Names In The News
Tennis player ANDY MURRAY has recruited fellow player MAHESH BHUPATHI, who is "retiring from the ATP Tour at the end of the year," and Italian agent UGO COLOMBINI to "enhance the portfolio of interests that has struggled to keep pace with the grand-slam tournament champions whose company he shares." Bhupathi and Colombini are "ready to join forces" with XIX Entertainment, the company that signed Murray in '09. It is "understood that Bhupathi and Colombini will have special responsibility for Murray's commercial and marketing deals while he remains under the XIX umbrella" (LONDON TIMES, 3/29).
AMAZIN' MET: NBC's "Today" on Thursday profiled Mets VP/Media Relations JAY HORWITZ, with NBC's Diana Alvear noting he has been the "head of PR for the Mets for more than 30 years." But Horwitz "has a new title," and is now "known as the 'King of the Accidental Phone Call.'" Alvear said Horwitz "butt dials to dozens of victims." Mets 1B IKE DAVIS said, "I've been butt dialed probably around close to 150 times." It was mentioned that Davis has even received calls during games, to which Horwitz replied, "I said, 'Ike, I have no explanation.'" He added, "I keep it in my front pocket, I jiggle it and there you go. ... I sleep with my phone and a lot of times I accidentally call somebody" ("Today," NBC, 3/28).
NAMES: Former Syracuse Univ. assistant basketball coach BERNIE FINE has "filed the initial paperwork in a defamation lawsuit against ESPN for reporting two former ball boys' claims that the longtime coach sexually abused them." Fine, who was fired by the school, indicated he will "sue for defamation and seek undefined damages." Hearst Corp. and Walt Disney, which own ESPN, are "named as co-defendants along with reporter MARK SCHWARZ and producer ARTHUR BERKO." Fine's wife, LAURIE, also is suing ESPN "for defamation." That case is "pending in U.S. District Court in Syracuse" (AP, 3/28)....The Indians, MLB, Baseball HOF and the USS Alabama Battleship Commission on Thursday announced the launch of a new award honoring the late BOB FELLER. The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award will be given on Veterans Day in DC to one current MLB player and one Baseball HOFer, with finalists for the award announced around Memorial Day at Progressive Field. The Award Trust also has proposed that the U.S. Navy support a companion award to be given to one Navy service member a year (Indians).