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Volume 24 No. 156
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Names In The News

NFL Panthers LB LUKE KUECHLY is "tackling his first major charitable endeavor" since joining the league, as he "will serve as a spokesman for Project Life, a national nonprofit organization to register college students for bone marrow donation." Kuechly "will be featured on posters, radio spots and in an online campaign to bring attention to a donor database that has far fewer registrants than those for organ donation, despite a simple testing process." He is "young enough to have cachet on college campuses." Project Life Founder & Exec Dir DAVID LINDSAY said that the organization "targets college students because 'their marrow tends to be healthier,' and they can stay on the national donor registry for more than 30 years until they're 55" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/13).

GRID IRON GIRDERS: Texas A&M's Board of Regents on Thursday "unanimously approved a new contract" for football coach KEVIN SUMLIN. The new contract pays him $5M annually for six years, and his buyout obligation to the school, which runs through the '16 postseason, requires restitution of $5M to A&M (Bryan-College Station EAGLE, 12/13)....New UConn football coach BOB DIACO's five-year contract is worth $8M over the life of the deal (HARTFORD COURANT, 12/13).

WE ARE HEADED NORTH: Canadian Olympic Committee President MARCEL AUBUT on Thursday pledged C$37M to the committee's "Own the Podium" initiative over the next four years. The contribution between is a 48% increase from the prior four years, which included the '10 Vancouver Games (CP, 12/12)....Vancouver Mayor GREGOR ROBERTSON on Thursday said that questions "about potential conflicts of interest with prominent real-estate businessmen funding a Vision councillor's $100,000 trip to the Sochi Games are 'ridiculous'" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 12/13)....Former VANOC CEO JOHN FURLONG said that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police "have closed an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against him by a former student and found no evidence to support criminal charges, prompting him to declare he's been 'fully cleared' in one of a series of allegations and lawsuits facing him" (Vancouver SUN, 12/13).

GIRL POWER: Univ. of Minnesota Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport Dir MARY JO KANE and Associate Dir NICOLE LAVOI "hope to start a global gross-roots campaign" that focuses on how female athletes are deserving of praise for their athletic exploits as opposed to merely their looks. The campaign is called the "#HeresProof project," and the two women also "collaborated on a thoughtful documentary airing this month" entitled "Media Coverage and Female Athletes" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/13).

CHARITY STRIPE: Blackhawks players KRIS VERSTEEG, PATRICK KANE, BRANDON SAAD and NIKLAS HJALMARSSON on Thursday visited the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago to drop off toys donated by Blackhawks fans during the first three home games in December (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/13)....Ducks LW DUSTIN PENNER and C ANDREW COGLIANO on Thursday "showered local kids with a Toys 'R' Us shopping spree" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 12/13)....Celtics players JEFF GREEN, KELLY OLYNYK, BRANDON BASS and COURTNEY LEE on Thursday attended a Boston Children's Hospital fundraiser at the Gucci boutique on Boylston Street (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/13)....Univ. of Memphis men's basketball coach JOSH PASTNER "donated $250,000 to the athletic department's capital campaign for facilities," marking the "largest ever by a Memphis coach" (, 12/12),

NAMES: Univ. of Texas President BILL POWERS was not fired Thursday after a Board of Regents vote, but he also did not get a "vote of confidence" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 12/13)....Scottsdale police said that Suns broadcaster TOM CHAMBERS on Saturday was arrested "on suspicion of driving under the influence." Chambers "admitted to having a few beers" at the Stanford-Arizona State Pac-12 Championship "before getting behind the wheel" (, 12/12)....Rosenhaus Sports has signed Wake Forest WR MICHAEL CAMPANERO for representation in the '14 NFL Draft. Brothers DREW & JASON ROSENHAUS will represent him (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer)....Phillies P JONATHAN PAPELBON will appear in an AOL series titled "MY INK," which features athletes with tattoos (BOSTON HERALD, 12/13)....Jazz assistant coach SIDNEY LOWE's "ongoing court case reached a resolution Wednesday" when he "pleaded guilty to failing to file tax returns for three years in North Carolina." Lowe "received a suspended 45-day jail sentence, must pay $79,000-plus in restitution and was assessed a $2,000 fine" (DESERET NEWS, 12/12)....Capitals LW ALEX OVECHKIN and his fiancée, tennis player MARIA KIRILENKO, on Wednesday attended Washington Life's annual Young and the Guest List part at the Carnegie Library (, 12/12).