged by tornadoes a year ago," and hopes to raise $1M through the initiative. Jackson said, "We have different celebrities riding with me each day. From SCOTTIE PIPPEN to PICABO STREET, from Cam Newton to LANCE ARMSTRONG, from KEN GRIFFEY JR. to EDDIE GEORGE. And I got a lot of my ex-teammates from Auburn, and ex-opponents from the University of Alabama are gonna ride with me. Each day I'll have from 25-100 people riding with me. Not just celebrities, but corporations that want to sponsor their employees to come ride. On the final day, once we get about two and a half miles outside Tuscaloosa, we're going to open it to the public" (, 4/11).

NAMES: Plans are "in the works" to change the name of Old Bagdad Highway in Bagdad, Fla., to BUBBA WATSON Road and host a victory parade in honor of Watson's victory at The Masters last Sunday (, 4/12)....Red Sox manager BOBBY VALENTINE and several of his coaches Thursday went to a party at Boston's State Room celebrating the launch of the nonprofit Longwood Giving (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/13)....Comcast SportsNet was awarded a '12 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for "REMEMBERING RICHIE," a story about a Philadelphia-area boy who died on Sept. 11, 2001 (CSN)....NFL Cardinals G DARYN COLLEDGE, Chargers G TONY MOLL and Jaguars G JASON SPITZ have formed a wine company, Three Fat Guys, after deciding that "making their own wine would be almost as much fun as drinking it." Their "greatest fear now is not that the operation will go under, but that it will grow too fast and consume too much time" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/9).