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What Are You Watching In June 2018?
 
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QUICK HITS
• Topps, the exclusive trading card partner of MLB, has named retired slugger David Ortiz as a spokesperson and Topps Now "lead scout." In this role, "Ortiz will work with the Topps team in picking the best moments of the MLB season and support Topps' initiatives throughout the year, including National Baseball Card Day."

• On Location Experiences, the official hospitality partner for the NFL, said that premium ticket and hospitality packages for Super Bowl LIII are now available for purchase at NFLOnLocation.com. Super Bowl LIII will be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta on Feb. 3, 2019.  “Excitement for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta next year is already building, and we’re proud to be part of it,” said John Collins, CEO of On Location Experiences.

• Reebok has named Karen Reuther as global creative director. Reuther will head brand- and consumer-focused creative leadership across all design disciplines for Reebok, including working alongside product and marketing teams to deliver innovative, performance-led products for consumers across both fitness and lifestyle sides of the brand.  
KEEPING SCORE

Top-Selling MLB Jerseys (Jan.-May 2018)

1. Jose Altuve Houston Astros
2. Aaron Judge New York Yankees
3. Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees
5. George Springer Houston Astros
6. Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
7. Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs
8. Shohei Otani Los Angeles Angels
9. Carlos Corea Hoston Astros
10. Mookie Betts Boston Red Sox
11. Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
12. Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
14. Javier Baez Chicago Cubs

SOURCE: MLBShop.com

BUY SELL

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (June 15-17)

1. Incredibles 2 - Disney - $180 M ($231.5M worldwide)
2. Ocean's 8 - Warner Bros. - $19.6M
3. Tag - Warner Bros. - $14.6M
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story - Disney - $9.1M
5. Deadpool 2 - 20th Century Fox - $8.8M
6. Hereditary - A24 - $7M
7. Superfly - Sony - $6.3M
8. Avengers: Infinity War - Disney - $5.3M
9. Adrift - STX Entertainment - $2.1M
10. Book Club - Paramount - $1.9M
11. A Wrinkle In Time - Disney - $1.8M
12. Gotti - Vertical Entertainment - $1.7M

NOTE: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Universal $173.6M international (opens in U.S. June 22)

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

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No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
CFB Title Games '21-24

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Thursday
Mar012018

Amidst Major Changes, USOC CEO Blackmun Leaving Citing Health Issues

By Barry Janoff

February 28, 2018: Facing what the organization said is a “critical point in its history,” the U.S. Olympic Committee has made two significant decisions that will reshape its present and future.

Less than a week after the conclusion of the Winter Olympics and about a week until the Paralympic Games in South Korea (March 9-25), the USOC said that Scott Blackmun (pictured below), who has been CEO since 2010, is resigning due to “ongoing health issues resulting from prostate cancer.”

Susanne Lyons, a current board member, will serve as acting CEO, “overseeing the USOC’s day-to-day operations while the search for a permanent successor is underway.”

The USOC also unveiled major reforms and initiatives “designed to protect athletes from abuse and respond quickly and effectively when issues surface.”

The move is a direct result of the of case involving Larry Nassar, who in January was convicted of up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing more than 150 girls and young women over the past two decades when he was a doctor for USA Gymnastics and at Michigan State University.

Many of the women — including Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Jordy Wiever, Jeanette Antolin, Jessica Howard and Jamie Dantzscher — said the abuse had been on-going despite their complaints to officials.

The case led the entire USOC leadership and system to come under scrutiny and to the recent resignation of the entire 18-member board for USA Gymnastics, MSU president Lou Anna Simon and MSU AD Mark Holland.

“Like many of you, I was shocked and saddened to hear the powerful statements of the girls and women who confronted Larry Nassar in court,” Lyons said in a statement “It was devastating to know that he was able to perpetuate his abuse for so long — undetected by parents, coaches and the organizations involved, including ourselves at the USOC.

“All of us in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community have an obligation to find out how this happened and take whatever steps are necessary to help prevent such a tragedy from happening again.”

According to Lyons, “The USOC recognized that we needed a more concerted focus on addressing abuse, harassment and bullying in the U.S. Olympic Movement nearly eight years ago, following the sexual abuse that occurred in USA Swimming. With the guidance of experts, athletes and others, we created new standards, training and procedures that are now required for all our affiliated sport bodies."

The U.S. Center for SafeSport, which opened in March 2017, is an independent entity solely responsible for handling the reporting and investigations of alleged sexual abuse.

However, said Lyons, “Although establishing the Center is an important accomplishment, it is not enough."

According to Lyons, “To uncover and understand any past failings in the Nassar case, a special committee of the USOC board of directors has retained Ropes & Gray LLP, one of the nation’s leading law firms with expertise in such investigations, to conduct a fully independent investigation into Nassar’s abuse — who knew what about Nassar’s abuse of athletes and when, and what they did or did not do with this information.”

Lyons said the investigation would have access to USOC and USA Gymnastics personnel, documents and data, and the investigator’s report will be made public.

“While we are eager to review the findings of the independent investigation, the USOC is taking important actions now based on what we already know,” said Lyons. “We are evaluating the USOC’s role and oversight of all the National Governing Bodies, considering potential changes to the Olympic structure and aggressively exploring new ways to enhance athlete safety and help prevent and respond to abuse.”

The reforms and new actions the USOC is announcing today include:

• Providing new funding and resources for support and counseling for gymnasts impacted by Nassar’s crimes and launching a new resource for athletes from other Olympic and Paralympic sports recovering from similar abuse.

• Forming an advisory group to bring together survivors, advocates, child psychologists and other medical professionals to guide the USOC on stronger safeguards against abuse throughout the Olympic community, and effective support for victims. This may lead to additional changes to the USOC policies.

• Launching a review of the USOC and NGB governance structure as defined by the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act, including seeking input from safe sport advocacy groups, the NGB Council, the Athletes’ Advisory Council, current athletes and policymakers to consider clarifications and changes to this structure.

• Revisiting USOC SafeSport procedures to determine what measures are necessary to ensure allegations of abuse are reported to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, in addition to law enforcement, and that necessary follow-ups occur.

• Effectively doubling USOC’s funding of the Center for SafeSport to enable it to hire more investigators and staff, improve the speedy resolution of cases, enhance ongoing communication for victims and their families, provide age-appropriate training on recognizing and helping to prevent abuse, and offer better and more accessible resources online.

• Ensuring that athletes have a stronger voice within the USOC. In addition to the AAC already in place, the USOC will seek input on its decision making from currently competing athletes and athletes who have competed in the past.

• Working with USAG to address its governance issues, implement a culture change, and act on the results of the independent investigation once it is complete.

“All of us in the USOC community have an obligation to find out how this happened and to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.”

Regarding Blackmun, USOC Chairman Larry Probst said in a statement, “Given Scott’s current health situation, we have mutually agreed it is in the best interest of both Scott and the USOC that we identify new leadership so that we can immediately address the urgent initiatives ahead of us.

“The USOC is at a critical point in its history. The important work that Scott started needs to continue and will require especially vigorous attention in light of Larry Nassar’s decades-long abuse of athletes affiliated with USA Gymnastics.”

Proust said that the USOC would be working with key stakeholders to help identify a permanent successor to Scott.

“In the meantime, I am confident that Susanne is the right person to help us navigate this critical transition period,” said Probst.

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