Names In The News
Actor WILL FERRELL "has attached himself to star" in "MATCH MAKER," a planned sports comedy about the conflict between tennis players BOBBY RIGGS and BILLIE JEAN KING. STEVEN CONRAD "has come aboard to write a script for the project, which is being developed by Chernin Entertainment and Gary Sanchez Productions." The film will adapt DON VAN NATTA' JR.'s ESPN The Magazine article, "The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, The Mafia and The Battle of the Sexes." Chernin Entertainment "picked up the rights to the piece last year and has been developing it since" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 4/3). Sources said that it was Ferrell's "passion for tennis that gave Chernin the idea to pursue him for the role of Riggs" (VARIETY.com, 4/3).
ON AN ISLAND: Philadelphia-based attorney ANDREW BARROWAY, who is in talks to purchase a majority stake in the Islanders, "is no stranger" to team Owner CHARLES WANG. Barroway was the "lead plaintiff in a consolidated class-action suit against Wang's company, Computer Associates, that originated" in '98. The suit, which was settled in '03, "alleged that Computer Associates violated several sections of the Securities Exchange Act, including artificially inflating revenues and concealing the business' deterioration." But six legal analysts "agreed that while it appeared odd," thetwo were doing business together now, "there was nothing to suggest that it was more than a bizarre coincidence" (ESPNNY.com, 4/3).
THE EYES OF TEXAS: The Univ. of Texas paid Korn/Ferry Int'l $266,990 to help find new football coach CHARLIE STRONG. The firm "billed Texas $250,000" for helping hire Strong in January, "plus an administrative fee" of 6%, or $15,000. An "additional invoice dated March 19 charged Texas $1,990 in expenses, mostly travel expenses for Korn/Ferry consultant JED HUGHES." UT "also hired" Korn/Ferry to help find new men's AD STEVE PATTERSON "for $200,000 plus expenses." Meanwhile, Colorado State Univ. "paid about $320,000 to search firm Spencer Stuart" to hire football coach MIKE HOOKER in '11 (USA TODAY, 4/4).
MAN ON THE RUN: MASN Nationals color analyst F.P. SANTANGELO is "considering launching a 'Run Til They Tag You' fitness group" that would meet at Nationals Park "one morning a week, doing group runs and group workouts while welcoming all comers of all fitness levels" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 4/3).
AWARDS & HONORS: Jalbert Productions Founder JOE JAY JALBERT will be inducted into the U.S. Ski HOF on Saturday in Park City, Utah (THE DAILY)....The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass named NASCAR Digital Media Managing Dir JOHN MARTIN, Learfield Sports UMass Sports Properties GM PAM BATALIS, MLS Senior VP/Global Sponsorships DAVID WRIGHT and CAA Sport co-Head HOWARD NUCHOW winners of the '14 Harold J. Vanderzwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award (UMass).
GIVING A BOOST: Univ. of Memphis boosters LAURA and RAY ROSAS "recently made an undisclosed, multiyear donation that included naming rights" to the school's baseball practice facility, which has been renamed the W.S. "Babe" Howard Training Facility. Their gift "will be used to build onto the current indoor training complex, which was constructed as part of the stadium's extensive renovation" in '09 following a $3M gift from FedEx (Memphis COMMERCIAL-APPEAL, 4/3)....The foundation of Hockey HOFer TED LINDSAY is donating $1M to the Beaumont Health System to “help children with autism and their families” (AP, 4/2)....Patriots S DEVIN MCCOURTY this week participated in “The Great American Milk Drive” at the Greater Boston Food Bank, promoting the “importance of donating nutrient-rich milk to food banks to fight hunger” (BOSTONHERALD.com, 4/2).
NAMES: Wizards Owner TED LEONSIS on Wednesday watched his team clinch its "first playoff berth under his watch from the owner’s suite rather than his usual courtside seat.” Leonsis let the players and coaches “publicly have their moment to relish perhaps the most satisfying win in the past six seasons.” When he made it to the locker room, Leonsis “didn’t address the team but spoke to a few players individually” (WASHINGTON POST, 4/4).…PRESIDENT OBAMA on Thursday hosted members of Team USA at the White House, “praising the athletes’ drive and thanking them for representing their country” at the Sochi Games. Obama also joked, “You guys are too rowdy. You didn’t bring anything you weren’t supposed to, right?” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 4/4)….Mavericks Owner MARK CUBAN is “studying the potential benefits of human growth hormone use for athletes recovering from injuries.” Cuban on Thursday said that he has “made a significant financial commitment to fund a potential university study on the issue.” He added, “It’ll be a two-year study that applies HGH to injuries preoperative to postoperative injury recovery.” He would “not specify the university that plans to do the study other than to say it has a highly respected medical school” (ESPNDALLAS.com, 4/3)….Patriots QB TOM BRADY this week attended the Colcci show at Sao Paulo Fashion Week to watch his wife GISELE BUNDCHEN (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/4)….Memorabilia from former MLBer JOHNNY PESKY’s personal collection “will be sold during a live auction at Fenway Park next week.” Items include Pesky’s ’04 and ’07 World Series rings (AP, 4/2)….St. Louis-based KMOX-AM broadcaster MIKE SHANNON is opening up a third location of his restaurant, Mike Shannon’s Grill, this summer at Lambert-St. Louis Int’l Airport (STLTODAY.com, 4/4).