Robert J. Romano is pleased to announce that his Teaching Assistant at Texas A&M University, Veronica Oviedo, has been selected to participate in the USOC FLAME Program.  For the full story please read the following:

Three Trinity juniors will expand their horizons this summer at a United States Olympic Committee program known as F.L.A.M.E. (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere).

 Brianna Tammaro, Veronica Oviedo, and Phillip Hiner-Leamon will be part of a select group of 30 participants who will live at the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs from July 16-19. But the students, who minor in sport management at Trinity, won’t just sit back and enjoy the majestic view of Pike’s Peak.

 They will be engaged in leadership seminars, financial literacy workshops, field trips, sports demonstrations, and motivational presentations conducted by athletes and USOC staff members.

 “The intent of the program is to introduce participants to the Olympic Movement, and to consider the USOC as a potential career opportunity,” says Tim Henderson, the USOC F.L.A.M.E sponsor.

 As many as 200 hopefuls apply each year. Applicants must be minority students who have excelled in academics, athletics, and community involvement.

 Tammaro (San Antonio/Clark High School), is a member of the Tiger women’s soccer team, and a communication major. “My dream job would be to work in public relations for a professional sports team or organization, such as ESPN,” Tammaro says.

 Hiner-Leamon (Dallas/Greenhill School) is a Trinity football player who majors in business administration. “I hope this program will further develop me as a leader, student-athlete, and a business professional,” Hiner-Leamon says.

 Oviedo (San Antonio/Highlands High School) is a Tiger cheerleader and a business administration major, with concentrations in marketing and finance. “After earning my degree, my ideal goal is to work in the professional world of sports, especially in the marketing department of the San Antonio Spurs,” says Oviedo.

The USOC Web site states: “F.L.A.M.E. is designed to inspire minority college students to cultivate their desire to succeed and rise above the ordinary.”

These three outstanding Trinity representatives are definitely on the rise.

Update on NFL/NFL PA Labor Disput: Both Sides Continue To Negotiate

The National Football League and the former NFL Players Association have both acknowledged that “confidential discussions” have been going this week before Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.  These meetings are a continuation of last week’s face to face discussions between Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL PA chief executive officer Dee Smith who met outside of Chicago who both allegedly believe that face-to-face negotiations will more likely to lead to a new collective bargaining agreement than court actions.

Commissioner Goodell state: “Both sides are working hard to reach an agreement. That’s a positive step for everybody. … We are going to continue to work at it. I believe both sides want to find solutions. I’m hopeful we’re going to be successful.”

Both sides appeared before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing whether the lockout is legal or not.  The Court stated that it will rule in “due course”, however, Judge Kermit Bye, advised the two sides to work it out, saying the court’s decision likely will be “something both sides aren’t going to like.”

Romano On: Duke University TIP Program

Robert J. Romano is proud to announce that he will be a professor for the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) this summer and has been assigned to teach a two week course entitled Sports Management -The Game Behind the Game at Texas A & M University.

The Duke TIP program is  dedicated to serving academically gifted and talented youth and works with students to identify, recognize, challenge, engage, and help students reach their highest potential.

Children with advanced intellectual and academic abilities continually perplex and challenge educators, and schools may not have the resources and staff to adequately provide for the academic challenges, and social and emotional support that gifted children require. Duke TIP is committed to serving this unique group of students by providing services and programs beyond what is offered in the classroom to meet the individual needs of gifted children.

For a variety of reasons, many gifted children simply do not reach their full potential. Exceptionally bright students often go unrecognized because they hide their talents, underachieve, or exhibit behavioral problems.

Duke TIP enjoys a long history of supporting and extending local efforts to better understand, motivate, enrich, and academically challenge the brightest students in our nation.

For more information about Duke TIP programs, contact Duke TIP at (919) 668-9100 or download an overview of programs and services.

NBA/NBPA Labor Update

The NBA Owners and NB Players Association have been meeting over the past few weeks to discuss the current state of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and will again meet in Dallas today to continue negotiations.

Yesterday’s meeting between 10 franchise owners and eight players lasted for over five hours and included “good and frank” discussions according to NBA Commissioner David Stern.  Also, Commissioner Stern suggested that there may be additional meetings between the parties while they are both in Dallas if everything continues to go well.

Little Leaguer Dies After Being Hit By A Pitch.

A 13-year old died after being struck by a pitch during a little league game in Arizona.  Per the Associated Press, Hayde Walton was attempting to bunt when he was struck by a pitch in his chest, directly over his heart.  The impact caused his heart to stop.

“He took an inside pitch right in the chest,” Little League official Jamey Jones stated. “After that he took two steps to first base and collapsed.”

Walton was transported to the nearest hospital, but was pronounced dead early Wednesday morning.

Steve Keener, the president and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball, stated.  “Words cannot adequately express our sorrow on the passing of Hayden.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hayden’s family, all the players and volunteers of the Winslow Little League, his classmates, and his friends, at this difficult time. The loss of a child is incomprehensible.”

Hayde Walton’s death was due to a condition known as commotio cordis.

New York Knicks’ GM WIll Not Return Next Season

The New York Knicks announced that Donnie Walsh will not return as president and general manager when his contract expires at the end of June.

“Following a long series of discussions regarding his future role with the New York Knicks, Donnie Walsh and I have mutually agreed that he will be leaving his position … at the end of June,” Jim Dolan said. “In a relatively short time with the Knicks, Donnie made a tremendous impact, which will be felt for many years to come.  We thank Donnie for his leadership, hard work and many contributions to the revitalization of the team.”

In Walsh’s three seasons with the Knicks he got ride of many of Isiah Thomas’ mistakes by gutting the roster so cap room could be cleared.  With the added cap room, the Knicks were able to sign two maximum-salary free agent; Amare Stoudemire last July and Carmelo Anthony in February.

Mr. Walsh wanted to return but has been battling health problems while also battling the fact that Jim Dolan was still relying on the advice of the inept Isiah Thomas.

It has been stated that Mr. Walsh brought professionalism to a Knicks organization that had become an embarrassment on and off the court during Thomas’ reign.

Good work Jim Dolan. Just when the Garden was feeling like the Garden again.

8th Circuit to Hear Arguments in NFL/NFL Labor Dispute.

Oral arguments will begin at 10:00 central time and are expected to take a couple of hours as NFL and the former NFL Players Association try to convince the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals that their position is the correct position regarding the12-week-long lockout of the NFL players.  Former President George W. Bush’s solicitor general, Ted Olson, will make the argument for the players, while his successor, Paul Clement, will argue on behalf of the NFL.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has indicated that the Owners may be in the right when they stayed a lower court ruling enjoining the lockout, but you never know, and a more definitive ruling on this issue is expected from the court by the end of the month.

More NFL Coaches Come Forward Supporting Owners.

Coaches from the Eagles, Jets, Cowboys, Chiefs, Texans, Rams and Bills have come forward stating that they do not support nor in any way condone the brief filed last week by the NFL Coaches Association with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals supporting the players in the labor dispute.

The NFL Coaches Association filed a brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on May 25 expressing support for the players and saying that the lockout is putting their jobs in jeopardy.  No individual coaches were identified in the brief but stated that the eight new coaches hired this year face overwhelming odds of success if the lockout is not lifted soon.

Eagles coach Andy Reid said he and his staff were unaware the brief was being filed.  “We were surprised by the filing and do not support it in any way.”

Jets coach Rex Ryan said the brief “came out of left field”. “Nobody knew it was filed and nobody approved it being filed, so that’s where it is.”

The Cowboys staff sent a letter to the NFLCA stating. “We did not provide (NFLCA executive director) Larry Kennan with the authority to file such brief on our behalf and do not agree with the brief’s position.”

Addtionally, Bills coaches are supporting the Owners despite having their salaries cut and pension-plan payments suspended.  The team has made cuts in salaries ranging between 20 and 25 percent, while also suspending contributions to employees’ pension and 401K plans.

Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins expressed his support for team owner Ralph Wilson.  “Our entire staff had no prior knowledge, nor were we consulted that the Amicus brief was being filed on behalf of the coaches.  We support Mr. Wilson. Our focus is on our preparation for the 2011 season.”

Top Professional Athletes Continue To Make Millions.

The top 50 highest-paid athletes earned a combined $1.4 billion, or an average of $28 million each, last year. This figure is 11% less than the preceding year due to three factors: Tiger Woods’ lessoned earnings, the inactivity of boxer Floyd Mayweather (earned $65 million), and the NFL lockout.  (The top two picks in last year’s draft, Sam Bradford and Ndamukong Suh, had contracts with guarantees of $50 million and $40 million).

Women are again under-represented, with tennis player Maria Sharapova being the only woman in the top 50. (29th – earnings of $24.2 million).

The top 10:

1. Tiger Woods                 $75 Million 

2. Kobe Bryant                  $53 Million 

3. LeBron James                $48 Million
4. Roger Federer                $47 Million 

5. Phil Mickelson                $46.5 Million 

6. David Beckham              $40 Million 

7. Cristiano Ronaldo            $38 Million 

8. Alex Rodriguez               $35 Million
9. Michael Schumacher        $34 Million 

10. Lionel Messi                  $32.3 Million

NFL Players/Owners Hold “Secret” Meeting to Discuss CBA.

Unbeknownst to NFL players, the media and even some NFL franchise owners, Commissioner Roger Goodell, Cowboys Jerry Jones, Patriots Robert Kraft, Panthers Jerry Richardson, Giants John Mara and Steelers Dan Rooney was among an entourage that flew into DuPage Airport outside of Chicago to meet secretly with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and other union officials.

It has been weeks since the two sides have met and this secret meeting comes just days before they are scheduled to argue in front of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals as to whether the lockout should be lifted.  (A ruling on this matter is not expected until late June.)

Court ordered federal mediation is to resume June 7, 2011, so maybe this secret meeting is a sign that both sides are getting nervous and understand that something needs to get done, and get done quickly since the season will be here before you know it.