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Volume 26 No. 85

People and Pop Culture

UCF on Saturday defeated Cincinnati to remain undefeated, continuing the school’s Cinderella story and creating a water-cooler debate for the ages: Do the Knights deserve a spot in the CFP? If you ask ESPN’s PAUL FINEBAUM, he would give you a resounding no. However, UCF AD DANNY WHITE would say there is not a school more deserving. White, an '18 SBJ "Forty Under 40" honoree, recently caught up with THE DAILY to walk us through what a typical day for the AD of the defending “National Champions” looks like.

6:30am: I will wake up and the first thing I do is look at my calendar and figure out when I can get my workout in. I’ll either work out in the morning or at lunch. I prefer to work out at lunch.

8:00am: Rather than donor lunches I try to do donor breakfasts. A lot of days I do breakfast in Winter Park with donors and then I head over to campus. I usually get an omelet with some meat and vegetables in it.

9:30am: I’ll stop by one of our teams' practices. Most of our teams, outdoor sports especially, practice in the morning. With the weather here, we get a lot of rain in the afternoons. In the fall I’ll stop through football practice just to show those student-athletes some support.

10:00am: My general rule of thumb is that I hate meetings. I don’t like wasting a lot of my time in meetings. But we have to have some of them, and so at this time in the morning I’ll have my executive staff meeting. The meetings usually don’t go a full two hours, so I might be able to make a phone call or two before I go get my workout in.

12:00pm: Typically, I am working out at lunch. We have a staff workout room and I encourage folks to live a healthy lifestyle. It makes people better at their jobs. It clears their minds and gives them more energy. The byproduct of working out at lunch is that people have figured out they can get to me during that time. So, there are sidebar conversations that happen with various people that have projects they are working on.

1:30-2:30pm: It really depends on what is going on. When the basketball teams are practicing, I will try to get over there. Typically, I am back in the office and will get pulled into athletic department meetings with our president and other VPs. Those usually happen in the early part of the afternoon.

2:30-4:30pm: I find myself later in the afternoon across campus at university meetings.

In the evenings, White can usually be found at a UCF athletic event or donor dinner
Photo: UCF
In the evenings, White can usually be found at a UCF athletic event or donor dinner
Photo: UCF
In the evenings, White can usually be found at a UCF athletic event or donor dinner
Photo: UCF

4:30-6:00pm: This is my time to catch up on phone calls and emails, stuff like that. A lot of times I have a list of calls to make while I’m on my way to donor dinners, so I will make them when I’m on the drive.

6:30pm: We have a lot of games that I like to be present for. If I don’t have a game or a radio show, then I often have a donor dinner. One of the great things about being in a big city and having so many of our alums, and even non-alums that are donors that support the program, is that they are all here. It’s easy to access them but it also ends up being a lot of evening and night time obligations. But I like doing that stuff. That’s part of the job. Our donors love steakhouses, so I have been to just about every steakhouse in Orlando. I like a place called Christner’s; it’s kind of a historic steakhouse. We go to the Ruth’s Chris in Winter Park quite a bit as well. So, evenings are either a UCF game or a donor dinner. On a rare occasion I love to see my own kids play sports and go to one of their games.

9:00pm: I love to go sit outside on the back porch with the TV on. I like watching games and hanging out with my kids for a short time. They usually go to bed by the time I get home, but my oldest is 14, so he can stay up a bit later. I like to watch games the most, but if there isn’t a good one on then I’ll watch a little bit of Animal Planet. My kids like watching that with me. I think it’s relaxing. My kids also really love “THE OFFICE,” so we will watch that on Netflix. It’s hysterical.

11:00pm: I’ll usually go to bed around this time. With the job, it sometimes can be hard to get your brain to stop running. That is where that downtime on the back porch really helps. It gets me to slow down and allows me to get my brain to turn off.

Know of someone who should be featured in "A Day in the Life"? Send a note to jcarpenter@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

The NBA named former NBAer ROD STRICKLAND Program Manager for the G League professional path program. Strickland will "work to evaluate, educate and mentor elite prospects on the apparatuses of the new initiative that offers select, elite high school prospects the option to bypass NCAA basketball to accept a $125,000 salary in a five-month G League season." Strickland will partner with former WNBAer ALLISON FEASTER, who is set to "oversee an NBA-centric group that'll identify the high-level players eligible for the pro path initiative" (ESPN.com, 11/20).

EXECS: The NHL promoted ROB WOOLEY to Senior Dir of Legislative Affairs, Public Policy & Partnership Development (POLITICO.com, 11/20)....Syracuse promoted Associate AD/Tickets & Development JEREMIAH MAHER to Associate AD/Premium Seating & Major Gifts. The school also named Associate Dir of Ticket Operations MARK POTTER interim Dir of Ticket Operations (Syracuse).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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Ready to make your next great hire? Or take the next step in your career? Connect with the industry’s top employers and job seekers on the Sports Business Career Link. For more information, contact Megi Beqiraj at 212-500-0705, or mbeqiraj@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

MICHAEL JORDAN on Tuesday was at the Community Boys & Girls Club of Wilmington, N.C., to "provide Thanksgiving meals for victims of Hurricane Florence." He gave "around 85 kids a meal and a pair of his infamous Jordan shoes." The club itself "received $100,000 to help rebuild after damages" from the storm (STARNEWSONLINE.com, 11/20). Jordan said that he will "continue to monitor hurricane recovery efforts and would consider partnering with others to continue to improve living conditions" (AP, 11/20).

TURKEY TIME: Panthers QB CAM NEWTON on Monday held his annual Thanksgiving Jam -- in partnership with grocer Harris Teeter -- at TopGolf in Charlotte. The event "welcomed -- and fed -- 1,200 underprivileged kids and some of their family members" and sent them home with a meal for Thursday. The event's attendance increased by 50% over '17 (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 11/19)....Saints RB ALVIN KAMARA on Monday hosted his "first annual Turkey Giveaway and Thanksgiving Fest" at a local New Orleans playground (NOLA.com, 11/19)....Golfer TONY FINAU on Tuesday in his hometown of Rose Park, Utah, teamed up with Traeger Grills to provide a "free smoked turkey dinner with all the trimmings for up to 1,000 people (DESERETNEWS.com, 11/20).

TEAM EFFORTS: The Mets on Friday hosted their annual "Metsgiving" event, distributing "more than 800 turkeys" across the N.Y. area, plus "complete meals to 25 families living near Citi Field" (NEWSDAY.com, 11/16)....Mavericks players, coaches, basketball operations staff and business-side employess gathered together on Friday for the franchise's annual Thanksgiving lunch. Mavs coach RICK CARLISLE called it a "bonding day" and a "day of appreciation" for the organization (DALLASNEWS.com, 11/17)....The Hornets and Food Lion Feeds on Friday "provided Thanksgiving meals to 1,000 families in need" at the team's annual giveaway (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 11/16)....The Celtics last Thursday hosted the West End House Boys & Girls Club at their annual Turkey Bowl bowling match as part of the team's Season of Giving efforts (BOSTONHERALD.com, 11/16).

NAMES: Former Michigan State President LOU ANNA SIMON has been "charged with lying to police, making her the third person charged by the Attorney General's office of its investigation of the university related to LARRY NASSAR." Simon faces "up to four years in prison if convicted" (LANSINGSTATEJOURNAL.com, 11/20)....VENUS WILLIAMS has "settled a wrongful death lawsuit" related to a fatal car crash in Palm Beach County, Fla., in June '17 (AP, 11/20)....After the Colts' 38-10 victory over the Titans on Sunday, Colts GM CHRIS BALLARD on Monday “paid a visit” to Titans defensive coordinator DEAN PEES in an Indianapolis hospital. The Titans announced Pees “left Sunday’s game after receiving medical attention in the coach’s box” (INDYSTAR.com, 11/20)....Trail Blazers G EVAN TURNER has invested in custom footwear company ISlide in its latest seed round (THE DAILY).

Sports Business 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 jobs@sportsbusinessdaily.com

Meanwhile, Sports Business Journal seeks a Data Analyst for our Charlotte office. The mid-level position will be responsible for managing our sports business intelligence database, ensuring data quality, checking output of automatic data collection, spotting systemic errors and aiding content marketing with data pulls and extra analysis. Candidate must be a team player with good collaboration and communication skills. Candidates should have 3-5 years experience of content management experience. To apply for this job, send a resume and cover letter to dmoss@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

The shift in expectations of fans attending sporting events is manifesting in the design of sports venues. Party decks. Standing-room only areas. Field-level suites and clubs. Smaller arenas and stadiums. We talk with architects, engineers, construction firms and owners’ representatives about how they are reimagining the live-event experience and what to expect in the years ahead.

Publishing Date: December 10

Ad Close: November 26

Materials Due: November 28

For more information, contact Julie Tuttle, National Director of Advertising at (212) 500-0711 or jtuttle@sportsbusinessjournal.com