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Volume 24 No. 112

People and Pop Culture

In Toronto, Daniel Girard notes former NHLer GEORGES LARAQUE "has picked a new fight: battling for the rights of more than 1,300 junior hockey players." Laraque yesterday was named Exec Dir of the "fledgling Canadian Hockey League Players Association." Laraque said, "We’re not talking about renegotiating the contracts for players who are already millionaires. We’re talking about doing something to improve the lives of 16- to 20-year-olds, most of whom will never play in the NHL” (TORONTO STAR, 8/22).

EXECS: Univ. of Cincinnati President GREG WILLIAMS yesterday "unexpectedly announced his resignation." Williams was "very active in the Big East Conference, working behind the scenes to keep the conference together after the defections of West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh." Williams earlier this year also chaired the Big East presidents' committee "to find a new commissioner" to replace JOHN MARINATTO (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 8/22)....Outdoor Channel named LOREY ZLOTNICK Senior VP/Marketing (Outdoor Channel)....Golf Channel named Discovery Channel Senior Communications Dir DAVID SCHAEFER to the newly-created role of VP/Communications (Golf Channel)....U.S. Bank named Merrill Lynch Sports & Advisory Group Dir STEVE VOGEL Professional Sports Group VP. Vogel will be based in Charlotte (U.S. Bank)....Providence College named MARCUS BLOSSOM Associate AD/Business. Blossom replaces MAC HART, who resigned in July (Providence)....The Univ. of Illinois named Baylor Univ. Exec Dir of Athletic Fundraising RICK DARNELL Senior Associate AD/Development and Univ. of Cincinnati Assistant General Counsel LOREN ISRAEL Assistant AD/Compliance (Illinois).

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The MLBPA yesterday announced that Exec Dir MICHAEL WEINER began treatment for a brain tumor on Monday. His treatments are expected to last about one month, and it is anticipated he will continue to work out of the union's N.Y. office on a daily basis during that time. The union said that it would announce more medical updates "when circumstances warrant them" (MLBPA).

TRADING SPACES: In N.Y., Keith Kelly reports SI Group Editor TERRY MCDONELL "recently moved to a new office on the 34th floor of the Time Life Building, sparking new speculation that he will step aside from the title he's headed for more than a decade." The 34th corporate floor "is where Time Inc. Editor-In-Chief JOHN HUEY and other top executives reside." The "rumor mill points to the Hall-of-Fame editor relinquishing the job in the spring." McDonell said, "I have an office up there, I'm spending more time up there. We're spreading things out a bit more at Sports Illustrated. It's all good" (N.Y. POST, 8/22).

IN REMEMBRANCE: All Red Sox players last night during their game against the Angels wore the No. 6 in honor the late JOHNNY PESKY who passed away last Monday. The team also marked the No. 6, which is one of the eight numbers the team has retired, on the outfield grass at Fenway Park. Prior to the game, NESN analyst JERRY REMY "escorted Pesky’s son, DAVID, out to the mound for the ceremonial first pitch, which was caught by the current face of the organization, DAVID ORTIZ." Also, a moment of silence was recognized, "Taps" was played by a trumpeter standing at shortstop, and Red Sox radio play-by-play announcer DAVE O'BRIEN said, "Rest in peace, No. 6" (, 8/21).

EMERGENCY RESPONSE: In Phoenix, Tariq Lee reports MLB umpire JIM JOYCE on Monday night "witnessed a woman unconscious on the ground" while walking down the tunnel leading to the visitors' dugout at Chase Field. Joyce "immediately assisted the woman," D'Backs game-day employee JAYNE POWERS, who has been with the club "since the team's first game in 1998." Powers is "now in stable condition and a pacemaker was placed in her heart" yesterday morning. If "all goes well, she will be released later this week" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/22).

DO NOT ENTER: In N.Y., Thompson, Madden, O'Keeffe & Vinton note MLB "banned JUAN CARLOS NUNEZ on Tuesday, instructing all 30 clubs to bar the MELKY CABRERA associate from team facilities and cease any dealings with Nunez, who is a 'paid consultant'" of Brooklyn-based agents SETH and SAM LEVINSON. The action comes three days after Nunez "took responsibility for a bogus website that Cabrera put forward in July as part of a presentation meant to explain his positive steroid test" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/22).

PLACE YOUR BETS: A Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. PublicMind poll released yesterday showed respondents "by a margin of 45% to 38% favor allowing sports betting at casinos and horse tracks despite a federal law making it illegal in New Jersey." When the question of a federal ban was eliminated, 58% of respondents said that the state "should allow sports betting." A year ago, 53% "felt that way" (AP, 8/21).

NAMES: Heat F CHRIS BOSH appeared on last night’s broadcast of the “VH1 Do Something Awards” which honors young people’s commitment to helping effect social change. Bosh said, “It’s great to be part of a show that awards giving back.” U.S. women's soccer G HOPE SOLO won an award for her work with the Pop Chips program (“VH1 Do Something Awards,” VH1, 8/21)....Cleveland Indians Charities and the Yoder Brothers Memorial Foundation are teaming up to sponsor an evening with Golf HOFer JACK NICKLAUS. Nicklaus will appear at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven on Sept. 26 to help the Yoder Foundation "raise money for special projects for children's recreation programs" (, 8/21)....Golfer BUBBA WATSON is “spending this week staying in a rented house on Long Island with U.S. servicemen -- one active military member and one Wounded Warrior.” Watson is a participant in the Wounded Warrior Project (, 8/21)….Retired Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer MICHAEL PHELPS “will be headlining a pool party at Harrah’s Resort on Sept. 22” in Atlantic City, N.J. (, 8/21)....Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer RYAN LOCHTE and PRINCE HARRY “collided around 3 a.m. poolside at the Wynn hotel and casino, where friendly banter soon became competitive.” Partiers in Vegas were “treated to an impromptu race from the pair” (, 8/21)....LISA and DOUG GOLDMAN donated $10M to the Univ. of California-Berkeley and the gift was used for a Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza at Memorial Stadium (Cal)....Marlins P CARLOS ZAMBRANO placed his five-bedroom, 6,700-square-foot Chicago-area home on the market for $2.395M (, 8/16)….Former NBAer ZYDRUNAS ILGAUSKAS placed his five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 5,166-square-foot Miami Beach home on the market for $8.3M (, 8/17).