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Volume 24 No. 156
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Names In The News

In Minneapolis, Mike Kaszuba analyzed the holdings of Vikings Owners MARK and ZYGI WILF, noting the family's businesses "are spread over 37 states." An accountant told a New Jersey court considering a civil suit against the Wilfs "of preparing roughly 700 separate tax returns." The legal trail "left behind by the Wilfs is relatively skimpy, but complicated." There are "a handful of other lawsuits, in New Jersey and elsewhere, that involve everything from federal allegations that the Wilfs' companies discriminated against blacks in renting apartments to charges by a landscaping contractor that Wilfs' companies were 'nickel and diming' him" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/21).

COLLEGE COSTS: Kent State AD JOEL NIELSEN received an 18% raise, which "makes him the highest paid athletic director" in the MAC. The school "raised Nielsen's base salary to $308,000 and doubled how much he can make in deferred compensation." His contract was extended two years to '17 and he "will be able to depend on steady raises for the next four years." His base salary "will rise $40,000 a year until it reaches $428,000" in '16-17. The school also will "continue to contribute $20,000 a year to a deferred compensation plan for Nielsen until June 2015 and will credit an added $100,000 to the plan as of March 2013." Nielsen will "continue to be eligible to receive 17 bonuses for meeting marks in athletics, academics and fundraising" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 9/22)....The total package of contract payouts to former Cal football coach JEFF TEDFORD, who was fired last year, as well as "various incentives" paid to current coach SONNY DYKES, "will wind up costing the school's athletic program a whopping" $16.3M (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/22).

PRICE OF ADMISSION: Texans RB ARIAN FOSTER in the documentary "SCHOOLED: THE PRICE OF COLLEGE SPORTS," disclosed that "he received money during his senior season" at the Univ. of Tennessee. Foster said, "I don't know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation -- my senior year, I was getting money on the side. I really didn't have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, 'Man, be careful.' But there's nothing wrong with it. And you're not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it" (, 9/20).

: Pirates Dir of Baseball Systems Development DAN FOX has "arguably one of the most integral roles in the organization." He is "the computer whiz behind the curtain." His influence as an analyst "has reached a peak this season." The Pirates now have "five full-time staffers working under Fox dedicated to data architecture and quantitative analysis" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/22).

: Electronic Arts has been approved for up to $5.9M in tax credits from the state of Florida "to offset the development costs of 'Madden 25.'" The company also will get up to $7.5M "for the latest editions of its college-football and pro-golf games." EA has received or been pledged $37M in Florida tax breaks the past three years (, 9/21).

A LOT IN COMMON: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s John Paul Newport profiled the wives of PGA Tour players and wrote many of them “bond during outings sponsored by the PGA Tour Wives Association.” At 18-20 events each year, the wives “do things like help finish Habitat for Humanity homes and pack backpacks with food and supplies for poor children.” The Tour also provides “free day care, referred to as ‘school,’ with the same traveling teachers each week” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/23).

NAMES: Nike co-Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT said that he will donate $500M to the Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute if OHSU “can match it in the next two years” (, 9/21)….Former Orioles President of Baseball Operations ANDY MACPHAIL is “ready to get back into baseball,” but becoming a GM is “probably not” what he wants to do.” MacPhail “could return to run an organization, and he certainly has ties” to MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/23)….Univ. of Miami men’s basketball coach JIM LARRANAGA has been “appointed an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Sports Sciences” at the school (AP, 9/20)….Former NHL Oilers Owner PETER POCKLINGTON “has been sentenced to six months in jail, followed by six months of house arrest and two more years of probation.” Pocklington was “found guilty of submitting an inaccurate monthly income report to his probation officer” (, 9/20)….An autograph signing by Eagles QB MICHAEL VICK for Oct. 31 was “cancelled temporarily, thanks to death threats made against the event’s organizer” (, 9/21).

IN MEMORY: Former WNBA and NCAA basketball referee BONITA SPENCE died Sept. 15 at the age of 52. She worked the “first men’s professional game to be officiated entirely by women.” The “cause was suicide” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/23).