Names In The News
UFC President DANA WHITE was interviewed for the Financial Times' "Lunch With The FT" feature. White, during a meal at the C London restaurant, said, "The most famous athletes throughout the history of time are fighters. Now, I don’t know any of your soccer players or any cricket guys but I bet you’ve heard of MUHAMMAD ALI." White said of divulging revenue figures, "We don’t let the media know a lot of the numbers. It pisses them off." White added UFC is worth $3.5B, and "some would say more" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/22).
PAYMENT PLANS: Michigan State football coach MARK DANTONIO's revised contract "increased his annual compensation" from just under $2M to $3.64M. Included in his contract is a buyout of $5M that Dantonio "would have to pay if he leaves for another coaching job before Jan. 15, 2017." Also included is private plane flight time "for personal use of 25 hours per year" and a "guaranteed two-year job in the MSU athletic department at $200,000 a year if Dantonio so chooses after he retires" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/23)....Under Armour on Friday disclosed that it paid Founder, Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK almost $3.2M last year, "more than double his compensation" in '12 (Baltimore SUN, 3/22).
COURT REPORT: An L.A. jury decided last week that helmet maker Riddell "isn't liable for the severe brain injury" of high school football player EDWARD ACUNA, who "suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit during a game." The jury "deliberated for less than 30 minutes before deciding that the Riddell Revolution helmet he was wearing could not have been expected to prevent" Acuna's injury (AP, 3/21). Acuna "had sued the company, claiming it knowingly manufactured and issued a defective helmet pad" (L.A. TIMES, 3/22).
NAMES: Twins GM TERRY RYAN, who is on the mend after cancer surgery, "made a surprise visit to Hammond Stadium on Friday," and watched Yankees-Twins on Saturday afternoon "before heading back to Minnesota" (MLB.com, 3/21)....Mavericks Owner MARK CUBAN "missed Friday's game" against the Nuggets because he was in L.A. for the filming of the "ENTOURAGE" movie (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/22)....Spurs G TONY PARKER "will become president of French basketball team Asvel Basket in May after buying a controlling share of the club" (MYSANANTONIO.com, 3/21)....Patriots coach BILL BELICHICK on Saturday attended the Florida-Pitt game at Amway Center to cheer on "his good friend" and UF coach BILLY DONOVAN (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/23)....Former NFLer EDDIE GEORGE's Brentwood, Tenn., home has been listed for $1.69M (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/23)....MLB.com Red Sox beat writer IAN BROWNE's new book "IDIOTS, REVISITED" -- on the '04 Red Sox' World Series-winning season -- "hits bookshelves on April 1 and is available for pre-order." Browne "tracked down most every relevant member of that team, with revelations galore" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/23)....South Carolina football coach STEVE SPURRIER's annual donations to the school have reached the $1M mark (POSTANDCOURIER.com, 3/21).
IN MEMORY: Former USGA Exec Dir FRANK HANNIGAN, whose “razor-sharp wit and blunt-speaking style led to a second career as a television golf commentator for ABC, died Saturday morning” at the age of 82. Hanningan rose from “being a caddie to writing a golf column for the local newspaper to working for the USGA to becoming its executive director, a position he held” from ’83-88 (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 3/22)….ARNOLD HEFT, a minor league pitcher who later was an NBA ref, co-Owner of the NBA Baltimore Bullets and noted horse owner “died in his sleep of unknown causes March 12” at the age of 94. Heft from ’64-68 co-owned the Bullets with the late ABE POLLIN (Baltimore SUN, 3/22)….Former Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America President HARRY WELLS passed away March 18 at the age of 85. He served as BPAA President from ’82-84 (BPAA).