Alabama staffer fired over songs

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama has fired an employee who played songs aimed at Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton before the Iron Bowl.

University spokeswoman Debbie Lane said Monday that the part-time staffer was fired for the unauthorized songs. “Take the Money and Run” and “Son of a Preacher Man” were played while Newton and the Tigers warmed up.

The NCAA has been investigating allegations that Newton’s father, a pastor, solicited $180,000 from Mississippi State during recruiting.

Lane said in a statement that all music and videos played in the stadium before and during games have to be approved by a senior athletic administrator. She said the staffer — who was not named — didn’t get those songs cleared.

The Tuscaloosa News first reported the firing.

The Playboy Bunny Looks to Asia to Multiply

Time – By Christopher Shay / Macau

On the evening of Nov. 20, Scott Flanders, CEO of Playboy Enterprises, was all smiles, and it wasn’t just because there were Playboy bunnies draped on either side of him. Going by the company’s third-quarter results — a loss of $27.4 million was announced earlier this month as the brand’s traditional outlets struggle with online competition — you wouldn’t think he’d be in the celebrating mood. But with this week’s opening of the Playboy Club Macao, Flanders is confident he’s found a place for the iconic company in the digital age. Instead of relying on American men buying magazines and watching cable, the company’s profits will depend on two seemingly unlikely demographics: Asian women and cosmopolitan clubgoers…

…Playboy’s sales of consumer products increased 36% last year, largely off the success in the Asian market, which accounts for 40% of all licensing revenue. This month Playboy opened a three-story apparel store in Taipei, and the brand recently signed a five-year, $50 million deal with a Shanghai-based company that says it plans to open over 2,000 Playboy-branded outlets in mainland China, where the magazine itself is still banned.

Playboy will not just be the magazine anymore; tapping into the buying power of Asia’s upwardly mobile middle classes, it will be an “aspirational fashion brand,” says Flanders. Over 80% of Playboy-licensed products are purchased by women, he says. “The magazine may say, ‘Entertainment for Men,’ but the bigger story about our brand is how attracted women are to it.”

The red-carpet opening of the Macau club had the requisite local celebrities and all the pomp one expects from a Playboy party, but it also had as many well-dressed couples and single women as it did young bachelors. The opulent 12,000-sq.-ft. Playboy Club Macao at the Sands Macao casino is only the first of Playboy’s new overseas venues that will try to replicate the success of its Las Vegas club that opened in 2006.

A club in Cancún, Mexico, is set to open later this year, one in London will open in early 2011 and, in 2012, Playboy plans to further invest in the greater-China market with a 30,000-sq.-ft. Playboy Mansion, also in Macau. Within five years, Playboy hopes to have around 20 clubs in the globe’s “hippest, most cosmopolitan markets.” From a financial point of view, “the clubs are a great way to be going,” says Pyykkonen, but the challenge is finding the right partnerships to make that expansion happen quickly. In order to license the brand to the right operators in the appropriate markets, Playboy “has got to up the effort and resources a little bit more,” he says…

Fin de fiesta azulgrana

“We must be humble. We will let time judge what this team has done”

Barcelona showed on Monday night that it has a superior edge in ‘La Liga’


“It’s a defeat that it is easy to digest,” the Real coach said. “It was a defeat in which there was no possibility of winning, not one of those that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, because the referee influenced the result, or because you didn’t deserve to lose, or through bad luck because you’ve hit the post three times.

“One team played to the height of its potential and the other played very poorly. It was a deserved defeat. It wasn’t the worst 45 minutes of my career and it wasn’t a tense match where I felt that I could help my team. I tried at half time. When they scored the third goal the game was over. I didn’t want the team to lose its balance or its dignity and so I brought on Lass [Diarra] to reinforce the midfield. In these situations you feel impotent and unable to change what you cannot change.”

It was a remarkably measured response to a feisty encounter that witnessed two onfield brawls, the first after Cristiano Ronaldo gave Guardiola a little push by the touchline and the second after Diarra and Sergio Ramos combined to scythe through Lionel Messi as the clock wound down.

It was not difficult to empathize with Real, such was the dominance of Barcelona’s possession play and its lethal execution of the counter-attack, the stamp until Tuesday evening of Mourinho’s Real revolution. Los Blancos’ back line was torn asunder time and again and, but for the woodwork and some comprehensible individualism from substitute Bojan Krkic, the score line might have been embellished even further. All of which begs the question: with Europe’s pre-eminent coach, Spain’s World Cup-winning captain, the world’s most expensive player and several of international soccer’s brightest young things playing in the white of Real Madrid, just how good is the Barça side Guardiola inherited and has since improved?

“It’s not just what we did, it’s how we did it, staying true to our roots,” the Barça coach said after the game. “This is for the previous coaches, the previous presidents, the scouts who found Messi and Xavi. But we must be humble. We will let time judge what this team has done.”

Sergio Ramos se desquicia

El Barça domina

As it stands, the BCS matchups are working out this way:

  • BCS title game: Oregon vs. Auburn
  • Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Texas Christian
  • Sugar Bowl: Arkansas vs. Ohio State
  • Orange Bowl: Florida State-Virginia Tech winner vs. Stanford
  • Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska-Oklahoma winner vs. Connecticut