In N.Y., Kosman & Atkinson report just two bidders "remain in the auction" of IMG Worldwide, with each "being asked to make third and final offers by late next week." Sources said that WME and Silver Lake Partners, which are working with former ESPN Exec VP/Programming & Production MARK SHAPIRO, "are battling against" the team of CVC Capital, former News Corp. President & COO PETER CHERNIN, and former NFL Network President & CEO STEVE BORNSTEIN. Sources said that the bids "are close" to $2.5B (N.Y. POST, 12/5).
BOWL BONUSES: Arizona State Univ. football coach TODD GRAHAM "already has racked up nearly $800,000 in bonuses" with two games remaining in the season. If ASU wins both the Pac-12 Championship Game and the Rose Bowl, he will "get at least" $1.2M more, not including what he "could get for national coach-of-the-year honors and/or the team's academic performance." Elsewhere, Auburn coach GUS MALZAHN still has $750,000 "for on-field achievements and $200,000 in coaching awards available beyond the $250,000 in extras he already has gained" (USA TODAY, 12/5).
IN A THEATER NEAR YOU: Comedian KEVIN HART is "signing on to star" with Heat F LEBRON JAMES in "BALLERS," a basketball comedy from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. BRIAN GRAZER and MICHAEL ROSENBERG are producing. Hart will star "as a man who lives in the shadow of his NBA superstar brother (James), but gets a chance to prove himself when he and some pals attend a weekend fantasy basketball camp in Miami" (DEADLINE.com, 12/4)....A film about "the colorful and controversial life" of former MLBer DOCK ELLIS "will be among 16 select entrants in the U.S. Documentary competition" at next month's Sundance Film Festival. The film is titled "NO NO: A DOCKUMENTARY" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 12/5).
GETTING A HALL PASS: The '14 Int'l Boxing HOF induction class will include OSCAR DE LA HOYA, FELIX “TITO” TRINIDAD, JOE CALZAGHE, GEORGE CHANEY, CHARLES LEDOUX, MIKE O’DOWD and TOM ALLEN. The HOF’s 25th class also includes promoter BARRY HEARN, referees RICHARD STEELE and EUGENE CORRI, journalist GRAHAM HOUSTON, and veteran SI photographer NEIL LEIFER in the non-participant and observer categories (AP, 12/4)....The Baseball HOF has selected former MLBer and broadcaster JOE GARAGIOLA as the recipient of the '14 John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award (Baseball HOF)....Basketball HOFer NANCY LIEBERMAN was selected as the '14 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women's College Basketball award winner (Atlanta Tipoff Club).
NAMES: Former MLBer MARIANO RIVERA yesterday accepted the March of Dimes Sportsman of the Year Award (MLB.com, 12/4)....The Atlanta Sports Council will honor former NFLer TOMMY NOBIS with its Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Coca-Cola, at the ninth annual Atlanta Sports Awards on March 5 at The Fox Theatre (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/4)....Bears Chair GEORGE MCCASKEY joined players and other members of the organization as they traveled to Washington, Ill., yesterday to help the town clean up after it was hit by a tornado last month. The Bears spoke to the Washington High School football team earlier in the day, and then “met with students staggered through four lunch periods” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/5). Bears K ROBBIE GOULD organized the trip, and "insisted on coming" despite his wife giving birth on Saturday (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/5)....The KJ Choi Foundation yesterday announced that golfer KJ CHOI has donated his $100,000 winnings from the '13 ISPS Handa World Cup to help with typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines (IMG)....The Univ. of California-San Diego today will announce that the school will soon rename its sports complex the Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center, in honor of Chargers Owner ALEX SPANOS (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/5)....Federal prosecutors have agreed to dismiss charges against JOSHUA BARBER and NICHOLAS KAISER, who "initiated and recorded a telephone call" this year between Buccaneers GM MARK DOMINIK and then-Bills GM BUDDY NIX, then "sold the recording to a website" (AP, 12/4)....Retired Gold Medal-winning U.S. beach volleyball player MISTY MAY-TREANOR and her husband, former MLBer MATT TREANOR, are "expecting their first child in the spring" (AP, 12/4).