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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

New Jersey Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE topped a list of the most influential figures in sports in the state following his "taking on the four major professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government in hopes to legalize sports betting in the state," according to Steve Politi of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Christie was a key player in the handling of the recent situation at Rutgers and also "figures to be a visible presence" when Super Bowl XLVIII is played at MetLife Stadium (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 8/18).

Chris Christie Governor
John Mara Giants President & CEO
Jim Delany Big Ten Commissioner
Tom Coughlin Giants coach
Kyle Flood Rutgers football coach
Lou Lamoriello Devils President, CEO & GM
Julie Hermann Rutgers AD
Eric LeGrand Paralyzed former Rutgers football player
Al Kelly Super Bowl XLVIII Host Committee CEO
Steve Timko NJSIAA Exec Dir
Woody Johnson Jets Owner
Josh Harris Devils co-Owner
Bob Hurley Sr. St. Anthony (HS) Basketball Coach
Eli Manning Giants QB
Martin Brodeur Devils G
Eddie Jordan Rutgers men's basketball coach
Robert Barchi Rutgers President
Rex Ryan Jets coach
Jerry Reese Giants GM
Mike Petke Red Bulls coach
Val Ackerman Big East Commissioner
Dennis Drazin Monmouth Park operator
Kevin Willard Seton Hall men's basketball coach
Jabrill Peppers Paramus (HS) football DB
Ray Lesniak State Senator


The Wild named former Octagon Hockey Marketing Dir FRANK BUONOMO to the newly-created position of Senior Dir of Team Operation & Business Integration. Buonomo will report directly to GM CHUCK FLETCHER. The club also promoted AARON SICKMAN to Media Relations Dir and RYAN STANZEL to Digital Content Manager (Wild)....Goodyear named GMR Marketing Senior Dir of Client Strategy JONATHAN NORMAN Marketing Manager/Sponsorships. Norman will manage non-NASCAR sponsorships for the company (THE DAILY)....Comcast SportsNet Bay Area promoted JEN FRANKLIN to VP/Digital Media for &, PETER SCHOFIELD to VP/Operations and MATT BUTLER to Senior Dir of Traffic (CSN Bay Area).

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USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz reports the NCAA yesterday asked U.S. District Court Judge CLAUDIA WILKEN "to delay by nearly 15 months the scheduled trial date" in the ED O'BANNON lawsuit. The trial is scheduled to begin June 9, 2014, but the NCAA wants to push it back to Aug. 28, 2015. NCAA co-defendants EA and the CLC "proposed a five-month delay." The plaintiffs want Wilken "to leave the date unchanged." Meanwhile, EA yesterday "stated its intention to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up two other cases involving the use of college athletes' names and likenesses." One of those cases, led by former Arizona State QB SAM KELLER, "has been consolidated with the O'Bannon case and was set to be returned to Wilken." However, EA has asked the Ninth Circuit of Appeals "to delay that action pending its request to the Supreme Court" (, 8/20).

Tyson admitted he wanted to be a trainer rather
than be a promoter
RING MASTERS: MIKE TYSON yesterday discussed his new promotional company, Iron Mike Productions, and its first show on ESPN. Tyson "admitted he probably didn't really want to be a promoter but a trainer instead." It is not clear what role Tyson will have with his namesake company "other than to make appearances," and he was "vague in discussing it." Tyson and partner Acquinity Sports "renamed the company after deciding to join forces" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/20)....Golden Boy Promotions yesterday announced a deal with boxer ZAB JUDAH and Super Judah Promotions to promote his fights (, 8/19).

FROM THE OWNER'S BOX: Attorney AUBREY HARWELL, who represents the Pilot Flying J business of Browns Owner JIMMY HASLAM III, yesterday "touted a proposed settlement" in the rebate fraud scandal at the company. Harwell called the tentative agreement an attempt "to do 100 percent of what is right for Pilot Flying J's customers as soon as possible with the least costs and disruption to everyone's business as possible" (, 8/19)....The Securities & Exchange Commission yesterday said that hedge fund manager and Wild Minority Owner PHIL FALCONE had "agreed to admit wrongdoing and to be banned from the securities industry for at least five years to settle market manipulation accusations." Falcone and his fund, Harbinger Capital Partners, as part of the settlement "must also pay" more than $18M (N.Y. TIMES, 8/20).

NAMES: Arent Fox attorneys JARED BARTIE, MARYLEE JENKINS and ERIC HAMBURG represented the Trail Blazers in the team’s arena naming-rights deal with Moda Health (THE DAILY)….The World Poker Tour Foundation will hold the Frank Mariani & Jerry Buss No Limit Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament Aug. 25 at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, Calif. The tournament is in memory of the late Lakers owner and his longtime business partner and close friend (, 8/18)….Former NFLer DOUG FLUTIE last night urged Lowell, Mass., residents to “support Penn National’s drive to build” the $200M Merrimack Valley Casino (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/20)….Actor DENZEL WASHINGTON attended the Yankees-Red Sox game Sunday night (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/20)….Blackhawks D BRENT SEABROOK and wife, DAYNA, had a baby boy, CARTER SEVEN SEABROOK, on Friday (, 8/19).

IN MEMORY: NASCAR and IndyCar team owner CHIP GANASSI’s father, FLOYD, died yesterday at the age of 87. He was “among the most beloved men in the IndyCar Series paddock” (, 8/19)….Late Jazz Owner LARRY MILLER’s son, ROGER MILLER, died Sunday at the age of 45. A family statement did not detail the cause of death (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/19).