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  • Nelly heads to Bobcats

    ESPN.com 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 ESPN.com sports business writer Darren Rovell was used in this report.

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  • 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, 10:19 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Owner puts Firebirds up for sale
    by DJRamFan
    Arena football team may move if local buyer can't be found


    By Jeff Rabjohns
    [email protected]
    July 30, 2004


    The Indiana Firebirds are for sale and may move to Florida if a local buyer cannot be found in the next 30 days, owner David Lageschulte said Thursday.

    Lageschulte is searching for local ownership for the Arena Football League franchise that moved to Indianapolis from Albany, N.Y., before the 2001 season.

    If that doesn't happen, Lageschulte, a resident of Fort Myers, Fla., said he would look to move the team, possibly as soon as next season.

    "I would like that to be an option," he said. "First, I'd love to try to sell it and keep it in Indiana. We have wonderful crowds and wonderful games in Indiana.

    "If I can't, I would try to move it. Florida would be a choice of mine, but that would have to come with league approval."

    Lageschulte declined to tell his asking price for the team or what he paid for it. The most recent team to join the Arena league, the Austin (Texas) Wranglers, paid a $16.2 million expansion fee before the 2004 season. The sale of the Georgia Force before the 2003 season was reported at $14 million.

    With an influx of NFL ownership and a television deal with NBC, Arena football has seen its franchise values soar.

    "It's probably a little early to tell what the market will bear," said David Morton of Sunrise Sports Group, who along with Milt Thompson of Grand Slam III has been contracted by Lageschulte to search for potential owners.

    "To compare a new franchise . . . is difficult because this is an existing, established brand."

    Morton said he and Thompson are in the early stages of making proposals to potential buyers.

    Lageschulte purchased the team in August 2002 from Glenn Mazula, who owned the team since its inception in 1990.

    Lageschulte was an investor in the franchise since 1997. From 1993-95, he also owned an Arena franchise known as the Miami Hooters.

    One of the originators of the Hooters restaurant chain, Lageschulte is co-CEO of a company that runs 30 restaurants and bars. He also is part owner of a company involved in fitness centers, heavy equipment and environmental remediation.

    Lageschulte purchased control of the Firebirds with the intent that he would eventually sell the team.

    "We have some pretty stiff deadlines at this point. I love Indianapolis and the Indianapolis market," Lageschulte said. "Unfortunately, I live in Florida and that's the reason I wanted to sell the team or have someone take it over.

    "We have to find something in the next 30 days that at least smells like a deal."

    Playing in Conseco Fieldhouse, the Firebirds averaged...
    -08-02-2004, 02:59 PM
  • 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, 09:22 PM
  • Nick
    Peter Jennings dies of lung cancer
    by Nick
    ABC News anchor Peter Jennings dies of cancer
    By Cal Mankowski

    Peter Jennings, prime-time anchorman for ABC News for more than two decades, has died of lung cancer at his home, the network said. He was 67.

    The Canadian-born Jennings, host of ABC's "World News Tonight" since 1983, died on Sunday, five months after he announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

    "Peter died with his family around him, without pain and in peace. He knew he'd lived a good life," his family said in a statement.

    Jennings was the last of a generation of long-serving lead anchors for major U.S. broadcasters.

    "He was a superb writer," ABC colleague Barbara Walters said in a special broadcast on ABC. She also recalled that "no one could ad-lib like Peter."

    Jennings had a 41-year career with ABC, having joined the network in 1964. He soon went head-to-head with the toughest competition in the business, anchoring the network's prime-time news from 1965 to 1967 at a time when Walter Cronkite on CBS and the team of David Brinkley and Chet Huntley on NBC were dominant.

    Jennings established the first American television news bureau in the Arab world in 1968 when he served as ABC News' bureau chief for Beirut, a position he held for seven years.

    In 1972, he had a major role in ABC's coverage of the Summer Olympics in Munich, when Israeli athletes were taken hostage.

    "For four decades, Peter has been our colleague, our friend, and our leader in so many ways. None of us will be the same without him," ABC News President David Westin wrote in announcing Jennings' death to colleagues.

    The Toronto-born newsman and high school dropout, who smoked when he was younger, stunned colleagues when he informed them of his illness in an e-mail on April 5. He soon began a program of chemotherapy.

    "There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky," he wrote.

    ABC noted in its special broadcast that Jennings regularly called into the program during his illness, offering suggestions, comments and criticisms.

    Ted Koppel, anchor of ABC's "Nightline" program, recalled the anchor's dashing good looks, and noted a resemblance to the actor Roger Moore in some of the James Bond movies.

    "He and I joked the last time I went up to visit just a few days ago that between the two of us we'd put in 83 years at ABC News." Koppel said. "He was a warm and loving and surprisingly sentimental man."

    Jennings was named anchor and senior editor of "World News Tonight" in 1983. He won numerous awards and honors in his more than 20 years in the position.

    "It's impossible to believe that he is not going to be with us,"...
    -08-07-2005, 11:33 PM
  • 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, 08:20 AM
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