Can you be true to your school if your school thinks you're an evil, capitalistic overlord? PHIL KNIGHT believes not. The Nike chairman last week announced that he will make no further personal donations to his alma mater, the University of Oregon, after the school joined the Workers' Rights Consortium, a labor-rights organization that has been critical of working conditions in Nike's overseas factories. Knight, who's given $50 million to the school, said in a statement, "The bonds of trust [that] allow me to give at a high level have been shredded." Apparently, so have plans for an $80 million expansion of the school's stadium, a project for which Knight was a primary benefactor and which university officials say they may now be forced to delay. "It's never a good thing to lose the support of a graduate," said university president Dave Frohnmayer. Particularly when he's the richest graduate you have.
SHOULDN'T THEY HAVE CHAUFFEURS?
Good-looking women in fast-moving cars have long proved an irresistible source of fascination. Now they're also an irresistible source for lawsuits. Last week GWYNETH PALTROW was sued by a couple who claim they sustained injuries when the actress allegedly smacked her car into theirs a year ago in Los Angeles. This follows a suit filed earlier this year against HALLE BERRY by a motorist with whom she collided in February and one filed in March against CATHERINE ZETA-JONES by a former friend who says she was hurt when The Mask of Zorro star crashed the car in which they were driving. If there's a lesson here, it's that Julia Roberts should probably take the subway.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NUDE
DARVA CONGER is an intensely private woman. We know this because she told every television reporter who asked after she went on national television to compete for, and win, a husband on Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? She is also a Christian woman. We know this because she told every television reporter who asked and because she took part in an Easter egg hunt at the Playboy mansion. In fact, Conger's been hanging out a lot at Hugh Hefner's house, and is now in talks to pose nude for the magazine. Conger, who lost her nursing job after the whirlwind marriage and annulment, will reportedly receive six figures for the pictorial. A spokeswoman for Playboy says Conger would not be a centerfold: centerfolds are unknown models. Conger is a celebrity, albeit an intensely private one.
FEUD OF THE WEEK
NAME: Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog OCCUPATION: Crudely insulting Conan O'Brien's guests BEST PUNCH: Triumph, who often tells guests they're fit only for him "to poop on," has publicly and colorfully said that Pets.com ripped him off
NAME: Pets.com sock puppet OCCUPATION: Cutely promoting online pet-food sales BEST PUNCH: Claiming he has created an "unsavory mental association" between the puppets, Pets.com is suing Triumph creator Robert Smigel
WINNER: There are no winners here. This is bad for dog puppets everywhere