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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Maryland Knows How to Build Up Its Bank Account

November 03, 2000|EARL GUSTKEY

USC, which was supposed to break ground on its 12,000-seat, on-campus sports arena last spring, has encountered longer-than-expected delays in negotiating a naming rights deal.

Perhaps the Trojans are trying to match or better the University of Maryland's recent deal with Comcast and its new campus arena, which is under construction.

Maryland set the standard for such university deals, $25 million. The Maryland negotiator for the Comcast contract was Athletic Director Deborah Yow, who induced Comcast to pay $1 million per year for 25 years.

She won SportsBusiness Journal's No. 1 ranking in its list of female sports executives of the year.

USC, meanwhile, plods along. A ground-breaking announcement will be "soon," officials say.

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It never stops: SportsBusiness Journal reports there's no end in sight for the stadium-arena building boom at U.S. universities.

One of the latest projects: At Grand Forks, N.D., the University of North Dakota is building an 11,400-seat arena with 48 luxury suites to house its Fighting Sioux NCAA powerhouse ice hockey team.

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More stadiums: The publication also reports stadium projects are underway at 23 American universities.

One of them: Penn State's Beaver Stadium, where capacity is going up from 96,500 seats to 104,967. Cost: $93 million.

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Trivia time: Who is the Pacific 10 career football rushing leader?

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Head coach--and CEO: Tom Osborne, the former Nebraska football coach running for Congress, is telling voters that running the Nebraska football program is no small enterprise.

In telling writer Bruce Schoenfeld that the Nebraska athletic program grosses about $37 million a year, he added: "I would guess the football program brings in about 90% of that."

Wrote Schoenfeld: "Osborne served as the equivalent of the chief operating officer of one of the larger businesses in the state."

Osborne, 63, has a big lead in the polls.

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Bad duds, man: Jim McCabe in the Boston Globe, on golfer John Daly wearing a sweater with a Masters logo.

"It's a sign his marketing appeal has dwindled to the point where he may be the only pro golfer wearing his own clothes."

Daly's response: "You can't get anything for nothing these days. That's what happens when you're playing [poorly]."

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Pope at the pitch: What a way to celebrate your 80th birthday. Pope John Paul II said Mass on Sunday at Olympic Stadium in Rome, then watched an all-star soccer game, his first at the famed stadium.

The pope knows soccer, having played goalkeeper as a boy in Poland.

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For what it's worth: Arizona Diamondback owner Jerry Colangelo, in SportsBusiness Journal, puts his team's losses last year at $30 million, the biggest hit in the major leagues.

Total operating losses since 1998: $60 million.

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Trivia answer: USC's Charles White, at 6,245 yards, or 1,435 yards more than runner-up Ricky Bell, also of USC.

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And finally: Comedian Paula Poundstone, on weightlifting: "I don't believe for a second weightlifting is a sport. They pick a thing up and put it back down. To me, that's indecision."

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