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Volume 24 No. 117

People and Pop Culture

SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's John Lombardo notes the Univ. of Central Florida's DeVos Sport Business Management Program has named former NBA Kings President JOHN THOMAS External Affairs & Partner Relationships Dir. Thomas will "move to Orlando and will begin to lecture in classes immediately." The UCF program has also named former WNBA President DONNA ORENDER, former NCAA President JUDY SWEET and UCLA AD DAN GUERRERO Senior Advisers (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/18 issue).

EXECS: HBO named NHL Senior Dir of Media Strategy & Business Affairs ALEXANDRE SIMON Senior Counsel for Technology. Simon had been with the NHL since '06 (THE DAILY)....The Raiders named ERIN EXUM Media Relations Coordinator; JEFF GILBERT and ADAM JOHNSON Equipment Assistants; GEORGE LI Football Operations Statistical Analyst; and GREG REUVENI Video Assistant (AP, 6/16)....Lamar Univ. named interim AD JASON HENDERSON AD. Henderson served as Associate AD for Compliance from '07-11 (Lamar)....The Big South Conference's Council of ADs has elected High Point Univ. AD CRAIG KEILITZ Chair (High Point)....Western Illinois Univ. hired Univ. of Oklahoma Dir of Compliance MATT TANNEY as Associate AD (WIU)....BYU named MARK ATUAIA Assistant to the AD for Student Services (BYU).

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In London, Football Association Chair DAVID BERNSTEIN has confirmed that he "would like to remain in the job beyond next year." Bernstein "celebrates his 70th birthday next May, after which he is due to" retire based on FA policy. However, there is a "widespread feeling he should be allowed to continue, having brought much-needed stability" to the organization and "restored its credibility." Bernstein: "I am enjoying it very much, and the honest answer is yes (I would like to stay on)" (London DAILY MAIL, 6/17).

FOR SALE: In L.A., Joe Flint notes motivating the "potential sale of Dick Clark Productions is the desire of Six Flags Inc. to cash out of its 40% stake" in the TV company. A source said that Six Flags "no longer views Dick Clark Productions as core to the rest of its theme park business." Six Flags acquired the stake "when it was still being run" by Redskins Owner DAN SNYDER, whose Red Zone Capital is the majority owner of Dick Clark Productions. A source said that Red Zone "could attempt to buy the stake, but that scenario is highly unlikely" (L.A. TIMES, 6/16). Red Zone Managing Dir NORM CHIRITE said that the company has "hired investment bank Raine Group to explore a possible sale" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/16). 

: In San Jose, Daniel Brown notes Pro Football HOFers JOE MONTANA and STEVE YOUNG, former NFLer JIM PLUNKETT, Packers QB AARON RODGERS and Patriots QB TOM BRADY Friday addressed the "mounting concern over player safety and the long-term effects of head injuries" at a charity event in S.F. NBC's BOB COSTAS, who moderated the discussion, asked, "What can be done to make the game reasonably safe without changing its basic nature and without altering the sport that is clearly America's most popular?" Rodgers said, "It does start to bring your own mortality to the forefront in your mind, thinking about what your post-career will look like. That being said, there's not a whole lot more we can do. ... It's a difficult topic because I think our league needs to continue to realize the impact we can have on setting the standard for the kids who are wanting to play." Plunkett said, "I don't know what can be done without changing the very nature of the game, the violence of the game, the way people hit one another." Montana said, "Here we are trying to protect, protect, protect (but) the more you stay protected the more aggressive you can get" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/17). 

VERDICT IS IN: Former NBA referee TIM DONAGHY said that a St. Petersburg jury Friday awarded him $1.3M in his civil suit "against SHAWNA VERCHER and her now-defunct company VTi Group, which published Donaghy's tell-all book about the NBA and its referees." Donaghy's lawyer, NICHOLAS MOONEY, said that the jury returned a verdict for his client on "all counts, including breach of contract, theft, and intentional infliction of emotional distress." Mooney added that under Florida law, the total award will "likely be increased" to about $1.65M. Vercher, who is also responsible for Donaghy's attorney's fees, has said that she "plans to appeal" (, 6/18).

NAMES: QUEEN ELIZABETH II's birthday honors list indicated that golfer LUKE DONALD was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire after spending almost a year as the top-ranked golfer (AP, 6/15)....Former NBAer DIKEMBE MUTOMBO is in Japan to conduct basketball clinics with the Basketball Without Borders program. The four-day camp in Japan is attended by the top 50 young basketball players from 18 Asian countries (AP, 6/15)....Spurs G TONY PARKER said that he suffered an eye injury last Wednesday night in N.Y. while leaving a nightclub. Parker will have his eye re-examined this Wednesday and said that his joining the French national team in pre-Olympic training camp is likely to be delayed by a week (, 6/15)....NFL Giants QB ELI MANNING and his daughter, AVA, threw out the ceremonial first pitch yesterday before the Reds-Mets game at Citi Field (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/18)....The WALL STREET JOURNAL analyzed a social media comments on the USADA's charges against cyclist LANCE ARMSTRONG and found that 53% of the comments were "Anti-Armstrong," while only 31% were "Pro-Armstrong." By contrast, 13% are "Over It," and 3% of comments were "Jokes" about the issue (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/16)....BILLIE JEAN KING, WNBA Mercury VP ANN MEYERS DRYSDALE, former U.S. women's basketball player TERESA EDWARDS and former IndyCar driver LYN ST. JAMES Friday spoke on "The Power of IX" Legends Panel hosted by ESPN's CHRIS MCKENDRY at the net's Bristol, Conn., campus. The discussion was part of ESPN's three-month long initiative to recognize Title IX, passed on June 23, 1972 (HARTFORD COURANT, 6/16)....Bengals CB ADAM "PACMAN" JONES will speak at this year's NFL Rookie Symposium. NFC rookies will attend the event June 24-27, with AFC rookies to follow June 27-30. Jones' message to rookies will "stress two things -- keep a small inner circle and treat the game and your career as a business" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/17).