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Volume 26 No. 209
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Names In The News

Former Oakland Coliseum Authority Exec Dir SCOTT MCKIBBEN was "arraigned on charges of violating state conflict-of-interest laws while negotiating the naming rights of the stadium." McKibben appeared in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday but "did not enter a plea." He is due back in court on Feb. 11 for a plea, but his attorney said that he "hopes to reach a deal with the district attorney's office by then." McKibben is "out of custody on his own recognizance." McKibben last month was "charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of violating conflict-of-interest laws by seeking a $50,000 payment for helping negotiate a settlement for the Coliseum naming rights with RingCentral" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/13).

MAKING A COMEBACK: Longtime NFL agent LEIGH STEINBERG, a "top agent in the 1980s and '90s before bottoming out with well-known battles with alcoholism and bankruptcy," has been "back in the game for the past few years, and is landing major clients again." Steinberg and his partner at Steinberg Sports & Entertainment, President & CEO CHRIS CABOTT, "landed two of the top prospects" in the '20 Draft: Alabama QB TUA TAGOVAILOA and WR JERRY JEUDY. Steinberg also represents Chiefs QB PATRICK MAHOMES (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/12).

RAFAEL'S MASTERPIECE: Last night's episode of “60 Minutes” profiled RAFAEL NADAL, with CBS’ JON WERTHEIM noting the World No. 1-ranked tennis player still lives on the resort island of Mallorca, site of the Rafa Nadal Academy. Wertheim asked if Nadal “ever considered moving his operation." Nadal: “Honestly not. A lot of people do because of taxes … (but) for me it was difficult to make that decision, because I have all of the people that I love here. I will win much more money if I move to another place, but moving to another place if I am not happy could be very, very expensive” (“60 Minutes,” CBS, 1/12).

TWO FOR THE SHOE: Actor MARTIN LAWRENCE went onFriday's “The Tonight Show,” where NBC's JIMMY FALLON noted LEBRON JAMES was a fan of Lawrence, so James "teamed up with Nike" for Lawrence’s birthday and “made ‘Martin’ sneakers.” Fallon pointed out all of Lawrence’s “catchphrases on the back” of the shoes. Lawrence: “I was blown away.” Fallon: “To get your own pair of Nikes from the greatest basketball player living right now is pretty cool” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 1/10).

NAMES: New Mississippi State football coach MIKE LEACH "signed a four-year contract" worth $5M per year in "total base compensation." Leach "becomes the highest-paid coach in Mississippi State history" (Jackson CLARION-LEDGER, 1/11)....Former UNC women's basketball coach SYLVIA HATCHELL has been "charged in connection with an accident that killed an elderly pedestrian" in Durham, N.C. Hatchell was "cited for misdemeanor death by vehicle and unsafe movement violation" (AP, 1/10)....Eagles QB CARSON WENTZ put his custom '18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Coupe "on sale, going for just under $150,000 at Barbera Autoland" in Philadelphia. Part of the purchase will go toward Wentz's A01 Foundation (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/11)....Lakers C ANTHONY DAVIS was in attendance at Packers-Seahawks, recording a "short video" from the Lambeau Field sideline, which was then "posted on the Packers' official Twitter account" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/13).

IN MEMORY: Former President of the National Academy of Arbitrators GEORGE NICOLAU, who "ruled against baseball owners in two major collusion cases and cut short drug-related suspensions" of several MLB players, has died at the age of 94. Nicolau "took over" as the independent Chair of MLB's arbitration panel in '86, having also served as an independent arbitrator for the NBA and NBPA from '79-81, and later for the NHL and NHLPA from '93-96. Nicolau served as MLB's arbitration chair until '95, when he was replaced by NICHOLAS ZUMAS (L.A. TIMES, 1/10).