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Volume 24 No. 159

People and Pop Culture

It’s time to make your opinion known as the 9th annual SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Reader Survey is underway. The survey features more than 100 questions across leagues, teams, facilities, sponsorship, media, and more.

*How often do you turn the channel to Fox Sports 1?
*How often have you watched live video of a sporting event on a mobile device in the past 3 months?
*If you could hear only one play-by-play announcer, who would it be?
*What afternoon studio program do you watch the most?
*Who is the most effective MLB team owner?
*Who is the least effective MLB team owner?
*In the last five years, which MLB team has shown the most innovation in its business practices?

Those are some of the questions you'll find in this year’s survey. Cast your votes and then see highlights of the results the week of Dec. 2. We want to hear from you.

Vote now!

Univ. of Alabama football coach NICK SABAN was profiled on last night's edition of CBS' "60 Minutes," and he is the "most dominant head coach today in college football and maybe all of American sports," according to CBS' Armen Keteyian. Saban is "worshipped by his rabid fan base, feared by his rivals who see Saban as an intense, tightly-wound control freak who takes little or no pleasure in all of his success." Keteyian said Saban offered "rare access inside his program." Keteyian: "What we learned is while the rest of college football may be chasing Nick Saban, Nick Saban's chasing something else: Perfection." In "demanding his players be as exacting as he is, Saban can be volcanic." Saban said, "I don't know if that's fair, that I'm really tough on people. We create a standard for how we want to do things and everybody's got to buy into that standard, or you really can't have any team chemistry." Keteyian said today at Alabama, "Saban is treated like a god." UA Chancellor DR. ROBERT WITT said of Saban being college football's highest-paid coach at over $5M a year, "Saban's the best financial investment this university has ever made. We have made an investment that's been returned manyfold." Keteyian said Saban winning three national titles in four years "has translated into a 112 percent increase in revenue for Alabama's athletic department." Since a devastating tornado came through Tuscaloosa in '11, Saban's foundation, "Nick's Kids," has "helped rebuild 15 homes destroyed by the tornado (and) it's another sign that Saban seems to have found the right fit in Tuscaloosa" ("60 Minutes," CBS, 11/3).

The Senators named MLS Toronto FC VP/Business Operations PAUL BEIRNE Exec VP/Ticketing, effective Dec. 1. The team also promoted Dir of Strategic Development GEOFF PUBLOW to VP/Strategic Development (Senators)....NBA Int'l Communications Specialist RACHEL WALSH has left for a position with Excel Sports Management (THE DAILY)....The U.S. Bowling Congress named American Consolidated Media Accounting Dir JENNIFER SALAZAR CFO (USBC)....Learfield Sports named JARED NEWLAND Mountain West Sports Properties GM and BRAD POE Univ. of Wyoming Sports Properties GM (Learfield Sports).

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In Newark, Ryan Hutchins reports the state of New Jersey is "asking a federal appeals court for another chance to make the case that the state should be able to legalize sports betting at its casinos and horse racing tracks." New Jersey Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE is "asking for a rehearing before the full 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia." A three-judge panel from the circuit court in September "ruled that a federal statute barring states from legalizing or regulating sports betting is constitutional" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/4).

FARM HAND? In Dallas, David Barer reported former Rangers CEO NOLAN RYAN "could enter the statewide race" for Texas agricultural commissioner. Ryan, a Republican, "hasn't said publicly that he's considering the race," and "did not respond Friday to requests for comment." If Ryan enters the race, he would be "the biggest name in a packed primary field" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/2).

GOING FOR A RIDE: British cyclist BRADLEY WIGGINS has "signed a joint venture agreement" SIMON FULLER's XIX Entertainment, becoming "the latest high-profile British sportsman to sign up" with the company. Wiggins won the '12 Tour de France before winning Olympic gold in the time trial at the '12 London Games (GUARDIAN, 11/4).

DRIVE TRAIN: Former NFLer DONALD DRIVER "just shot an episode" of ABC's "EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS" and will be a guest co-host on Friday's episode of "THE VIEW." He also is working on the inaugural Donald Driver's Driven to Achieve Awards, which will "recognize community difference makers" in Milwaukee. Last month Driver went on a "whirlwind press tour" for his memoir, "DRIVEN: FROM HOMELESS TO HERO, MY JOURNEYS ON AND OFF LAMBEAU FIELD" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 11/2).

NAMES: The Bills honored bus driver DARNELL BARTON as a guest at yesterday's Chiefs-Bills game "after a locker-room greeting" from coach DOUG MARRONE and President & CEO RUSS BRANDON. Barton "stopped his Metro bus last week and rescued a distraught woman" (, 11/3)....Under Armour Founder, Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK “sold 94,500 shares of company stock in a transaction reported late Thursday for a total value of $7,670,407” (, 11/1)....Red Sox P JAKE PEAVY on Twitter wrote that he “bought one of the duck boats that carried the team through the streets of Boston on Saturday to celebrate” its World Series title (AP, 11/3)....Actor JAKE GYLLENHAAL is “in talks to star in the boxing drama ‘SOUTHPAW’” (, 11/1)....Actress ELLEN BARKIN and actor ROBERT DE NIRO will appear in the ROBERTO DURAN biopic “HANDS OF STONE.” Barkin will “play the wife of Duran’s trainer RAY ARCEL, whom De Niro plays” (, 11/1)....Cubs Chair TOM RICKETTS co-chaired this year’s Carl Sandberg Literary Awards dinner on Oct. 23 (, 11/3)....Ravens K JUSTIN TUCKER and girlfriend AMANDA BASS were engaged this weekend (, 11/3).