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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

NCAA Dir of Enforcement DAVE DIDION on Friday "finished his last day on the job" and will take over as Auburn Univ. Associate AD/Compliance, effective April 22 (, 4/12)....Georgia State Univ. Senior Associate AD TIFFANY DANIELS "has resigned" to accept a position as SEC Senior Woman Administrator (, 4/12)....Maverik Lacrosse Founder JOHN GAGLIARDI will amicably part ways with Bauer Performance Sports in June to focus on a new business venture to be announced in July (THE DAILY).

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In West Palm Beach, Ben Volin profiled Dolphins Exec VP/Football Administration DAWN APONTE and wrote she has been "a trailblazer for women in NFL football operations." Aponte works with Dolphins GM JEFF IRELAND and coach JOE PHILBIN "on daily football decisions." But "perhaps more importantly, she is credited with expert management of the team's salary cap." Ireland has "final say on football decisions but Aponte carries a lot of weight." Team employees said that Aponte "could become the first female general manager in the NFL" (PALM BEACH POST, 4/14).

DEAR JOHN: In Connecticut, Tom Evans profiled ESPN President JOHN SKIPPER and wrote he has "quickly ascended to one of the most powerful positions in all of sports." Like most "great leaders, Skipper has a tremendous vision for what he wants to accomplish." Skipper "repeatedly deflected credit to others, but the national media noticed the work he accomplished." He has "often appeared on industry 'most influential' lists" (STAMFORD TIMES, 4/11).

: FIFA chief investigator MICHAEL GARCIA, who has been examining allegations of wrongdoing in soccer including the bidding process for the '18 World Cup in Russia, is "one of 18 people on a list of Americans barred from entering Russia over what Moscow says are human rights abuses." Garcia is on the "blacklist published by Russia's Foreign Ministry on Saturday after Washington named 18 Russians barred from entering the United States for alleged rights abuses." It was not immediately clear "whether his blacklisting could affect Russia's hosting of the soccer World Cup in 2018" (REUTERS, 4/14).

ON THE AUCTION BLOCK: Basketball HOFer JOHN HAVLICEK has "decided to auction off a portion of his cherished sports mementos, parting with some valuable awards over his two-decade tenure as one of basketball's most popular figures." Havlicek said that he "wanted to share some of these mementos and he is hardly selling his whole stash." He said, "For 50 years it's been sitting in my house. And I figured that it would be a good time to share it with the public." The April "catalog auction is being offered by" SCP Auctions (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/14).

NOT KNUCKLING UNDER: Blue Jays P R.A. DICKEY was profiled on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last night, with CBS’ Leslie Stahl noting he "has had a challenging life.” Dickey was “abused as a child” and was a minor league journeyman for about 14 years before “he perfected the knuckleball.” Off the field, Dickey has “become involved in a Christian charity in India that tried to save children and young women who’ve been trafficked in the sex trade” called Bombay Teen Challenge. Stahl said Dickey “has raised over $130,000 for the group” (“60 Minutes,” CBS, 4/14).

NAMES: Bills Owner RALPH WILSON's wife MARY on Friday said that he is "doing well and is hoping to attend the team's home opener in September." Wilson, 94, did "not attend any games last season due to health issues" and "hasn't been to a game since a lost to the Jets on Nov. 6, 2011" (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/14)....Browns Owner JIMMY HASLAM III was the keynote speaker this past Friday at the United Way of Lake County, Ohio’s annual meeting (, 4/12)….Patriots P ZOLTAN MESKO auditioned for and won a part in the upcoming NFL-themed movie “Draft Day.” He will be in N.Y. on NFL Draft weekend to shoot scenes for the film at Radio City Music Hall (BOSTON HERALD, 4/14)….JACK NICKLAUS on Friday stopped by the Florida state legislature (, 4/12)....UCLA yesterday "unveiled a mural" of alum JACKIE ROBINSON. The mural, commissioned by Orange County-based artist MIKE SULLIVAN features Robinson "in a Bruins uniform with his number, 42, prominently displayed, as well as images of his past, such as the U.S. Army and Negro League logos" (, 4/14)....Titans CB COTY SENSABAUGH is honoring his late brother JAMAAR's memory "by participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's man and woman of the year campaign" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 4/15)....Late Baltimore-based radio host RON SMITH will be honored later this month with a posthumous induction into the Maryland DC Delaware Broadcasters Association HOF (, 4/12)