JAMES WARBURTON quit as Supercars CEO after "rejecting a new deal to continue in the role beyond this year." Warburton told the Supercars board last week "he would quit at the end of the year in a move that has made him Australia's most wanted sporting boss." Warburton is "already believed to have signed on for a new role, which will be announced on Tuesday" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/15). ... Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock announced STEVE CLARKE as its new manager. The 54-year old joined Rugby Park on a two-and-a-half year contract and replaces LEE MCCULLOCH. Clarke, who previously was with Aston Villa, formerly managed Reading and West Bromwich Albion, and had been an assistant at Chelsea, Newcastle United, Liverpool and West Ham (HERALD SCOTLAND, 10/14). ... Cricket Australia named KIM MCCONNIE head of the Big Bash League after ANTHONY EVERARD was promoted to exec GM, leagues & events. McConnie previously spent 14 years with Pepsi, where she was most recently head of sports marketing (CA).
People and Pop Culture
McLaren Formula 1 team driver FERNANDO ALONSO is continuing to "weigh his driving options" for '18. Following the McLaren-Honda split, it was "expected that Alonso will stay at the newly Renault-powered British Formula 1 team next year." Spain's Mundo Deportivo quoted Alonso as saying, "There is still no decision. So we'll see. I continue to have all the options open" (AUTOWEEK, 10/13). ... Former world No. 1 MARIA SHARAPOVA won her first title since May '15, beating ARYNA SABALENKA 7-5 7-6 (0-8) in the Tianjin Open final. The 30-year-old Russian was playing her seventh event "since she returned to the tour in April from a 15-month drug ban" (BBC, 10/15). ... New Zealander BRENDON HARTLEY will "make his Formula 1 debut for Toro Rosso" at next weekend's U.S. Grand Prix. The 27-year-old replaces PIERRE GASLY, who will take part in the final race of Japan's Super Formula series (BBC, 10/13). ... Indonesian football has been "rocked by the passing of one of its most iconic players," CHOIRUL HUDA, after an on-field collusion with a teammate. The 38-year-old, who had played his entire career at Indonesia Super League side Persela, collided with defender RAMON RODRIGUES toward the end of the first half against Semen Padang. Huda was "still conscious immediately after the incident, holding his cheeks and looking dazed on the floor, but the situation soon became critical" (London DAILY MAIL, 10/15).
NADAL FIRES BACK: RAFAEL NADAL is seeking €100,000 ($118,213) in damages from former French Sports Minister ROSELYNE BACHELOT after she accused the Spaniard of a "dope test cover-up." Nadal is suing Bachelot, who served as sports minister from '07-10, over remarks in March '16 on French TV. She alleged that Nadal faked an injury in '12, "when he missed the final six months of the season due to knee problems, in order to hide a positive drug test" (AFP, 10/13).
The most-read stories from the Weekend Rap:
1) NFL Player Protests: Seven 49ers Kneel, Down From 20-Plus
2) Nebraska Names Washington State's Bill Moos New AD
3) Nike Buys Giant Billboard In N.Y. Depicting Knicks' Ntilikina
4) USOC May Bid For '26 Winter Games, But Would Prefer '30
5) Univ. Of Maryland Denies Reports It Has Fired AD Kevin Anderson