NBA Exec VP/Basketball Operations STU JACKSON after more than 13 years will step down from his position, with 76ers President of Basketball Operations ROD THORN to replace Jackson in the role of NBA President of Basketball Operations, effective Aug. 1. Jackson was in charge of all on-court and int'l basketball operations, served as NBA Competition Committee Chair and on FIBA's Competition Commission and USA Basketball's BOD. Thorn will oversee both Basketball and Referee Operations, reporting to Commissioner DAVID STERN. Prior to his role with the 76ers, Thorn spent 10 seasons as Nets President of Basketball Operations (NBA). SI.com’s Ben Golliver noted Thorn’s addition is “one of a number of recent moves within the league office.” The NBA in March hired former player, coach and exec KIKI VANDEWEGHE as VP/Basketball Operations. The NBA also hired former player and league exec MIKE BANTOM as Exec VP/Referee Operations in ‘12 and former NBA referee DON VADEN as VP & Officials Dir in ‘11. Both Vandeweghe and Bantom “will report to Thorn” (SI.com, 7/10).
People and Pop Culture
Roush Fenway Racing Owner JACK ROUSH, "once the quintessential hands-on team owner," now is "moving toward the sidelines" in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, according to Nate Ryan of USA TODAY. The survivor of two plane crashes has "eased into a role he jokingly labels as public and human relations manager." Roush said, "I've gone from wanting to be the mechanic that I hoped everyone else would be to now I'm the point-and-grunt guy." The plan within the next five years is he "won't attend every team meeting or race anymore, scaling back to spend more time with five grandchildren." Driver CARL EDWARDS, who has been with RFR since '03, said of Roush, "His role's changed a lot. Jack is as pragmatic as anyone. He's realized that one man can't do all of it. ... I think he's doing a great job of adapting to the new complexities of the sport by letting go, and that's been cool." Driver GREG BIFFLE, in his 16th season with RFR, said, "Jack isn't as hands on, but he's more active today in quizzing us about what we're doing on the car to make sure you've turned over every rock." Ryan writes, "Wooing companies has become a greater part of the job for Roush." He is "more certain the team's on-track results are in turnaround," and "bristled at the suggestion his organization might have lost any of its speed in recent years." Ryan asks, "Is there a clear path for the enterprise once Roush steps away?" Team President STEVE NEWMARK said, "There's no written plan. We'll welcome his leadership as long as we can get it" (USA TODAY, 7/11).
AEG promoted ROB REED to CFO. Reed had been AEG Facilities CFO since the division formed in '08, and added the COO title in '11. Reed will report to AEG President & CEO DAN BECKERMAN (AEG)....ANC Sports named ANTHONY HARDIMON Project Manager, GEOFF MCCLUNE Tech Support Specialist, JIREH BILLINGS Boston Lead Technician, SCOTT DALTON Indianapolis Lead Technician, JOE CRUTCHLEY Cleveland Lead Technician, JOHN LAWSON Washington DC Metro Lead Technician, DARLA STEWART San Antonio Lead Technician, MELISSA GONCALVES Client Services Account Coordinator and ALEXIS COHEN JR. Motion Graphics Designer (ANC)....The SEC promoted Associate Commissioner for External Affairs MARK WHITWORTH to the newly created position of Associate Commissioner for Men's Basketball (AP, 7/10)....The College Football Playoff named KEN ELDER Senior Dir of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships (CFP)....Berry College named Webster Univ. AD TOM HART to the same position (ROME NEWS-TRIBUNE.com, 7/9)....Sharks Sports & Entertainment named JOE WILL GM and promoted JON GUSTAFSON to VP for its AHL Worcester Sharks affiliate (SSE)....Chicagoland Speedway promoted DAWN MARTIN to Consumer Marketing Dir, NICOLE MEAGHER to Communications Dir and TIM CAPUTO to Security Manager (Chicagoland)....The AP named GENARO ARMAS Wisconsin sports writer. Armas has been the AP's correspondent in State College, Pa., for the last eight years (THE DAILY).
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USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz cites a federal tax return which states NCAA President MARK EMMERT was credited with nearly $1.7M in compensation "during the 2011 calendar year." Meanwhile, NCAA COO JIM ISCH received nearly $1M. Emmert's pay is "more than 46% greater than that reported for predecessor MYLES BRAND during Brand's final full year on the job, 2008." Isch's compensation is "more than 28% higher than reported for him in 2010." The NCAA had nearly $9.5M "in legal expenses during the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2012 -- more than the combined total it reported for its two previous fiscal years" (USA TODAY, 7/11).
IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DONE RIGHT....: In Baltimore, Aaron Wilson cites a source as saying that Ravens S MATT ELAM "doesn't plan to hire an agent at this time and will negotiate his own rookie contract." Elam was drafted No. 32 overall by the Ravens and is "being advised by his older brother," free agent S ABRAM ELAM." Matt Elam under the NFL slotting system is "slated to sign" a four-year, $6.767M contract that will include a $3.301M signing bonus. He has "met with several agents before and after the draft, but has opted to not sign with one." Elam recently "struck a multi-year endorsement deal with Under Armour" (Baltimore SUN, 7/10).
IN REMEMBRANCE: Late hockey agent DON BAIZLEY was remembered yesterday at a ceremony at MTS Centre in Winnipeg. Hockey HOFer BOBBY HULL, former NHLer JARI KURRI and Ducks RW TEEMU SELANNE were among the 2,000 in attendance. Baizley died two weeks ago “after a 14-month battle with non-smoker’s lung cancer” (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 7/11).
SUMMER BOOK CLUB: Author JOHN BACON's latest project chronicles the time he "spent last season as a fly on the wall of four Big Ten teams that had big stories: Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern." The book, "FOURTH AND LONG: THE FIGHT FOR THE SOUL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL," features a "description of the NCAA's handling of Penn State in the opening pages" that "is priceless" (ESPN.com, 7/9)....Author MOTEZ BISHARA's book, "BEATING THE NBA: TALES FROM A FRUGAL FAN," explains how the NBA's "secondary ticket market works." The book is "intriguing." His stories "focus mostly on what he had to do to acquire a ticket, but he also provides good flavor of the cities, arenas and teams (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 7/9).
NAMES: Hendrick Motorsports has "made a $5,000 donation to assist New Hampshire Motor Speedway in hosting first responders and their families this weekend." The donation was "made in memory" of MIT police officer SEAN COLLIER, the brother of HMS machinist ANDREW COLLIER, who was "killed April 18 during the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing" (THATSRACIN.com, 7/11)....Orioles LF CHRIS DICKERSON will host a recycling event for his Players for the Planet organization on Aug. 16-18, and will be joined by teammates CF ADAM JONES, LF NOLAN REIMOLD and Ps JIM JOHNSON, BRIAN MATUSZ and CHRIS TILLMAN (CSNBALTIMORE.com, 7/10)….Basketball HOFer DENNIS RODMAN will release his Bad Boy Vodka line later this month (FREEP.COM, 7/10).