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Start your morning with Buzzcast: The USGA and golf's stars show well in Boston; timetable outlined for Bill Haslam to take over Predators; Nassar steps down at OneTeam Partners; and NBA Finals numbers are in.

U.S. Open a bright spot amid golf's tumultuous state

Matthew Fitzpatrick beat Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler by a shot to win the U.S. Open yesterday outside of Boston, and the event served as a "much-needed antidote" for the sport with the apparent fracturing of the game with LIV Golf's arrival. There was hope this tournament would "serve as a palette cleanser from the potential schism that threatens to tear the professional game in two," and the U.S. Open "did not let the spotlight go to waste." Four days "do not erase the past four months," but this week "gave us a show that doubled as a respite and asserted itself as a vehicle with the capacity to unite" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 6/19).

Meanwhile, as for the LIV-PGA Tour battle, it is "expected to ramp up again" this week. Sources said that the "next shot on behalf of LIV Golf ... is anticipated as soon as today, and the PGA and DP World tours are preparing to respond to it." Another source said that DP World Tour officials are in "serious talks" with LIV Golf. Other sources indicated that one response from the PGA Tour may include a "revamped schedule," announced "within the next week or two" (GLOBAL GOLF POST, 6/20). This comes as Abraham Ancer, ranked No. 20 in the world, is reported to be the "latest player headed to LIV Golf" (GOLFWEEK.com, 6/19).

On Tuesday ahead of the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship, more than 100 players "will attend a meeting at which the PGA Tour will share more details on its plans to ring-fence assets" from LIV. There will be "talk of upgrading products, growing opportunities, and the like." At 2:00pm ET on Tuesday, the Tour’s board "will be gaveled in to debate and potentially ratify changes that commissioner Jay Monahan hopes will begin guiding his organization out of a perilous situation." Monahan’s team is "still working on and closely guarding the specifics to be presented Tuesday" (GOLFWEEK.com, 6/19).

Bruce Buck out as Chelsea Chair after takeover

Bruce Buck (l) sits with Todd Boehly at a Chelsea match in May, before takeover was finalizedGetty Images

Bruce Buck is "standing down" as EPL club Chelsea's Chair as part of a "major reshuffle at Stamford Bridge with Todd Boehly expected to replace him." During the takeover process the bidding groups "were given the impression" that Buck "wanted to remain in the position" he has held since '03. Boehly "intends to be fairly hands-on," and having businessman Jonathan Goldstein in the group "gives the new owners a London presence that negates the need for Buck to stay on." Buck will continue to work for the club "as an adviser." He "had also become an increasingly polarising figure, having been a member of the group involved in the aborted discussions to launch a highly-controversial European Super League." Buck also was the "driving force" behind a US$6M "farewell bonus" for former EPL CEO Richard Scudamore (LONDON TIMES, 6/20).

Meanwhile, some Wall Street insiders are "still struggling to understand why" Boehly's group bought the club. Sources said that Boehly and his main co-investing partner Clearlake Capital are looking to Fenway Sports Group-owned Liverpool as an "example they’d like to follow." But insiders said that it "isn’t clear" how Boehly's group "can achieve the outsize returns to which Clearlake and its investors have grown accustomed" (N.Y. POST, 6/19).

John Textor nears deal for French club Lyon

U.S. digital entrepreneur John Textor is "close to reaching an agreement to buy a significant stake in the publicly traded owner of French Ligue 1 team Lyon." Sources said that Textor would pay 3 euros (US$3.15) a share for a "key stake in the Olympique Lyonnais owner after shareholders Pathe SAS and IDG Capital decided to sell." Investment bank Raine Group is "advising Pathe and IDG on the sale of their stakes." Textor has been in a "bidding war with Foster Gillett, the American businessman, and a third bidder." Gillett had won "early support from Olympique." Textor already owns a 40% stake in EPL team Crystal Palace (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/20).

New FINA policy limits transgender participation

Swimming's international governing body, FINA, voted for a "new policy that will restrict most transgender athletes from competing in elite women's aquatics." FINA approved the "gender inclusion" policy on Sunday in Budapest, where 71.5% of its member federations "voted in support." The policy, effective as of today, states that "male-to-female transgender athletes will only be eligible to compete in the women's categories in FINA competitions if they transition before the age of 12 or before they reach stage two on the puberty Tanner Scale." The policy also provides guidelines for female-to-male hormone treatment. FINA will establish a working group to "develop open category events for athletes that do not meet the governing body's eligibility criteria for men's or women's categories" (CNN.com, 6/20).

HEADLINE COVERAGE: N.Y. TIMES front page: "FINA Restricts Transgender Women From Competing at Elite Level" ... WASHINGTON POST: "FINA vote restricts transgender athletes in women’s competitions" ... FOXNEWS.com: "FINA medical official hopes transgender-athlete policies are model for other sports" ... NEWS.com.au: "‘Sets transgender rights back 100 years’: Swimming at war over bombshell decision"

Saudi Arabia hoping to host WTA event

Saudi Arabia is "plotting to make a major push" into tennis by trying to "entice a women’s tour event to their country." The Saudis have been "seeking a deal with the ATP Tour for at least five years," but have been "repeatedly rebuffed by the men’s game." Yet the WTA "declined to rule out the concept" when contacted. The WTA has been "sailing into strong financial headwinds" since CEO Steve Simon "took a moral stand on China’s apparent silencing of Peng Shuai last year." An alternative solution is the "large fee -- reported to be in excess" of $122M -- being "offered by private-equity firm CVC for a stake in a new, jointly-run WTA Tour," along with "access to the WTA’s commercial rights" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/19).

NFL holding GM Forum, QB Summit this week

The NFL in partnership with the Black College Football HOF will hold its second annual Ozzie Newsome General Manager Forum and fifth annual Quarterback Coaching Summit this week. The three-day event begins Tuesday with "programs in the league’s Los Angeles office and virtually." Front office personnel and coaches around the league will have an "opportunity to experience professional development and networking opportunities with NFL club executives." The GM Forum will feature sessions and panels led by NFL owners and execs, including its namesake, Ravens Exec VP Ozzie Newsome. The two-day QB Coaching Summit "will feature sessions and panels led by NFL owners, current and former coaches, and front office personnel" (AP, 6/17).

North Carolina betting bill likely to resurface

A revised bipartisan sports-wagering bill "appears likely to resurface in the N.C. House during the final innings" of the '22 legislative session. Senate Bill 688 "has not been acted upon since Nov. 4 when the House Commerce committee voted 12-4 to advance the bill to the Judiciary 1 committee." State Sen. Jim Perry, on Friday said “to look for movement next week.” That "could be as early as Tuesday." Analysts have "projected the legislation would face stiffer opposition from House members." There had been "speculation since early in the 2022 session that the House would take action" on the bill (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 6/19).

Speed Reads....

PointsBet has secured a $94.16M investment from SIG Sports Investment Corp., a privately held trading firm based in Pennsylvania. SIG becomes PointsBet's largest shareholder. There will be no changes to the betting company's board (PointsBet).

The Warriors' NBA championship parade starts today at 11:20am PT in S.F., and it will "proceed from Market Street and Main Street down to 8th Street." This year’s parade "will mark a change from previous celebrations, which were held across the Bay in Oakland" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 6/19).

Quick Hits....

"They’ve been under investigation for rampant sexual harassment all the way up to (Commanders Owner) Dan Snyder, so I also think this is a little bit of virtue signaling on their part as they come under scrutiny” -- Political commentator Krystal Ball, on the Commanders fining assistant coach Jack Del Rio $100,000 for referring to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots as a “dust-up” (“Real Time,” HBO, 6/17).

Morning Hot Reads: Title IX's place in sports history

The COLUMBUS DISPATCH does with, "Fifty years of Title IX: Equality isn't such a terrible thing, you know?" When the Education Amendments of 1972 were signed into law, nobody really could "foresee the staggering growth and strength" of Title IX. Its "greatest impact -- or, at least, its most visible -- is in athletics." In '72, around 30,000 women competed in college sports, while in '19, that number was approaching 200,000. According to a '17 study by the consulting firm Ernst & Young, 94% of women who "hold C-suite (high-level executive) positions are former athletes" and 52% of them "played a competitive sport at the collegiate level." While the NCAA "began pushing back against Title IX almost immediately," it "came around, eventually."

Also:

This Week's Events: June 20-26

MONDAY
  • Warriors' NBA championship parade in S.F.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appears on NBC's "The Tonight Show"
  • Marketing Analytics Summit begins in Las Vegas (4 days)
TUESDAY
  • NFL, Black College HOF begin Ozzie Newsome GM Forum and QB Coaching Summit (3 days)

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

  • NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn N.Y.
  • U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Assembly begins in Colorado Springs (2 days)
  • IOC Olympic Day (worldwide)
  • Lead1 hosts Title IX at 50 event in DC

FRIDAY

  • IOC Exec Board meeting (remote)

SUNDAY

Have an event we should feature? Send an email to pbounds@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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Final Jeopardy!

Friday night’s “Final Jeopardy!” category was “19th Century Contemporaries.”

“Congratulating her on the 1869 release of her biography, Frederick Douglass wrote, 'I have wrought in the day -- you in the night.'”

Today's Back Pages....

The Morning Buzz offers today's back page sports covers from some of North America's major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post N.Y. Daily News Newsday Boston Herald Chicago Sun-Times Philadelphia Daily News
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