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Volume 25 No. 131

People and Pop Culture

Whaley's duties will include player evaluation and the hiring of top personnel for the XFL's eight teams

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.

"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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Going Off The Grid chart

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 (, 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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McNamara covered the Univ. of Maryland athletics beat for more than three decades
Photo: annapolis CAPITAL

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" (, 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 (, 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" (, 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" (, 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" (, 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). 

SportsBusiness Daily seeks a full-time Staff Writer for our Charlotte office. The entry-level position will be responsible for compiling, writing and copy editing daily sports business news in a fast-paced, deadline environment. Candidate must have knowledge of -- and interest in -- sports, the business of sports, current events and pop culture. Ideal candidate is a collaborative team player, as well as energetic, creative, and a self-starter. To apply for this position, send resume and writing samples to

The 14th annual Sports Business Journal/Daily Reader Survey is now live. We want to hear your thoughts on the most pressing topics in the industry, such as:

* The most effective commissioner
* Which league will lose games because of its next CBA?
* Favorite play-by-play announcer
* What is the hottest game in esports?
* Will LeBron James lead the Lakers to a championship?

Vote now and check back to view the results the week of Nov. 26.