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Volume 24 No. 159
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Names In The News

Saints Owner TOM BENSON is donating $5M to help former NFLer STEVE GLEASON and his Team Gleason foundation "build and operate Team Gleason House for Innovative Living." The house in New Orleans will allow 18 ALS patients to "live fairly close to self-sufficient lives in rooms where the operation of everything will be controlled by patients’ eyes." The home is "scheduled to open in June" (, 4/28).

MASTERPIECE THEATER: Film director BRETT RATNER has acquired the movie rights to the story of Dodgers RF YASIEL PUIG's "escape from Cuba." He will produce the project with BEAU FLYNN. Ratner "acquired the feature rights through his RatPac Entertainment." The project is "not yet set up at a studio" (, 4/26). The film is titled, "ESCAPE FROM CUBA: YASIEL PUIG'S UNTOLD JOURNEY TO THE DODGERS." RatPac's JAMES PACKER and JOHN CHENG will serve as exec producers (, 4/25)....A promotion for the May 16 release "MILLION DOLLAR ARM" allows fans the chance to win $1M if they can "throw a strike 100 miles per hour." Fans showed up last week at Disney's Wide World Sports complex and "two other Disney outposts" in California and N.Y. The fastest three pitchers "advance to the finals in Hollywood on May 6" and also get a chance to meet actor JON HAMM (, 4/26).

IN THE KNICK OF TIME? TNT analyst STEVE KERR, who is a candidate for the Knicks coaching position, "is being represented" by former NFL Jets GM MIKE TANNENBAUM, who was "known in NFL circles as a top-flight negotiator" (N.Y. POST, 4/26). Meanwhile, Kerr "flew cross-country to spend a day" with Pro Football HOFer BILL PARCELLS to "pick his brain about the coaching profession." Tannenbaum said, "Over the past year, he's had a plan and we've talked about it." Parcells was "suggested by Tannenbaum" (N.Y. POST, 4/27).

: NBA Draft prospects C.J. WILCOX, GARY HARRIS and ELFRID PAYTON "have signed with CAA Sports" for representation. Fellow prospect RODNEY HOOD also has "signed with Relativity Sports and agent DAN FEGAN" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/27)....Former Islanders exec STEPHEN WALSH "faces up to 20 years in prison" after he "agreed to forfeit $50 million as part of his plea in federal court in Manhattan to securities fraud for scamming customers of his investment advisory business" (NEWSDAY, 4/26)....Clippers F BLAKE GRIFFIN is "buying a newly built home" in Pacific Palisades, Calif., for $9M. The 9,100-square-foot home includes a "gym, three fireplaces, six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms" (, 4/25)....Michigan State alum and former NFLer FLOZELL ADAMS on Saturday announced he is donating $1.5M to the school’s North End Zone project “in honor of his late mother, RACHEL ADAMS” (DETROIT NEWS, 4/27)….Patriots coach BILL BELICHICK on Saturday ran the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon in a time of 2:36:46 (, 4/26)….MARY WILSON, the widow of late Bills Owner RALPH WILSON JR., on Saturday hosted “about 250 girls” in a sports clinic at the Bills’ fieldhouse. She started the program in ’06 as a twice-a-year event that “allows girls ages 9 to 12 from the Buffalo Public Schools to practice a variety of different sports under the supervision of local volunteers” (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/27)….South Carolina-based Sod Solutions Dir of Research ROBERTO GURGEL “develops and licenses varieties of grass,” including a “deep blue-green Bermuda called Celebration,” which will be used in five of the 12 FIFA World Cup venues this summer (L.A. TIMES, 4/27).

IN MEMORY: Former Oregon State Associate AD and former NCAA President JOHN DAVIS “died on Friday at the age of 86.” He served as NCAA President from ’85-87 and retired from OSU in ’91 (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/27).