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Volume 24 No. 159
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Names In The News

In Chicago, Bill Zwecker notes wedding invitations received by friends of Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN and his fiancé, YVETTE PRIETO, "included an instruction card telling guests not to share any details, plus a request not to talk to the press -- or family members or friends, who just might blab to the media." Guests for the April 27 wedding in Palm Beach, Fla., also were "told to leave at home all cameras and cellphones." Jordan "required his bride-to-be to sign a prenuptial agreement -- said to carefully protect" Jordan's estimated $650M fortune. Should they divorce, Prieto reportedly will receive $1M for "every year they stayed married, and if the marriage lasts 10 years, that payout will jump" to $5M for every year they stayed together (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/25).

STOP THE VIOLENCE: Pro Football HOFers ROGER STAUBACH and EMMITT SMITH on Saturday spoke to a crowd at a Dallas Men Against Abuse event. Cowboys WR DEZ BRYANT "made a surprise appearance" and "apologized for his role in a domestic altercation" with his mom in July (, 3/23). Cowboys CB BRANDON CARR also was at the event. The rally was "called by Dallas Mayor MIKE RAWLINGS," who "pulled several thousand people, mostly black men, together to stand outdoors on a cold, damp morning and listen to speakers talk about how to reduce domestic violence" (, 3/23).

EQUAL RIGHTS: Browns LB SCOTT FUJITA on the front page of yesterday’s N.Y. TIMES sports section used his personal history to explain why he supports gay marriage equality and why sports figures should speak out on social issues, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments tomorrow about California’s Proposition 8 (N.Y. TIMES, 3/24). Meanwhile, Ravens LB BRENDAN AYANBADEJO debated on CBS’ “Face the Nation” yesterday in support of same-sex marriage (, 3/24).

NAMES: Reds 3B coach MARK BERRY told the team yesterday morning that he has been "diagnosed with cancer, but expressed optimism that he will beat it." The cancer is "on his tonsil and two lymph nodes on the left side of his neck" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/25)....Magic G JAMEER NELSON was named the '12-13 Rich and Helen Devos Community Enrichment Award winner at the 23rd annual Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Black Tie & Tennies Gala (, 3/23)....Longtime basketball trainer TIM GROVER has a new book, entitled "Relentless," with co-author SHARI WENK, coming out this month (, 3/22)....Former Univ. of Texas women’s track & field coach BEV KEARNEY, who recently filed race- and gender-based discrimination suits with the EEOC against the school, said she was "subjected to a severly hostile work environment." She also said that she was "forced to resign due to an 'unwritten policy' routinely violated by other university staffers." The EEOC "has 180 days to investigate the claim before Kearney can file a lawsuit." Kearney claimed Texas women's AD CHRIS PLONSKY was "consistently verbally abusive" toward her (, 3/23)....Baseball HOFer CAL RIPKEN JR., former NFLer JOE EHRMANN and former NHLer SHELDON KENNEDY last week "spoke to the heads" of Pop Warner, USA Swimming, the Boys & Girls Club and 50 other youth organizations at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va. The two-day event was hosted in part by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation (WASHINGTON POST, 3/24).

IN MEMORY: Former NBAer RAY WILLIAMS died from colon cancer on Friday at the age of 58 (N.Y. TIMES, 3/25)….Publisher JOE WEIDER died of heart failure on Saturday in L.A. at the age of 93. Weider “founded many of the world’s most popular bodybuilding magazines,” including Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Men’s Fitness and Shape (N.Y. TIMES, 3/25)….Former NFLer HARLON HILL, whose name is on the NCAA D-II player of the year trophy, died at the age of 80 (, 3/21).