SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass noted former NASCAR driver KYLE PETTY "doesn’t believe the removal of his wife, PATTIE, as chief executive officer of Victory Junction Gang Camp will negatively impact the camp the couple founded in memory of their son ADAM." A K.C. Star report indicated Sunday that Pattie Petty had been "removed from the day-to-day operations of the camp." A camp news release yesterday said that she has "accepted a position as goodwill ambassador and chairwoman emeritus of the board that oversees the camp." Kyle Petty said yesterday, "I have no concerns with the direction of the camp at all. Period." The Pettys' son AUSTIN is COO of the camp for chronically ill children. Kyle said that he and his father RICHARD PETTY, who is also on the BOD, "did not participate in discussions about the role for Pattie, who is battling Parkinson's Disease" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 4/23).
ON THE RUN: In Miami, Adam Beasley notes Marlins President DAVID SAMSON on Friday will run 50 miles in a personal, ultramarathon "to raise more than $600,000 for 10 charities." Samson "expects that total to grow throughout the week and exceed $750,000" by the time he begins the race at 7:00am ET Friday. Marlins President of Baseball Operations LARRY BEINFEST will "start the day with Samson, running the first five for the Jewish Federation of Broward County" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/24).BOOKSHELF
: In Oklahoma City, Steve Lackmeyer notes state Sen. DAVID HOLT
's new book, "BIG LEAGUE CITY
," shares his account of how Mayor MICK CORNETT
, City Manager JIM COUCH
and "others at City Hall worked behind the scenes with a group of local business leaders," led by Thunder Owner CLAY BENNETT
, to bring an NBA franchise to the city. Holt enjoyed a "fly-on-the-wall view as Bennett first danced with Hornets owner GEORGE SHINN
and then ultimately bought the Sonics" (OKLAHOMAN, 4/24
MOVIE CRITIC: On Long Island, Neil Best noted the film "KNUCKLEBALL!" had its world premiere Saturday night during the TriBeCa/ESPN Sports Film Festival, with Mets P R.A. DICKEY and former MLBers TIM WAKEFIELD, CHARLIE HOUGH and JIM BOUTON in attendance. Best wrote, "Did I like it? Yes, but not as much as I would have liked to like it. ... There are dashes of humor, to be sure, but not as many as you might expect, given the pitch in question." Meanwhile, Best wrote ESPN's centerpiece at the Film Festival, "BENJI," packs the "emotional punch you would expect of a story about the death of a high school basketball star that rocked Chicago" in '84. The film will air on ESPN Oct. 23 (NEWSDAY.com, 4/23).
NAMES: CAA staffers during the agency's annual retreat at Ojai Valley Inn listened to presentations from a number of speakers, including Duke basketball coach MIKE KRZYZEWSKI. The retreat also included a "young client" panel, which included Clippers G CHRIS PAUL (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 4/23)....Former President BILL CLINTON yesterday posed for pictures with the Univ. of Kentucky men's basketball "players and coaching staff -- and the trophies collected as NCAA champions." Clinton was in town to give a speech at Rupp Arena (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 4/24)....Recording artist MARY J. BLIGE is expected to sing the national anthem at the Kentucky Derby on May 5 (AP, 4/24)....Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN attended yesterday's Coyotes-Blackhawks Western Conference Quarterfinal Game Six. Jordan wore a Blackhawks C JONATHAN TOEWS jersey as the Coyotes won to advance to the conference semifinals (ESPN.com, 4/23)....Baseball HOFer REGGIE JACKSON, Yankees SS DEREK JETER and CORINNE GROUSBECK, wife of Celtics Managing Partner & CEO WYC GROUSBECK, dined at Boston's Scampo in the Liberty Hotel following Fenway Park's 100th anniversary celebration Saturday. Meanwhile, Fox Sports' JOE BUCK and former MLBers LOU MERLONI and NOMAR GARCIAPARRA had dinner at Davio's (BOSTON HERALD, 4/23)....Red Sox 3B KEVIN YOUKILIS and JULIE BRADY, sister of Patriots QB TOM BRADY, got married at their Weston, Mass., home last Thursday (BOSTON HERALD, 4/24).
IN MEMORY: Former USOC President DR. LEROY WALKER, the first African-American to hold that position, died Monday in Durham, N.C., at the age of 93. Walker was "instrumental in bringing the Olympic Games to his native Atlanta" in '96. He had lived in Durham for "more than 60 years" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 4/24). Walker was named the first President Emeritus of the USOC in '96, and he was inducted into the U.S. Olympic HOF in '87 (USA Track & Field)....Services were held yesterday for former PPG Industries exec FRED RHUE, who keyed sponsorship of CART for 20 years. Rhue, who passed away Thursday, was buried in Rocky River, Ohio. Under Rhue's leadership, PPG became "one of the first large motor sports sponsors, serving as the title sponsor of CART" from '80-97 (INDYSTAR.com, 4/24).