The XFL has made its first major football personnel hire, naming former Bills GM DOUG WHALEY as Senior VP/Football Operations. Whaley will work out of the the XFL's Stamford, Conn., HQ. He will start on Dec. 1 and report to XFL Commissioner OLIVER LUCK. "He will be my right hand man, so to speak, for all things football," Luck said. Whaley's duties will include player evaluation and the hiring of top personnel for the XFL's eight teams, as well as football operations duties such as scheduling. The XFL is set to begin play in '20. Whaley has more than 20 years of football experience, including serving as Bills GM from ’13-17. He also has worked for the Steelers and Seahawks. Whaley was named the Dir of College Recruiting for the NFLPA’s Collegiate Bowl earlier this year, and he will continue to serve in that position through the end of this month. Luck said he interviewed 15-20 people for the new position. "What stuck out in my mind about Doug was a) his intelligence, and b) his willingness to innovate with us. Every football person, to a certain degree is a traditionalist, but Doug likes to think outside the box and that was attractive because we want to try to do things a bit differently." One of the first orders of business for Whaley and Luck will be to hire coaches and GMs for the eight teams in the league. Under the XFL system, there will be one person who serve in both roles. Hiring coaches will begin in Q1 of '19, Luck said. He added the league may begin signing some players, at least QBs, in early '19.
People and Pop Culture
"Going Off The Grid" is a weekly survey of sports execs and personalities offering their thoughts on a handful of pressing (and trivial) issues in sports and pop culture. This week, our panelists discuss athletes that made them starstuck and whether or not UCF deserves a spot in the CFP.
- Whitecaps Dir of Partnership Marketing Janet Battle
-- She's currently in love with her purple ukulele and thinks the world should be, too.
- MKTG VP/Group Dir Neil Howard
-- His pop culture interest include the Beckhams, the "Spice Girls" reunion and K-Pop.
- World Surf League VP/Business Development Melissa Colgate
-- Believes "The Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" shows are good entertainment.
- AAC Associate Commissioner for Women's College Basketball Barbara Jacobs
-- Likes Meghan Markle and Lady Gaga.
- HOK Senior VP & Dir of Entertainment & Sport John Rhodes
-- His favorite sports radio personality is F1's Murray Walker.
|Going Off The Grid|
|Name an athlete that made you starstruck||McCartney or Lennon||Should UCF make it to the CFP?||When do your Christmas decorations go up?||Yay or nay to the electric scooter fad?|
||David Beckham. Can you blame me?||Tip of the hat to Sir Paul, but it's Lennon||I have to admit I don't watch much football||The week before Christmas. And I take them down mid-February||Nay! Walk, run or bike|
|Paralympians I saw in Korea -- all of them||Both national treasures -- impossible to pick.||Not until they go to at least 8 teams||Moving target, hopefully by 2nd weekend in December||Can't stand them (I'm a dinosaur, I know)|
||Esports player Ninja||McCartney, "Let it be!" ... Just let it be...||Sure, they have some amazing athletes||1st or 2nd week of December||Nay, I prefer to walk|
|Jacobs||Larry Bird and Billie Jean King||McCartney||Definitely. The system is rigged against anyone outside the Autonomous Five||Don't put any up. Never home||Nay, too dangerous|
|Rhodes||Johnny Wilkerson. The guy is the ultimate professional rugby sportsman||Why not Ringo Starr?||As a Brit, I fear I am not qualified to answer||After a mince pie||I tried one recently on the streets of Moscow and it was great fun|
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The Red Sox promoted the following: BRIAN O'HALLORAN and EDDIE ROMERO to Exec VP & Assistant GM; ZACK SCOTT to Senior VP & Assistant GM; RAQUEL FERREIRA to Senior VP/Major & Minor League Operations; BRIAN ABRAHAM to Dir of Minor League Operations; JOE MCDONALD to Dir of Baseball Analytics; MIKE REGAN to Dir of Baseball Administration & Special Projects; MARCUS CUELLAR to Coordinator/Player Personnel; ALEX GIMENEZ to Coordinator/Major League Operations; and PATRICK MCLAUGHLIN to Coordinator/Florida Baseball Operations & Minor League Video (Red Sox).
EXECS: Populous promoted the following to Senior Associate: ANDREW CRUTCHER (Sydney); KEITH HUDSON (Brisbane); ROHIT GARG (Delhi); ISHA RATHEE (Delhi); ZOE SULLIVAN (Sydney); ANDREW WALLACE (Sydney); MARIA BLANCO (K.C.); JACOB COBURN (K.C.); BROOKE CRAIG (K.C.); DUART DUFF (K.C.); AYESHA HUSAIN (N.Y.); JOSHUA JOHNSON (K.C.); KRISTIN LONG (K.C.); CHRISTOPHER MEEHAN (K.C.); ASHLEIGH ROGERS (K.C.); RYAN SORBY (K.C.); FRANK STEINER (K.C.); SABRINA TOCKOOK (Denver); BIANCA BINDER (London); CHARLIE FORDHAM (London); MATT GRACE (London); JORGE MENDEZ (London); ELIZABETH MIGLIERINA (London); and MARIAN MORAVEK (London) (Populous)....The Bucks promoted Dir of Corporate Social Responsibility ARVIND GOPALRATNAM to VP/Corporate Social Responsibility. He was also named Exec Dir for the Bucks Foundation (Bucks)....The Mets made first base coach RUBEN AMARO JR. an Adviser to GM BRODIE VAN WAGENEN (NORTHJERSEY.com, 11/6)....Callaway Golf increased the size of the company's BOD from nine to 10 members, adding Foster Farms CEO LAURA FLANAGAN (Callaway)....The National Junior College Athletic Association hired former Charlotte AD JUDY ROSE as a consultant (NJCAA).
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The Univ. of Maryland announced that a scholarship in late Annapolis Capital reporter JOHN MCNAMARA's name has been "established for undergraduates in the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism." McNamara covered the UMD athletics beat for more than three decades before being "killed during the attack" on the Annapolis Capital newsroom in June. It is "very likely" that future recipients of the scholarship will cover UMD athletics for the school's newspaper, "just as McNamara did" in the early '80s (Annapolis CAPITAL, 11/8).
LAW & ORDER: A Manhattan jury yesterday "convicted" former WFAN-AM host CRAIG CARTON of fraud. After less than a day of deliberations, a jury found Carton "guilty on all three counts against him, including securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud." He faces as "much as 45 years in prison based on the sentencing guidelines but will likely get far less" (NYPOST.com, 11/7)....A former Univ. of Minnesota ticketing director has been "charged in federal court with enriching himself through a long-running scheme involving football and men's hockey and basketball ticket orders." BRENT HOLCK was "charged Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis with wire fraud in connection with the siphoning of money" from April '12 to January '17 (STARTRIBUNE.com, 11/7). According to the charging document, Holck would "cancel ticket sales to games after they'd taken place, then direct the refunded money into his accounts" (TWINCITIES.com, 11/7).
NAMES: KENNY CHESNEY played in 14 NFL and 19 overall stadiums for his five-month "Trip Around The Sun" tour earlier this year. Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT, who was on hand when Chesney played at Gillette Stadium, said, "When you see Kenny live in concert, his personal energy and charisma is like no one else." He added, "It truly is one of my favorite scenes, seeing 60,000 happy, glowing faces" (AP, 11/8)....The new book on Hockey HOFer BOBBY ORR titled, "BOBBY: MY STORY IN PICTURES," is an "intriguing, classic coffee table book, chock-full of pictures much of the hockey-loving world will treasure, most of them never before published." Until recently, even Orr "hadn't seen some of the shots" (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 11/7)....At the PBR Heroes & Legends Celebration on Tuesday at South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, CBS Sports/IMG Media Exec VP BARRY FRANK, who brought the sport to CBS, received the Jim Shoulders Lifetime Achievement Award (IMG)....Seahawks RB CHRIS CARSON was at Magnuson Park in Seattle on Friday night to "support ROOTS -- 'Rising Out of the Shadows' -- an emergency shelter for homeless youth ages 18 to 25" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 11/7)....Broncos LB VON MILLER's foundation hosted more than 250 guests at the first ever Western Round-Up event on Monday. More than $400,000 was raised to support the Von's Vision programs, which includes the $50,000 in donation by Miller himself (Von's Vision).
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SBJ-Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum
December 5-6, 2018
Crowne Plaza Manhattan Times Square
A Time for Change and for Action: Featured Interview With USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland
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