Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Football Federation Australia named MLS Senior Dir of Partnership Marketing RUSSELL SARGEANT A-League GM of Operations. Sargeant had been with MLS since '05. He will begin his new role in March (FFA)....Home Team Sports named JACK BURNS, VICTORIA TOTH and ALYSSA ZELEZNIK Account Execs (THE DAILY)....Fox Sports Media Group named Big Ten Associate Dir of Communications VALERIE KREBS Publicist (THE DAILY)....Sky News named London Telegraph Chief Sports Reporter PAUL KELSO Sports Correspondent. Kelso held his role at the London newspaper for the last four years (Sky News).

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

In N.Y., John Branch reported Nuggets F KENNETH FARIED “became the first NBA player to join Athlete Ally, an organization aimed at combating homophobia in sports.” Faried was “raised by a lesbian couple in Newark.” Athlete Ally, founded by former Univ. of Maryland wrestler HUDSON TAYLOR in January '11, "has enlisted other professional athletes to push the cause against antigay bullying.” Former NHLer SEAN AVERY is on the organization’s BOD and four NFL players “have signed on as supporters.” To date, no MLBers have “publicly joined” (, 2/12).

FOLLOW THE LEADER: Suns President JASON ROWLEY said of team Owner ROBERT SARVER, "One of the things I tell people all the time who have never been exposed to Robert and have never dealt with him directly is that he is not what people think that he is or have the impression that he is. My view of him -- and I have a lot of loyalty to him because he's given me the opportunity to do what I'm doing -- is that he is a very deliberative, very intelligent, very hard-working individual. He carries a lot of burdens on a lot of different businesses and he gives them all his all." Rowley added, "He drives his people hard; he definitely expects a lot of people … He definitely is not someone who is afraid to tell what his opinion is, but in my estimation he is a very good owner" (, 2/12).

SHE'S AN UPTON GIRL: SI Swimsuit Issue cover model KATE UPTON appeared on CBS’ “Late Show” last night and was asked by host DAVID LETTERMAN about the “big controversy” where the cover of the magazine was leaked before it was scheduled to be officially unveiled. Upton said, “I found out from Twitter. And it wasn’t me, so at least I didn’t get in trouble there.” She added, “I was actually excited it got leaked because I was calm, I knew I had it, the stress was off.” Letterman asked about her photo shoot in Antarctica, “Why did you go to Antarctica to do this? I wouldn’t go there. Why would you do that?” Upton: “I asked myself the same exact question every day” (“Late Show,” CBS, 2/12).

SHOWTIME, SOUTH BEACH STYLE: Heat F LEBRON JAMES and G DWYANE WADE sat courtside for the North Carolina-Miami men's basketball game last Saturday, and UM coach JIM LARRANAGA said, “It’s huge having those guys sitting courtside. Every one of our recruits watching TV, that gives us a lot of credibility with them. ... Them sitting courtside is like JACK NICHOLSON sitting courtside for the Lakers games” (“PTI,” ESPN, 2/12).

THE RIGHT HIRE? Former D’Backs announcer MARK GRACE had two DUI arrests in a 15-month span, yet the D’Backs “recently rehired him as a special instructor.” Grace is currently serving his jail time under a work-release program where he “reports every night at 6p.m., and is released 12 hours later.” Grace said, “I’m with the DUI offenders, and the guys in my tent are all nice guys” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/13).

NAMES: The Univ. of Georgia Athletic Association BOD “approved an increase” for football coach MARK RICHT’s base compensation from $2.81M to $3.2M and "added a year to his contract, taking him through 2017” (, 2/12)….The National Golf Course Owners Association honored former golfer BILLY CASPER at its annual conference last week in San Diego (Billy Casper Golf)….Basketball HOFer DAVID ROBINSON has “invested in a new Jaguar/Land Rover dealership in the Rio Grande Valley,” and he is “interested in exploring additional opportunities with the group that spearheaded that deal, Heller-Bird Motors of Boerne.” The new dealership is “located in San Juan, Texas, near the Mexican border.” Robinson has “a 20 percent stake in the venture” (SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/8 issue)….Former Red Sox manager BOBBY VALENTINE is “writing a book that is scheduled to be released” in ’14. The book will “include a section on Valentine’s one year as manager in Boston, but will mostly be a book about leadership” (, 2/12)….Former NFLer BUBBA PARIS has been “charged with failing to file federal income tax returns” (AP, 2/12).