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  • Nelly heads to Bobcats news services
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Rapper Nelly is a part-owner of the NBA's expansion Charlotte Bobcats.

    "This is a great opportunity for both the Bobcats and Nelly," Robert L. Johnson, the team's majority owner and the founder of Black Entertainment Television, said Monday in a news release. "Nelly is a great entertainer and a smart businessman and those two traits will serve us well as we prepare to tipoff our inaugural season this fall."

    Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Haynes Jr., joins an ownership group that includes former NBA player and executive M.L. Carr; Felix Sabates, owner of NASCAR racing teams, and Hugh McColl Jr., former CEO of Bank of America.

    "Of the many dreams that I have fulfilled in life, being an NBA owner is certainly one of the biggest achievements," Nelly said in a release issued by the Bobcats. "To be able to make this move with Bob Johnson and to be a part of the first-ever minority owned professional sports franchise in history is a great opportunity.

    "Bob and I share the same commitment to diversity and we are both self-made, having worked up from the very bottom to reach where we are today."

    Nelly, a three-time Grammy winner, said he also looked forward to learning the business of professional sports and becoming active in the Charlotte community.

    Recently, he has been a target of women's groups outraged by what they consider misogynistic images in his videos.

    This spring, Nelly canceled an appearance at Spelman College, a black women's college in Atlanta, for a charity event after hearing of plans for a protest of his videos.

    In 2002, Nelly released the single "Air Force Ones," the namesake of the Nike shoes that became popular during the 1980s. In 2003, Nike and Nelly released a signature shoe called the "Air Derrty," a limited supply of 1,000 pairs that reportedly sold out within hours.

    Information from The Associated Press and sports business writer Darren Rovell was used in this report.

Related Topics


  • MauiRam
    Sports columnist Bryan Burwell dies at 59
    by MauiRam
    By Staff Reports

    Bryan Burwell, a longtime sports columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, died early Thursday (Dec. 4, 2014) after a short battle with cancer. He was 59.

    Burwell joined the Post-Dispatch in 2002 after working as a sports correspondent for HBO's "Inside the NFL."

    During his long sports career, Burwell also wrote columns for USA today, The Detroit News and worked at the New York Daily News and New York Newsday.

    Reactions from around the country to Bryan Burwell's death

    lHis columns and feature stories were honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, and won awards from the Associated Press, United Press International, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Professional Football Writers Association.

    The APSE named Burwell one of the top 10 sports columnists in the country in 2007. In 2013, his ground-breaking "Upon Further Review" video columns were recognized by Editor and Publisher in its Eppy Awards.

    When Burwell joined the Post-Dispatch in 2002, Sports Editor Larry Starks wrote, "Burwell has an excellent track record of writing strong, opinionated, insightful columns. We know sports in St. Louis are so important to so many of you that we're thrilled that we can provide two strong voices in Burwell and Bernie Miklasz."

    In his first column at the Post-Dispatch, Burwell wrote about his return to sportswriting after six years away.

    "I left the sports writing business and became a full-time, pampered, TV talking head. But even as the voice got deeper, the suits got fancier, the expense account just a little heftier, and the hotels and plane tickets went five-star and first-class, deep down inside, I was still just another ink-stained wretch looking for a free meal and another game to cover," he wrote.

    He detailed big events he covered, including Michael Jordan's comeback and sprinter Ben Johnson's expulsion from the Seoul Olympics after a positive drug test.

    He wrote in that inaugural column he wanted his first one to be "just" a column. "But the folks who sign my checks suggested I introduce myself to you, because, I was told repeatedly, St. Louis sports fans were different."

    Burwell said he hoped to make readers laugh, cry or think.

    Sports Editor Roger Hensley said, "Bryan Burwell was one of the most well-respected sports columnists, not only in St. Louis, but in the nation. His work in sports video was truly innovative.

    "But as great as Bryan was as a journalist, he was even better as teammate, as a co-worker and as a friend."

    Tributes to Burwell lit up Twitter as the news spread. St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long said "He was a really good dude. He was always...
    -12-04-2014, 09:20 AM
  • psycho9985
    Tragic and UnAmerican B.S.
    by psycho9985
    IOC president Jacques Rogge (search) said baseball and softball, two sports invented in America, would be eligible to win their way back into the Olympics for 2016.

    Baseball and softball, which will remain on the program for the 2008 Beijing Games, are the first sports eliminated from the Olympics since polo in 1936.

    "I think they've made a big, big mistake," said Tom Lasorda, the former Dodgers manager who guided the U.S. team to the gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Games. "Baseball is played by all countries now, and softball, too. I think that's really going to hurt the Olympics."

    Bob DuPuy, the major leagues' chief operating officer, said the IOC's decision will "adversely affect millions of sports fans worldwide."

    With two slots open on the program, the IOC voted from a waiting list of five sports: golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports. Squash and karate were nominated but rejected overwhelmingly, failing to get two-thirds approval.

    Dropping baseball and softball will remove 16 teams and more than 300 athletes from the Olympics.

    Baseball, which became a medal sport in 1992, has been vulnerable because of steroids in the major leagues and the absence of major leaguers from the Olympics. Softball, a women's only medal sport since 1996 won all three times by the United States, has been in danger because of its association with baseball and a perceived lack of global appeal and participation.

    "The lack of the MLB players I think people have looked and said, `Well, all right, if there's to be a change, that seems to be the logic of it,"' British IOC member Craig Reedie said.

    Among the players who competed in the Olympics before starring in the majors are Jason Giambi, Jason Varitek, Nomar Garciaparra and Ben Sheets.

    Major League Baseball has toughened its drug-testing programs, but they still fall far short of Olympic standards.

    "Problems with doping in U.S. baseball probably cost the sport dearly," Australian IOC member John Coates said.

    Several IOC members also cited high stadium costs associated with both sports, saying baseball and softball venues have little use in some host cities after the games.

    "I feel like somebody who has been thrown out it's certainly not a good feeling," said Aldo Notari, the Italian president of the International Baseball Federation. "I don't think the IOC members know our sport deeply enough."

    Don Porter, the American president of the international softball federation, said his sport's ties to baseball created problems.

    "We tried to keep our distance," he said. "But I think there's still too many people think we're part of baseball. We're absolutely not."

    Cuba has won three of the four gold medals since baseball was first played...
    -07-08-2005, 10:22 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Tax Bill Could Raise Sports Teams' Value
    by DJRamFan
    Mon Aug 2, 3:48 PM ET Add Politics - U. S. Congress to My Yahoo!

    By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - Many professional sports teams could increase in value by millions of dollars under a provision Congress included in legislation revamping corporate tax laws, tax and sports finance analysts said Monday.

    The exact impact of the language would vary for each franchise. Minor league teams in faltering financial health could lose money because their tax deductions might be worth less under the new rules than under current law, the analysts said.

    Profitable franchises could find their values enhanced by many millions of dollars because under the proposed legislation, they would be able to write off far more in taxes than they can today when they sell their teams.

    "At the end of the day, there is no doubt it raises franchise values," said Robert Willens, a managing director of the investment bank Lehman Brothers.

    Willens said the provision could add 5 percent to the value of many sports teams. Aaron Barman, who heads the sports finance group of Raymond James & Associates, said profitable National Football League teams could see their value rise by 5 to 6 percent.

    "It's going to vary widely depending on the particular sport," Barman said. "But generally speaking, the proposed legislation should be a positive" to many teams' values.

    The language has been inserted into other bills in recent years but never enacted. Major league baseball has been among the strongest advocates lobbying for the change, congressional aides said.

    In 2002, Forbes magazine estimated that American major sports franchises totaled $41 billion in value. A 5 percent increase would mean a $2 billion boost in their cumulative value.

    In April, the magazine estimated that the New York Yankees are worth $832 million. The lowest-valued team, the Montreal Expos, is worth $145 million, the magazine estimated.

    The language would let owners deduct the entire value of their sports franchises including broadcasting contracts, players' contracts and concessions from their income taxes over a 15-year period.

    Under current law, only players' contracts can be written off, but only up to half a franchise's value and only for the duration of those contracts, generally just a few years.

    The provision is in both House and Senate versions of a bill aimed at ending corporate tax breaks that international trade courts have ruled is an illegal export subsidy for U.S. companies.

    The sweeping bills have become laden with tax provisions for many specific industries. The two chambers hope to approve a compromise version of the...
    -08-03-2004, 11:19 AM
  • Varg6
    Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid
    by Varg6

    By Bernie...

    Now that Shahid Khan has signed off on a deal to purchase majority ownership of the Rams, it will be fascinating to watch how the NFL receives him.

    If approved by NFL owners, Khan would become the first minority owner in control of a franchise in league history.

    Khan, born in Pakistan, came to the U.S. in 1967 at age 16. He became a U.S. citizen, was educated at the University of Illinois, built a hugely successful auto-parts manufacturing company, raised a family and has lived in central Illinois for 40 years.

    But we're reminded that the NFL is a private club, with only 32 lead owners/members. That point was underlined in a story that appeared in Saturday's Post-Dispatch.

    This passage caught my attention: "As one observer familiar with the process emphasized, it's more than just a matter of money. Using the analogy of an exclusive tennis club, the observer said, 'Do you like him enough to invite him to join your club? And if so, can he afford to pay the dues?'''

    I think it's ridiculous that we're even having this discussion. But Khan's application certainly will be a matter of keen interest for those who want to see if the NFL is truly inclusive at the highest level.

    I believe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a man of integrity. I would be absolutely shocked if Khan is treated less than fairly by the NFL or the owners. And if Khan's finances check out, he should be fine. (More on that later.) I would think the NFL would be proud to open the doors to its inner sanctum to Khan an ambitious, self-made man who represents the American dream.

    After all, Goodell spoke out against popular radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh when Limbaugh briefly partnered with Dave Checketts in a bid to buy the Rams.

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay also denounced Limbaugh; Irsay happens to be a member of the NFL Finance Committee, which will review Khan.

    After taking Limbaugh to task for making "divisive" comments, Goodell was challenged by a member of Congress during an appearance on Capitol Hill.

    Goodell responded, in part, with this: "The NFL is about bringing people together, it's about unity and that we do not we do not move toward divisive actions. And, in fact, our teams, I think, have demonstrated that both on and off the field. Nothing brings a team and a community together better than the NFL."

    The NFL received a "B" its best grade ever in the 2009 Race and Gender Report Card issued by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). The NFL had five minority general managers and six minority head coaches in 2009. But in its report, TIDES also pointed out that "no person of color has ever held majority ownership of an NFL team." And according to TIDES, no minority...
    -02-14-2010, 02:18 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Firebirds To Stop Operations, Continue Search For New Owner
    by DJRamFan
    League Could Control Team By Sept. 20

    POSTED: 8:56 pm EST September 8, 2004

    INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Firebirds, whose owner has been trying to sell the team, said Wednesday it will cease operations at the end of this week but continue to seek a new owner until Sept. 20, RTV6's Wil Hampton reported.

    If a new owner isn't found by Sept. 20, the Arena Football League -- to which the Firebirds belong -- will control the club. The AFL could then operate it in Indiana, move it, or shut it down, Hampton reported.

    Ticket orders for the 2005 season will be refunded, the team said.

    The Firebirds moved to Indianapolis from Albany, N.Y., before the 2001 season. In 2002, David Lageschulte bought the team from Glenn Mazula, who owned the franchise since its inception in 1990.

    In July, Lageschulte said he either wanted to sell the team or move it closer to his Florida home.

    Lageschulte, who lives in Fort Myers, Fla., and was a founder of the Hooters restaurant chain, also owned the AFL's former Miami team in the mid-1990s.

    The Firebirds averaged 10,874 fans at home games in Conseco Fieldhouse this year, ranking 11th out of 19 teams. They went 8-8 and missed the eight-team playoffs.
    Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    -09-09-2004, 11:25 AM