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Volume 24 No. 117
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Names in the News

Univ. of Tennessee women's basketball head coach emeritus PAT SUMMITT on Friday in a statement said that she “decided on her own not to continue coaching the Lady Vols and never felt” Tennessee AD DAVE HART “forced her out.” Summitt’s statement came "in response to the ‘misunderstandings’ created by her comments in a signed affidavit” that was released last Wednesday. The affidavit was “part of a lawsuit” filed by former Media Dir DEBBY JENNINGS against the university and Hart (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/6).

SHOWING HEART: In Charlotte, Joseph Person wrote the son of Panthers TE GREG OLSEN -- “to be named T.J. -- will be born with a defective heart.” Owner JERRY RICHARDSON in late May “chartered a plane to take Olsen and his family to Boston” for experimental in-utero surgery and “asked if he could accompany them.” Olsen said of Richardson, “For him in our darkest moment of our life to go out of his busy schedule to not only set it up for us to fly up there is one thing. But to take two days to fly with us to Boston. To sit in those waiting rooms. To sit in those consultations. Sit with teams of doctors examining our son’s heart and be there through it all…” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/7).

DAVIS REMEMBERED: In Memphis, Marlon Morgan reports speakers “lined up to offer their reflections on the life” of late Grizzlies VP/Basketball Operations & Team Programs DANA DAVIS at his funeral yesterday at Mount Olive Cathedral CME Church. Morgan writes Davis was a “humanitarian who cared most about helping others.” Grizzlies Owner MICHAEL HEISLEY said, "In a very short period of time, I realized he was an extraordinary man. He was loyal. He was like one of my children. He had an extraordinary capacity for work” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/8).

EASIER MONEY? In Pittsburgh, Prine & Rossi wrote under the header, "Athletes Seem To Have An Advantage When Competing For Tax Dollars." After “combing through thousands of pages of IRS and state agency filings from the charities of sports celebrities,” research showed “a dozen athletes who regularly took government money.” The athletes in many cases “hired lobbyists to help secure the money -- even when they had millions in private donations to spend.” The story included a “scorecard of some of the athletes” (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/7).

NAMES: Virgin Atlantic Founder RICHARD BRANSON yesterday attended his first NFL game -- Broncos-Patriots at Gillette Stadium -- as a guest of Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT. Branson said, "I love sports. But for some reason, I've never gotten to see American Rugby. This is quite the matchup, I hear. I'm completely and absolutely spoiled" (, 10/7)....Former Ohio State Univ. football coach JIM TRESSEL “discussed the virtues of unselfishness” in the first episode of his show “A Moment with Jim Tressel” on WKYC-NBC in Cleveland (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/6)….Ravens C MATT BIRK “recorded a video message opposing the upcoming referendum on gay marriage in Maryland.” The video was posted Friday on YouTube and was available on the Maryland Catholic Conference channel (WASHINGTON POST, 10/5)….JACK DISNEY retired after “almost 60 years as a sports reporter and horse racing publicist” at Santa Anita racetrack (L.A. TIMES, 10/8)….N.C. State Univ. inducted the first 10-member class into the school’s athletic HOF (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/6).