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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Stats LLC has promoted STEVE BYRD and ROBERT SCHUR to co-COOs and BRIAN KOPP to Senior VP/Sports Solutions. Byrd, previously company Exec VP, has been with Stats since '97 and oversees sales, marketing and business development. Schur, also an Exec VP previously, has been with the company since '00 and leads Stats' commercial and data collection business units. Kopp, formerly VP/Sports Solutions, joined Stats in '08 and leads the company's emerging efforts with the SportVU player tracking system. Stats recently signed a multiyear league-wide deal with the NBA to deploy SportVU in each arena.

New Dolphins President & CEO TOM GARFINKEL yesterday "let go of" CFO MARK BROCKELMAN and Senior VP & Chief Revenue Officer JIM RUSHTON, both of whom "were hired by Garfinkel's predecessor, MIKE DEE." Brockelman oversaw "all aspects of the financial and administrative departments within the organization." Rushton was responsible for "revenue associated with the Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/19).

EXECS: The NHL Jets have extended GM KEVIN CHEVELDAYOFF's original five-year contract "for two more years" (, 9/18)....Niagara Univ. AD TOM CROWLEY is "no longer" at the school after being hired last October. STEVE BUTLER will serve as interim AD (BUFFALO NEWS, 9/19)....Shaw Univ. promoted Compliance Officer MARCUS CLARKE to AD (Shaw)....The Univ. of Arkansas-Little Rock named LEAH THORVILSON Dir of Development (UALR)....The College Sports Information Directors of America named Kansas Recreation & Park Association Exec Dir DOUG VANCE to the same position. He will assume his duties on Oct. 1 (CoSIDA).

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Basketball HOFer MAGIC JOHNSON yesterday in Chicago launched "Friends of Magic," a "new movement to combat the national high school dropout epidemic." Johnson's effort includes creating a "network of foundations, businesses and individuals providing help to dropouts and at-risk teens to stay in or return to high school." The movement will "offer tutoring, mentoring and jobs, a formula advocated by local groups such as the Black Star Project, which this spring spearheaded a mass black male graduation ceremony to combat dropout rates with mentoring and jobs" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/19).

IN THE CLEAR: Heat F CHRIS ANDERSEN's lawyer, MARK BRYANT, yesterday said that his client "was the victim of a wide-ranging Internet hoax ... and prosecutors confirmed Andersen was cleared of wrongdoing in the 'extremely complex' case" (AP, 9/18). It brings an "end to a two-year odyssey that began in 2012 with a search of his Larkspur, Colorado home by the Douglas County Sheriff's Internet Crimes Against Children unit." Andersen "was found to have been a victim of an internet impersonator in Canada." The case "came down to an acquaintance representing herself to Andersen of being of legal age and then a second woman essentially 'cat fishing,' portraying herself online to the acquaintance as Andersen himself" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 9/19).

NAMES: Miami-based Daily Business Review named Marlins VP & General Counsel DEREK JACKSON among its "Rising Stars" (DAILY BUSINESS REVIEW, 9/18 issue)....Texans TE OWEN DANIELS on Monday hosted his fourth annual Celebrity Waiter Night in Houston, with Daniels and teammates including RB ARIAN FOSTER, LB BRIAN CUSHING and QB T.J. YATES working with Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse staff to raise money for Daniels’ Catching Dreams Foundation (, 9/17)….Red Sox DH DAVID ORTIZ attended yesterday’s “Fenway to the Runway” fashion show, an annual fundraiser for the Red Sox Foundation (BOSTON HERALD, 9/19)....Yankees LF ALFONSO SORIANO on Friday listed his three-bedroom, 3,828-square-foot penthouse condo in Chicago’s River North district for $2.95M (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/19)….Bulls announcer CHUCK SWIRSKY sold his five-bedroom, 3,398-square-foot house in Wheaton, Ill. for $700,000 (, 9/18).

IN MEMORY: Mariners Owner HIROSHI YAMAUCHI died today at the age of 85 due to complications from pneumonia. Yamauchi became majority owner of the Mariners in ’92, but “never attended a game” (London TELEGRAPH, 9/19). Yamauchi held a 55% stake in the club and in ’04 he “transferred control of those shares to ... Nintendo of America for estate planning purposes, but retained titular control of the ballclub." Mariners officials have continued to insist that "all major decision had to be run by him first” (, 9/19).