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Volume 24 No. 116

People and Pop Culture

It’s time to make your opinion known as the 8th annual SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Reader Survey is underway. The survey features more than 100 questions across leagues, teams, facilities, sponsorship, media, and more.

* Who is the most influential sports executive?
* Who is the most marketable athlete?
* Which league/property has the best digital strategy?
* Which teams are the most innovative?
* Which team has the best logo?
* What’s the best sports app?
* Which teams would you want to work for?

Those are some of the questions you'll find in this year’s survey. Cast your votes and then see highlights of the results the week of Nov. 26. We want to hear from you.

Vote now!

Tributes continue to longtime ESPN college football commentator BEANO COOK, who died in his sleep Wednesday night at the age of 81. Cook appeared on ESPN as a studio analyst starting in '85 after four years at ABC Sports. Prior to that, he worked in PR for CBS Sports from '77-82 and was a sportswriter for the St. Petersburg Times from '74-77. Cook graduated from the Univ. of Pittsburgh in '54 and worked as an SID from '56-66. ESPN Exec Chair GEORGE BODENHEIMER in a statement said, "There never was and never will be another Beano. His combination of humor, passion, love of college football and his engaging personality left an indelible mark on the sport" (ESPN). Cook's lawyer and longtime friend JIM DUNN said that Cook, who "never married and often poked fun at his married friends, had no surviving family." Dunn added that Cook's remains "will be cremated" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 10/12).

AN INSTITUTION: ESPN's BOB LEY said, "No one loved college football more than Beano, nobody knew more about its history, its people, its tradition" ("OTL," ESPN, 10/11). SPORTING NEWS' MIKE DECOURCY wrote, "All you really needed to fall in love with Beano was a set of ears, a sense of humor and some sort of affection for American sports." Cook "didn’t play, didn’t coach, didn’t spend decades" covering college football. But he "knew the game and its history better than anyone, and he was quick with an opinion or a quip." ESPN was "wise enough to put those qualities to excellent use" (, 10/11).'s IVAN MEISEL: "Beano may have been an expert on the history of college football from 1930 to 1990, but he showed his real expertise in friendship. He collected friends like some people collect stamps" (, 10/11). USA TODAY's MICHAEL HIESTAND writes, "Beano Cook was a distinctive on-air personality. That was no act" (USA TODAY, 10/12). In Pittsburgh, BOB COHN writes, "Nationally, he was known as a quirky, colorful TV commentator. In Pittsburgh, his hometown since age 7, he was known simply as an institution" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/12). CBS Sports Network’s TIM BRANDO said Cook was a “true original,” and knew college football “was about the pomp and the pageantry.” Late ABC News and ABC Sports President ROONE ARLEDGE “leaned” on Cook “ to find out which game should be the game televised on ABC. And in those days in NCAA football you only got one game.” Brando: “Without him, college football would never be what it is today on television” (“Tim Brando Show,” CBS Sports Network, 10/11).

ONE OF A KIND: ESPN's CHRIS FOWLER said Cook "was a complicated package. He was wise, he was smart, he was cranky, he was crotchety, he could be rude and crude. I loved all of that about him but I think most importantly, he had a passion for the sport" ("College Football Live," ESPN, 10/11). In N.Y., DOUGLAS MARTIN writes Cook had an "authoritative growl" and offered "curmudgeonly but witty observations." Cook's commentary "was sprinkled with historical references -- to CHURCHILL and STALIN, say -- and truths wrapped in humor" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/12). In California, Jim Carlisle writes, "Cook was known for his caustic humor, but was also prescient about college football" (VENTURA COUNTY STAR, 10/12). In Tampa, GARY SHELTON: "The world lost a funny, funny man. ... That rare soul who managed to love the sport without surrendering his sense of humor to it" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/12). In Seattle, BUD WITHERS writes, "We lost a bit of the fabric of college football" (SEATTLE TIMES, 10/12).

TWITTER REAX: On Twitter, many took time to offer their memories of Cook. ESPN's LOU HOLTZ: "Reflecting on my wonderful friend Beano Cook. Such an outstanding person. His dedication to CFB, kids & parents said it all. He was special."’s PAT MCMANOMAN wrote, “Beano Cook never forgot a name or person. Could call him once a year and he'd remember your college, your family, and he'd always ask. RIP.” ESPN VP/Communications MIKE SOLTYS: "A great one has passed. In the 80s, Beano Cook took this kid publicist under his wing and taught me much about life." SB Nation’s DAN RUBENSTEIN wrote, “I'm convinced nobody loved CFB more than Beano. Memory like a steel trap, he's always going to be college football's awesome grandfather.” SiriusXM’s PAUL FINEBAUM: "One of Beano's best after BOWIE KUHN offered the freed Iranian hostages lifetime pass for baseball. 'Haven't they suffered enough?'" 

Braves Exec VP & GM FRANK WREN, who just finished his fifth season in the role, had his contract extended through ‘14. The team also promoted Assistant GM & Dir of Player Development BRUCE MANNO to VP & Assistant GM/Player Development, Dir of Pro Scouting JOHN COPPOLELLA to Assistant GM, Senior Dir of Ticket Sales PAUL ADAMS to VP/Ticket Sales, Senior Dir of Corporate Partnerships JIM ALLEN to VP/Corporate Partnerships, Exec Dir of Marketing GUS EURTON to VP/Marketing and Dir of Engineering ERIC PERESTUK to VP/Facility Operations (Braves).

EXECS: The WNBA Sparks named The Malcolm Group Managing Dir VINCENT MALCOLM President and promoted VP & GM PENNY TOLER to Exec VP & GM (Sparks)….Miami Univ. (Ohio) named former Secretary to the BOT and Exec Assistant to the President STEVE SNYDER interim AD while a national search is conducted (Miami)....Professional kickboxing league Glory World Series named GRAEME WHITE COO (Glory Sports)….XOS Digital named The Musser Group and Jones Lang LaSalle Managing Dir Rear Admiral THOMAS LYNCH to its BOD (XOS Digital).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

In New Jersey, John Brennan wrote after Thursday's N.J. Sports & Exposition Authority meeting, "what's generating the most buzz is the confrontation" between NFL Giants President & CEO JOHN MARA and NJSEA exec RALPH MARRA. Mara during the meeting said, "Don't talk to me like that!" Marra responded, "Don't you talk to me like that! You're not supposed to be interrupting me" (, 10/11). 

LAWYER UP: The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA in the fight against a New Jersey state law that allows betting on college and pro sports have "fired back with their own legal 'rock star' to counter New Jersey's hiring of renowned attorney TED OLSON." The sports organizations hired PAUL CLEMENT, who "succeeded Olson as U.S. Solicitor General under GEORGE W. BUSH" (, 10/11).

NOW HIRING: 76ers F JASON RICHARDSON said that he "has dropped agent DAN FEGAN," who also represents Lakers C DWIGHT HOWARD. Richardson said that Howard’s "stay-or-go saga with the Magic played a role in his decision to leave Fegan." Richardson: “I think a lot of guys feel like [they] were just left in the dark with a lot of things: him changing agencies, or whatever he did with the change. Just kind of neglect.” Richardson added that he is "looking for a new agent" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/12).

CHARITY STRIPE: Texans DE J.J. WATT was profiled Friday on NBC’s “Today” for his community efforts. NBC’s JENNA BUSH HAGER noted Watt named his Dream Big Work Hard Foundation after his own personal slogan, and the foundation's mission is “to support under-funded youth athletic programs across the country.” Watt said, “I don't want any kid to be lost of an opportunity just because somebody couldn't afford it. ... There's so many things that as a kid you enjoy that carry on through the rest of your life. I learned things like discipline and teamwork and leadership from sports, and I think those are the things that carry you forward” (“Today,” NBC, 10/12).

NAMES: 49ers CEO JED YORK was named to Fortune Magazine's "40 Under 40" (THE DAILY)....NFL Cardinals LB SAM ACHO, K JAY FEELY, WRs LARRY FITZGERALD and ANDRE ROBERTS, and former NFLer RICH BARTEL on Wednesday night met with former U.S. Presidents BILL CLINTON and George W. Bush (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/12)....Prospective Browns Owner JIMMY HASLAM III purchased a $4.1M, 14,660 square-foot home on Lake Erie, the "biggest home sale in years" in Northeast Ohio (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/12)....The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Nancy Keates writes under the header, "Football's Costly Turnovers." Keates: "Among the stats racked up by college-football coaches over their careers are numerous homes bought and sold" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/12).