The N.C. Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a Mecklenburg County judge’s order "unsealing the secret documents in NASCAR Chairman BRIAN FRANCE’s legal battle with his former wife,” MEGAN FRANCE. Brian France has “sought to scrap the separation agreement with his ex-wife that calls for him to pay the mother of his two children $9 million as well as more than $40,000 a month in alimony and child support.” N.C. District Court Judge JENA CULLER announced in court, “The public has a right to access court files. I feel very strongly that these files should be unsealed” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/1).
MANAGING TALENT: Live Nation Exec Chair IRVING AZOFF on Monday "left the concert-promotion giant's board and resigned as an executive." He said that he “would focus on his personal clients and seek to expand his reach, perhaps managing the careers of sports or movie stars in addition to musicians.” Azoff’s exit agreement with Live Nation “permits him to work in the record business or music publishing, as well as advertising or marketing.” As part of his exit, Liberty Media “bought 1.7 million Live Nation shares” from Azoff, and the deal “increases Liberty Media's stake to 26.4%" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/2). Azoff also "serves on the boards of Clear Channel Communications and the media and entertainment company IMG" (NYTIMES.com, 12/31).
THAT'S JUST SUPER: Salt River Project officials are offering a $1M donation to support the '15 Super Bowl in Glendale, "raising questions from some customer advocates whether ratepayers should help fund the game.” SRP, a non-profit municipal utility, routinely donates to "a variety of schools, museums and other community organizations.” SRP in FY ’11 reported $3.2M in "cash and in-kind contributions for a variety of organizations, from the American Cancer Society to the YWCA.” Utility watchdogs said that they are “puzzled by the proposed donation" for the Super Bowl. When the donation is considered by an SRP board committee today, some board members said that they "would question what benefits the sizable deal brings to the utility and its customers” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/2).
CHARITY STRIPE: Redskins RB ALFRED MORRIS has “used his rookie season with the Redskins to be everywhere in the name of charity.” Morris off the field is “often mentioned in the same breath as Redskins greats JOE GIBBS, the legendary head coach, and DARRELL GREEN, the Hall of Fame cornerback, when it comes to his charitable good works and his quiet religious faith.” Washington Redskins Charitable Foundations Exec Dir JANE ROGERS said that Morris “has been a role model.” Rogers: "He has a unique ability to connect with kids and make them feel special and engaged on all levels” (WASHINGTON POST, 1/1).
ON CAMPUS: Univ. of Cincinnati football coach TOMMY TUBERVILLE “will make $2.2 million next season,” with his pay remaining “roughly level over his five-year term.” His term sheet includes a “raft of bonuses, including $35,000 for a top 25 national ranking at any season’s end, $100,000 for playing in a BCS bowl game and $50,000 for winning a conference championship.” The school's memorandum of understanding also includes “a $2.1 million pool to pay and retain nine assistant coaches and a strength coach.” Former UC coach BUTCH JONES, who left in December for the Univ. of Tennessee, was to make $1.575M in '13. (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/2).
NAMES: Blue Jays President PAUL BEESTON was included in the Toronto Sun's list of most influential Canadians in baseball in ’12. The Sun's Bob Elliott wrote, “Anyone who can get approval to raise the Jays’ payroll over $120 million … has to be the most influential Canadian in baseball in 2012” (TORONTO SUN, 1/1)….Tennis HOFer BILLIE JEAN KING will be the owner of the PBA N.Y. WTT KingPins, becoming the first woman owner of a PBA League team (PBA)…. NASCAR driver LANDON CASSILL recently announced on his Twitter account his marriage to girlfriend KATIE LINSTED. The couple “tied the knot Dec. 28 in Charleston, S.C.” (DESMOINESREGISTER.com, 1/2)….Capitals LW ALEX OVECHKIN and tennis player MARIA KIRILENKO got engaged over the weekend (AP, 12/31)....Singer XENIA was to perform the national anthem at the Discover Orange Bowl on Tuesday, but her father, FRANCISCO MARTINEZ, wrote in an e-mail that officials “canceled her performance at the last minute.” An ESPN spokesperson said that the network "had nothing to do with this person being replaced for the National Anthem by another singer.” When ESPN “cut to the opening of the Orange Bowl broadcast, country artist AYLA BROWN, daughter of U.S. Sen. SCOTT BROWN (R-Mass.), performed the National Anthem in place of Xenia” (UTSANDIEGO.com, 1/1).
IN MEMORY: Patriots equipment manager DON BROCHER, the franchise’s longest-tenured employee, died Monday night of leukemia. The ’12 season was "his 41st with the Patriots.” Brocher, 60, began “working for the Patriots as a ball boy on the equipment manager’s staff in 1972” (PROVIDENCEJOURNAL.com, 1/1)….New Era Tickets COO DAVE HOMAN died recently after spending 35 years in the sports, entertainment and ticketing business. He is survived by his wife, SHARON; daughters, MEGAN MARCHETTI and COLETTE KRUZEL; son, MATTHEW; two sisters; a brother and seven grandchildren (New Era Tickets)….SCOTT STERLING, the son of Clippers Owner DONALD STERLING, was “found dead in his Malibu home in what authorities said Wednesday appeared to be some type of drug overdose” (L.A. TIMES, 1/3).