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Start your morning with Buzzcast: Faldo to exit CBS; facility focus for Browns and T'Wolves; and Sinclair to soft-launch streaming service.

Trevor Immelman replacing Nick Faldo on CBS

By John Ourand

Nick Faldo will retire as CBS Sports’ top golf analyst after the current season. His final telecast will be Aug. 7 from the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship. Faldo, who has been on CBS’s golf telecasts for 16 years, was in the final year of his contract.

Trevor Immelman will replace Faldo next year, sitting in the 18th tower alongside Jim Nantz. Immelman has been part of CBS’s golf telecasts since 2019. He signed a multiyear deal that will start with the Farmers Insurance Open next January. Immelman has been a lead analyst for Golf Channel and was an analyst on Turner Sports’ “The Match.”

It was during a breakfast at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am in February that Faldo told CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus that he planned to step down. “Since Nick is in the last year of his deal, I thought we were going to talk about a new deal,” McManus said. “Nick, with his wife Lindsay, said that he wanted to retire.” Faldo cited a desire to cut back on the amount of travel he's been doing while focusing on Faldo Design, which focuses on golf course design, and Faldo Series, which focuses on junior golf.

McManus’ team spent much of the next few months searching for a replacement before settling on Immelman, a South African who won the Masters in 2008. McManus described Immelman as a hard worker with a good sense of humor who can offer a good perspective on-air. “The name that kept coming up all the time was Trevor Immelman,” McManus said. “Trevor is a great team player. The game is becoming increasingly more international, and he’s got international pedigree. Listening to his work on the Masters, he just became the most logical and best choice.”

Faldo will be a hard announcer to replace -- and not just because of the gravitas that comes from winning six Majors. “Nick’s chemistry with Jim is extraordinary; they play off each other really well,” McManus said. “He is a force of nature. He came across as being very authoritative and definitive in his opinions while never being mean-spirited or overly critical.”

Gideon Cohen, Kevin Hopkins and Mark Steinberg from Excel Sports Management rep Immelman.

Brooks Koepka the latest to join LIV Golf

Brooks Koepka "will be announced" as the latest commitment to LIV Golf and is "expected to play" in the circuit's next event, which takes place in Portland next week. Koekpa "will join" his brother Chase on the circuit. Koepka has "been in talks with the Saudi-funded series for months and sources have confirmed that the deal has finally got over the line." He "commanded a seven-figure sum" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/21). Koepka overnight had scrubbed "PGA Tour" and "Nike Athlete" from his Twitter profile (SBJ).

Koepka's move to LIV comes as there is a "mandatory players meeting" currently ongoing at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship; Commissioner Jay Monahan "will give a press conference" tomorrow at 1:00pm ET (TWITTER.com, 6/20).

Nevada to hire LSU's Stephanie Rempe as AD

Rempe has overseen every facet of the daily operations of the LSU athletic departmentLSU Athletics

The Univ. of Nevada is expected to hire LSU Exec Deputy AD & COO Stephanie Rempe as its new AD. Rempe, a '21 SBJ Game Changer, is "one of the country's most respected deputy athletic directors, as she played a prominent role in the recent spree of high-profile LSU hires" in coaches Brian Kelly, Matt McMahon and Kim Mulkey. She has overseen "every facet of the daily operations" of the LSU athletic department. Nevada gets a "veteran administrator with a wide swath of experience." The school's new President, Brian Sandoval, has "limited experience in collegiate athletics." Rempe's time at LSU included "forging the school's name, image and likeness program, spearheading its role in the social justice movement and helping overhaul its 'commitment to the prevention of sexual and domestic violence'" (ESPN.com, 6/20).

Suns hire NBA's Morgan Cato in historic move

The Suns hired NBA Associate VP Morgan Cato as their new Assistant GM & VP/Basketball Operations, making an "official announcement Monday evening." Cato, an African-American, is the "first woman of color in an NBA assistant GM position for an NBA team." She worked in the league's business operations and league operations departments for nearly two years, working for the NBA for "nearly 10 years" total. While serving under NBA President of League Operations Byron Spruell, she was "part of the 'launch' of the Basketball Africa League" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/20).

Dolphins partner with CHEQ for mobile ordering

By Bret McCormick

CHEQ has its second sports deal, as it is now the official in-stadium mobile ordering and delivery partner of the Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium. CHEQ will provide the team and venue’s mobile ordering capabilities, beginning with this coming NFL season. In-seat delivery will be available in select portions of the stadium. CHEQ also will provide self-checkout kiosks in high-traffic locations to reduce fan queuing and wait times.

CHEQ’s other sports deal is a similar multiyear tie-up with the Marlins and loanDepot Park. Beyond mobile ordering and in-seat delivery, CHEQ also features a remote gifting function that has been primarily used at restaurants -- where users can pay for and send food/drinks to friends’ tables in real time from anywhere in the world -- but is also now available at Hard Rock Stadium and loanDepot Park. CHEQ CRO and co-founder Jake Stone formerly worked at agency Independent Sports & Entertainment (ISE).

Ripken Baseball expanding with Kentucky location

By Erik Bacharach

Ripken Baseball is expanding. The youth sports company is adding a fourth Ripken Experience location through a partnership with Elizabethtown Sports Park in Kentucky. Officially named The Ripken Experience Elizabethtown, the site, which has 12 interchangeable baseball and softball turf fields, will be up and running under the Ripken banner in '23. Ripken Baseball has three other complexes in Aberdeen, Md.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Pigeon Forge, Tenn. In May, Cal Ripken Jr., who founded Ripken Baseball with his brother Bill, told SBJ that the company has plans to expand into other sports such as flag football, field hockey and lacrosse.

Warriors' parade draws thousands to S.F. streets

The Warriors celebrated their fourth NBA title in eight years with a victory parade through S.F. yesterday, as "thousands packed the streets on a warm June day and blue and gold confetti fell." Players "jumped off their respective rides to mingle with fans," with Otto Porter Jr. and Klay Thompson dancing and Andrew Wiggins "spraying fans with champagne." Finals MVP Stephen Curry "sported his three previous championship rings on a necklace." With the Warriors winning the title against the Celtics on the road, the "home fans got their moment to cheer the team once more on Monday" (NBCBAYAREA.com, 6/20). Tens of thousands of fans "flooded downtown streets and BART trains." Starting around 11:20am PT, "double-decker buses carried players through the crowds" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/20).

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks NBA awards, writing

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said of the NBA naming its Social Justice Award after him, “The NBA has done a great job of encouraging the players to what they can to help the communities where they play. We provide a lot of entertainment, but people need real help, so the fact that they’ve named this award after me is very gratifying.” NBC's Jimmy Fallon noted Abdul-Jabbar now “actually has more writing awards than you have NBA championships.” Fallon asked, “What it’s like being your editor-in-chief?” Abdul-Jabbar: “It’s tough when your ideas and your editor’s ideas don’t mesh. That’s difficult, but I don’t have that problem and I can be Kareem the sports commentator, Kareem the political commentator, I can be Kareem the ordinary journalist.”

The Basketball HOFer also helped decide some hot topics in a segment called “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Settles It.” One tough question was, “Roller coasters or water slides?” Abdul-Jabbar said he preferred roller coasters because “water slides are nothing but outdoor bidets” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 6/20).

Speed Reads....

IBM and the All England Lawn Tennis Club today are unveiling their latest AI-powered digital activations for the upcoming Wimbledon tournament, running on IBM Cloud and building on existing features like "Match Insights" on the Wimbledon app and Wimbledon.com. Read more details (IBM).

Quick Hits....

“Do you think Kyrie Irving should play for the A) Nets or B) Knicks? Brooklyn fans said, ‘Ayyy!’ Knicks fans said, ‘Oooooh! I mean B!’” -- NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, on the results of a “Tonight Show” poll (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 6/20).

Morning Hot Reads: Brain study's big impact

The N.Y. TIMES, under the header "We Want to Know Whose Brain Is Healing and Why," explores a study of brain activity that "may help predict the onset of trauma-related illnesses and cognitive decline," along with how NFL players are "helping to further" the research. The study at Johns Hopkins Univ., now finishing its second phase, looks at why the brains of former football players "continue to work overtime to repair themselves years after the athletes stopped playing," and it could help scientists "develop treatments for the symptoms and illnesses linked to brain trauma and CTE." So far, 22 former NFLers and 25 other athletes have been tested.

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Final Jeopardy!

Last night’s "Final Jeopardy!" category was "British History."

"From the Greek for 'alone,' it was nixed by Parliamant in 1649 after being deemed 'unnecessary, burdensome & dangerous.'"

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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