Names In The News
DR. LINNEA SMITH, the wife of Basketball HOFer DEAN SMITH, on Wednesday said the Presidential Medal of Freedom award is "a pinnacle" of the former North Carolina men's basketball coach's career. However, she added that Smith, who is suffering from a progressive neurocognitive disorder, "would not attend the ceremony at the White House Nov. 20." Linnea Smith: "We were trying to figure out any way we could to have Dean go to the presentation, but it's just really something beyond his ability right now." Representing Smith at the ceremony will be his wife, three of his five children, current UNC coach ROY WILLIAMS and former UNC coach BILL GUTHRIDGE, Smith's longtime assistant (WNCN.com, 11/14).
ON THE DOCKET: BB&T is the "subject of a high-profile lawsuit filed by 16 current and former NFL players involving disputed financial transactions made within a south Florida bank before BB&T bought the bank" in July '12. The players in their Nov. 1 complaint said that BankAtlantic "allowed a concierge financial management firm to open new accounts in their names via forged signatures" and to withdraw nearly $53M "without their permission or knowledge." The plaintiffs include JAMAAL ANDERSON, FRANK GORE, SANTONIO HOLMES, JEVON KEARSE, RAY LEWIS, BRANDON MERIWEATHER, SANTANA MOSS, CLINTON PORTIS and FRED TAYLOR (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 11/15).
CHARITY STRIPE: The MLBPA on Thursday announced $250,000 in grants to help fund the efforts of non-profits working to help the Philippines recover from a typhoon (MLBPA). Heat coach ERIK SPOELSTRA, who is of Filipino descent, plans to visit the "typhoon-ravaged Philippines next summer" (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 11/14)....Under Armour Founder, Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK on Thursday at the Fight Night charity event in DC helped raise a record $4M for local children's charities (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 11/15)....The Players Championship will donate a record $7.1M to area charities from the proceeds raised at the '13 tournament. The Players Exec Dir MATT RAPP said that the $600,000 increase "could be attributed to record ticket sales" that are up 32% in the past three years, "record corporate involvement with the purchase of chalets and other hospitality sites, and increased support from the city of Jacksonville" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 11/15).
NAMES: Golf HOFer ANNIKA SÖRENSTAM was named the recipient of the '13 PGA of America First Lady of Golf Award. She will be honored at The PGA of America Awards, Wednesday, Jan.. 22, 2014 (PGA of America)....Former Univ. of Kansas football player CHRIS POWELL on Monday filed a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA in the U.S. District Court for Western Missouri, seeking undetermined damages for him and other athletes (K.C. STAR, 11/15)....Ohio-based Prim Capital Corporations Founder JOSEPH LOMBARDO on Thursday pleaded guilty in a Manhattan federal court to mail fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice after he used a stamp to forge the signature of a deceased general counsel for the NBPA and another employee, a move that awarded Prim a $3M fee over five years (AP, 11/14)....Brazilian boxer ESQUIVA FALCAO has signed with Top Rank (AP, 11/14).