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Volume 24 No. 136

People and Pop Culture

Univ. of Utah football coach KYLE WHITTINGHAM is the “first coach to earn the No. 1 ranking" on a list of the Most Influential People in Utah Sports, "reflecting football’s increased prominence in the state in recent years and his stamp on the Ute program,” according to Kurt Kragthorpe of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Whittingham’s $2M salary “is evidence of his position’s newfound power,” as well as the program's “season-ticket renewal rate of 98 percent.” Whittingham, “entering his eighth season as head coach at age 52, has grown into his job.” He owns “a 66-25 record, having gone from a tenuous position early in his career to a point where he probably can coach the Utes as long as he likes.” Below is The Salt Lake Tribune's eighth annual (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/21).

Kyle Whittingham Univ. of Utah football coach
Kevin O’Connor Jazz GM
Bronco Mendenhall BYU football coach
Tom Holmoe BYU AD
Dave Checketts MLS Real Salt Lake Owner
Chris Hill Utah AD
Larry Scott Pac-12 Commissioner
Al Jefferson Jazz C
Greg & Gail Miller Jazz Owners
Scott Barnes Utah State AD
Dave Rose BYU basketball coach
Randy Rigby Jazz President
Jeff Robbins Utah Sports Commission President & CEO
Tyrone Corbin Jazz coach
Jason Kreis MLS Real Salt Lake coach
Bill Marolt U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association President & CEO
Sarah Hendrickson World Cup ski jumping champion
Bill Manning MLS Real Salt Lake President
Damian Lillard Trail Blazers G
Rob Cuff Utah High School Activities Association Exec Dir
Trevor Lewis NHL Kings C
Greg & Megan Marsden Univ. of Utah gymnastics coaches
Kaycee Feild Rodeo champion
Tommy Grady AFL Utah Blaze QB
Mike Trout Angels CF


Iowa State announced that AD JAMIE POLLARD has agreed to a “five-year contract extension” that runs through ’19. Since he arrived at the school in ’05, nearly “$100 million has been invested in athletic facilities.” He also was “responsible for the hiring of football coach PAUL RHOADS and men’s basketball coach FRED HOIBERG.” Pollard’s previous contract, signed “May 7, 2007, paid him a base salary of $350,000, with annual raises included” (DES MOINES REGISTER, 8/23).

EXECS: Golfweek promoted Associate Publisher JEREME DAY to Publisher (Golfweek)....Drexel Univ. promoted SEAN JOYCE to Assistant AD/External Relations, MOLLY RALLO to Tickets & Marketing Dir, MIKE TUBEROSA to Associate AD/Communications, and MICHAEL WESTERFER to Assistant AD/Sports Medicine (Drexel)....Mississippi Valley State Univ. named Prairie View A&M Assistant VP/Athletic Compliance & Academic Advising ASHLEY ROBINSON AD (AP, 8/22)....Univ. of South Carolina-Beaufort named Belmont Abbey College AD QUIN MONAHAN to the same position (USCB)....Univ. of Hawaii-Hilo named PAM KNOX Assistant AD/Compliance & Senior Woman Administrator (Hawaii-Hilo).

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A fundraising dinner for the re-election campaign of PRESIDENT OBAMA was held last night at Alice Tully Hall in N.Y. “with the help of current and former "National Basketball Association stars.” Obama raised $3M “with the help of the players,” who included Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN, MSG Knicks analyst WALT FRAZIER and basketball HOFer BILL BRADLEY. NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN also was there. The players were “part a day long fundraiser,” as former and current players earlier had “participated in a $250 per person autograph session and in a skills camp priced at for $5,000 for two people” (AP, 8/22). Obama said, "It is very rare I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person.” He added, “This is my ‘Dream Team’” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/23).’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy noted the event was “originally scheduled during the 2011 NBA lockout when basketball fans had nowhere to see their favorite players play,” but the event was “canceled after the lockout was resolved and rescheduled for this summer” (, 8/22).

SMALL-SCREEN SPORTS: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Michael O’Connell reported Lionsgate is “eying a sports drama for its television stable.” The company has optioned Lacrosse book “Take a Shot! The Remarkable Story of Perseverance, Friendship and A Really Crazy Adventure,” published last week by Hay House. The book was written by former lacrosse player and Warrior Sports Founder, President & CEO DAVE MORROW and Body by Jake founder JAKE STEINFELD (, 8/22).

NOT ALWAYS SUNNY FOR SONNY: In Birmingham, Jon Solomon writes former Nike, Reebok and adidas exec SONNY VACCARO “finds himself in the NCAA's crosshairs again,” and this time it is “over Vaccaro's relationships with aging ex-players, not promising future ones.” Court documents filed in June show that the NCAA “wants records from Vaccaro.” The NCAA said that the documents are “relevant to the players' claims they can't sell their likenesses.” The NCAA “requested all of Vaccaro's communications with New York Times columnist and frequent NCAA critic JOE NOCERA, and copies of every speech Vaccaro made in the past seven years.” The NCAA also “wants Vaccaro's documents regarding movie and book projects.” Vaccaro said that he has “turned down all book offers and scrapped a movie scheduled to have ‘The Sopranos’ star JAMES GANDOLFINI play Vaccaro” (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 8/23).

NAMES: Sharks co-Owner STRATTON SCLAVOS yesterday announced that he is investing $1M in Ann Arbor-based mobile security startup Duo Security. As part of the deal, he will join the company’s BOD. Sclavos spent “a dozen years as CEO of VeriSign, a provider of secure e-commerce services, before stepping down in 2007” (, 8/22)….Little leaguer STEVEN DOMALEWSKI, who was “severely injured after being struck in the chest by a batted ball off an aluminum bat” in ’06, yesterday was awarded a $14.5M settlement against the maker of the Louisville Slugger bat and Little League World Series organizers (Bergen RECORD, 8/23)….John Hancock’s ’12 Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program raised a record $6.8M as part of the event in April (John Hancock)….Gold Medal-winning U.S gymnast JORDYN WIEBER threw out the first pitch last night at the Blue Jays-Tigers game (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/23)….Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer MATT GREVERS will be a special guest this weekend at the Maryland State Fair (, 8/22)….Boxing HOFer MIKE TYSON is scheduled to “appear at an annual forum of clients of the brokerage CLSA on September 12” (REUTERS, 8/22).