Univ. of Oklahoma football coach BOB STOOPS will be "one of four coaches" to hit the $5M mark in annual salary "after his raise was approved" yesterday by the school's Board of Regents. He joins Alabama’s NICK SABAN, Texas’ CHARLIE STRONG and Texas A&M’s KEVIN SUMLIN. Stoops will total $39.9M for an average of $5.7M per year "over the seven seasons remaining" on his contract. Each of Stoops' assistants also picked up raises "of at least $46,000" (NEWSOK.com, 6/25). The OU Board of Regents also voted yesterday to extend AD JOE CASTIGLIONE's contract to June 30, 2020 and increase his salary by $100,000 to $1.03M per year (NEWSOK.com, 6/25).
KEEPING THE FAITH: NBA Draft prospect JABARI PARKER is profiled in a front-page N.Y. TIMES piece, and Alex Thompson reports Parker "will be the first African-American Mormon drafted in the NBA, positioning himself as a striking new face" for the church. Parker will "not be joining his peers in the field" to serve on a mission. He will instead "follow the path carved by other world-class Mormon athletes and focus on his sport." But church leaders and Mormon athletes "argue that he will still be an ambassador for the church." He may be an "especially important ambassador -- far more people will see him on 'SportsCenter' than they would if he were doing missionary work in a far-off country" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/26).
SIX IN ONE, HALF-DOZEN THE OTHER: NASCAR driver JIMMIE JOHNSON yesterday visited the White House, where PRESIDENT OBAMA called Johnson "pretty much the MICHAEL JORDAN of NASCAR." Obama: "Like Mike, Jimmie has won six championships in eight years." The two were joined on stage by NASCAR team Owner RICK HENDRICK and crew chief CHAD KNAUS (L.A. TIMES, 6/26).
NAMES: An investment group founded by Pistons Owner TOM GORES has "sold Rec Boat Holdings to the Beneteau Group, an expansion-minded French company" (MLIVE.com, 6/24)....Baltimore cyber security firm RedOwl Analytics has closed on a nearly $5M funding round, with investors including Under Armour Inc. Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK. Plank's investment "was made through Sagamore Ventures." It is "unclear if Plank has made other investments through the financing arm or what industries he is targeting" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/24)....ESPN MLB analyst CURT SCHILLING yesterday announced “that his cancer is in remission” (NJ.com, 5/25)….Patriots coach BILL BELICHICK will be honored by the Nantucket Dreamland Foundation at its second annual gala July 11 (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/25)….All Sports United presented former NFLer MATT LIGHT with its ’14 Humanitarian of the Year Award. He “received $10,000 for his Light Foundation, which helps at-risk kids become leaders” (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/26)….Former NFLer JOE ANDRUZZI, Patriots WR MATT SLATER and DE ROB NINKOVICH on Monday took “kid cancer patients out for a spin during the Joe Andruzzi Foundation’s annual Codzilla cruise” on the Boston Harbor (BOSTON HERALD, 6/25)….MSG Chair JAMES DOLAN and producer HARVEY WEINSTEIN on Monday night “dined together at Waverly Inn.” The two had just attended “a fund-raiser in the restaurant’s back room (‘the conservatory’) for ALISON GRIMES of Kentucky” (N.Y. POST, 6/26)….Lakers G KOBE BRYANT, along with his wife, VANESSA, and their two kids, NATALIA and GIANNA, yesterday were “spotted vacationing on the Greek island of Mykonos” (N.Y. POST, 5/26).