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Volume 25 No. 177
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Names In The News

Penny stepped down as USA Gymnastics President & CEO in March '17
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Indianapolis police are "investigating the conduct of a detective who worked behind the scenes to defend USA Gymnastics while it was in the midst" of the LARRY NASSAR sexual abuse scandal. BRUCE SMITH was "supervisor of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Child Abuse Unit at the time," and was also a "friend" of then-USA Gymnastics President & CEO STEVE PENNY. Communications reveal Smith "collaborated with Penny to deflect criticism" of USAG in '16 and '17 (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/11).

HIGHEST HONOR: BABE RUTH and Pro Football HOFers ROGER STAUBACH and ALAN PAGE "will be among seven Americans to receive" the Presidential Medal of Freedom this Friday. They join a "group that includes JACKIE ROBINSON, MUHAMMAD ALI, MICHAEL JORDAN, KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, ARTHUR ASHE and TED WILLIAMS" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/10).

TOUGH WEEK IN CALIFORNIA: Rams OT ANDREW WHITWORTH pledged his game check from yesterday's win over the Seahawks to "help victims of the shooting" last week in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 11/11). Meanwhile, FS1 soccer analyst ERIC WYNALDA "lost his home" in one of the wildfires that have "ripped through Southern California" (DESERTSUN.com, 11/10).

NAMES: Australian businessman GREGORY CONSTANTINE is now the "youngest owner" of an NBA G League franchise after buying a stake in the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons' affiliate. Constantine, 27, "started his career as a marketing and tour manager in Australia" working with artists like SNOOP DOGG. He then "met Grand Rapids Drive President STEVE JBARA as "peers at Harvard Business School" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 11/11)....Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT last Wednesday was "honored by the World Jewish Congress" in N.Y. The Colts' JIM IRSAY was the "lone NFL owner to have a congratulatory note" in the evening's dinner program (ESPN.com, 11/10)....ALEX RODRIGUEZ and TONY ROMO were among the 500 guests celebrating LEO DICAPRIO's birthday at L.A.'s Spring Place on Friday night (NYPOST.com, 11/11)....JUSTIN VERLANDER and KATE UPTON last week welcomed their first child, GENEVIEVE UPTON VERLANDER (NYPOST.com, 11/9).