© St. Petersburg Times, published December 22, 2002
TERRELL OWENS: The flamboyant and often-criticized 49ers receiver plans to donate the $25,000 he received from Sharpie for a Christmas Eve commercial to the Alzheimer's Association. This comes after Owens gave Newell Rubbermaid $500,000 worth of free advertising when he pulled a Sharpie from his sock to autograph a football during a game this season.
NBA: For a league in which more than 60 percent of its players are minorities, the league's expansion committee granted Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, Charlotte's new franchise. For a price tag of $300-million, Johnson became the first black owner to hold a majority stake in a major professional franchise. Johnson's next mission: to buy a Major League Baseball team and move it to Washington.
RAYS: We thought there was more national TV revenue on the way. We thought you got about $1.3-million for letting spare parts Steve Cox and Andy Sheets go to Japan. There's still not enough money for a Paul Wilson or a Tanyon Sturtze?
RON MASON: Worried he might lose Louisville coach John L. Smith to Washington State, the Michigan State AD decided to exert some pressure at the expense of a school he obviously did not respect. Mason all but called a news conference at the 50-yard line of the GMAC Bowl on Wednesday, where the Cardinals were playing Marshall, letting leak on the sideline that Smith would be the new Spartans coach. Disheartened, disappointed and distracted, the Cardinals flopped 38-15. Sure, Conference USA is not the mighty Big Ten, but how about a little professional honor?
-- John Ashley, Brant James, Mike Stephenson