WNBA President LAUREL RICHIE was featured in Sunday's N.Y. TIMES "Corner Office" feature and said of her management style, “I want people coming in every day thinking this is a place where they can bring their very best, and I believe that if they feel that way, they will actually do it. I just don’t believe in terrorizing, intimidating, testing, catching people off guard. I don’t play games. Life’s too short, and we’ve got too much to do. I want people focusing on the work, not on how to navigate politics.” She added, “The other thing I’ve learned the hard way is that every organization has politics. I used to come in as a purist, saying ‘I don’t do politics,’ and I’ve realized that that’s actually quite naïve” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/5). Richie also talked about her management style recently in the SBJ/SBD feature, "The Sit Down" (THE DAILY).
STANDING HER GROUND: Former Florida State Univ. softball coach JOANNE GRAF in a letter to the Knoxville NEWS SENTINEL said Univ. of Tennessee AD DAVE HART, who held the same position at FSU, was a “bully (to) women both directly and indirectly.” Graf: “Dave is really good at appearing to do the right thing, but when you look behind the scenes that's when you really begin to find out that he's not an advocate.” Several other coaches and administrators “from both Tennessee and athletic departments Hart previously led, however, spoke in his defense” and “lauded him as a committed leader in women's athletics.” Hart "declined an invitation to respond" to Graf's allegations (Knoxville NEWS SENTINEL, 8/5).
GOOD DEEDS: SI.com’s Adrian Dater noted the Kings were the “first NHL team to reach deep into their wallets" by donating $10,000 to the recently established Jessica Redfield Sports Journalism Scholarship Fund, set up by the family of late hockey blogger JESSICA GHAWI. The fund, which "set an initial goal of raising $20,000 in 120 days but passed the $40,000 mark in only 11.” The Avalanche will be “heavily involved in various ways of honoring JESSICA’s memory, and the Philadelphia Flyers have also expressed intentions of doing the same” (SI.com, 8/3)....Emmanuel Episcopal Center in Memphis “received a $10,000 donation” from Alabama football coach NICK SABAN (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/5)....Actor CHARLIE SHEEN, a “lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan, has pledged to donate $50,000 to the team’s Community Fund, matching the amount broadcaster MARTY BRENNAMAN raised for charity in return for having his head shaved on the field” (AP, 8/5).
SAYING THANKS: MLB Rangers P RYAN DEMPSTER took out a full-page ad in Friday's edition of the Chicago Tribune titled "Thank You, Chicagoland." Dempster played more than eight seasons with the Cubs before being traded prior to the trade deadline, and the Dempster Family Foundation in two-and-a-half years "has awarded more than $390,000 to 18 organizations in need in the Chicago area" (MLB.com, 8/3)....NHL Rangers LW RICK NASH, who was recently traded from the Blue Jackets, on Friday "took out a full-page newspaper ad in The Columbus Dispatch to thank the fans" of his former team (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/3).
CHANGE FOR THE BETTER: PRESIDENT OBAMA on Friday signed the National Baseball HOF Commemorative Coin Act into law, in honor of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the HOF in ’14. The act directs the Secretary of Treasury to mint not more that 50,000 $5.00 gold coins, 400,000 $1.00 silver coins and 750,000 half dollar coins in recognition of the HOF and Museum during a one-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Surcharges from the sale of the coins will be paid to the National Baseball HOF and Museum to assist in financing its operations (Baseball HOF).
SETTLED IN COURT: Hockey HOFer MARK MESSIER has been awarded a $6M settlement by an arbitrator "over a grievance" with the Canucks. The dispute is “centered around the deferred money Messier felt the team owed him.” Reports indicate that Messier “had a clause in his contract that would compensate him if the value of the Vancouver franchise increased over the life of the deal," which ended in '02 (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/4).
NAMES: UConn men’s basketball coach JIM CALHOUN was resting in the hospital yesterday morning “after undergoing surgery on his fractured left hip.” Calhoun broke his hip “in a bicycle accident Saturday, hours before he was supposed to coach a group of his former players in a charity game.” Calhoun is “expected to be released from the hospital within the next few days” (ESPN.com, 8/5)....NASCAR driver JEFF GORDON has been named the recipient of the Heisman Humanitarian Award, which is given to those in sports who “give significantly of themselves to serve their communities and to improve the lives of others.” Gordon will receive the award during the 78th annual Heisman Trophy Dinner on Dec. 10 at the N.Y. Marriott Marquis (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/4)....Stars public address announcer BILL OELLERMANN “announced his retirement” Friday after “18 years behind the PA mic.” Oellermann was known for his “booming voice” and was heard at “more than 800 games” for the Stars (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 8/3)....USA TODAY’s Elysa Gardner reviewed “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” the Broadway show starring boxing HOFer MIKE TYSON. Gardner writes the “rambling, roughly two-hour spectacle is equal parts stand-up routine, sentimental journey and self-pity party; and those ingredients are not always mixed smoothly.” Director SPIKE LEE “enhances Tyson’s recollections with vivid, sometimes wry visual images, accompanied on occasion by savvy musical clips” (USA TODAY, 8/6).