Wetzel, Dan 197(?)-
WETZEL, Dan 197(?)-
PERSONAL: Male; born c. 1970s. Education: Graduated from University of Massachusetts.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—26877 Northwestern Highway, Suite 419, Southfield, MI 48034.
CAREER: Sportswriter. Basketball Times, managing editor and writer; SportsLine, CBS Sports Web site, senior writer, 2001—.
(With Don Yaeger) Sole Influence: Basketball, Corporate Greed, and the Corruption of America's Youth, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Sportswriter Dan Wetzel has served as managing editor for Basketball Times, a highly respected newsletter covering all aspects of the sport, as well as a senior writer for SportsLine, the official Web site for CBS Sports. Drawing on their broad experience with the sport, Wetzel and coauthor Don Yeager, a Sports Illustrated associate editor, have produced Sole Influence: Basketball, Corporate Greed, and the Corruption of America's Youth. The book tells the story of the game's biggest feud. That feud is not between any two players or schools or coaches; it's the feud between Nike's George Raveling and Adidas's Sonny Vaccaro, who are involved in a desperate struggle to find and sign the next Michael Jordan for their respective shoe and apparel companies. Once friends and colleagues at Nike, the two have become bitter rivals, using youth basketball programs, special arrangements with coaches, and lots of cash to sign endorsement deals with promising basketball players even before they enter the NCAA. Although much has been written about the corruption of college athletics, Wetzel and Yeager find that the corruption starts much earlier. "With an outrage tempered by realism, they mount a case that corporate money and the sneaker wars are bad for basketball and . . . bad for the thousands of athletes who want to be like Mike," wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer. "Wetzel and Yeager's expose should give the issue the wider exposure it deserves. Excellent reporting, powerful writing," concluded Booklist contributor Wes Lukowsky.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 1, 1999, Wes Lukowsky, review of Sole Influence: Basketball, Corporate Greed, and the Corruption of America's Youth, p. 669.
Publishers Weekly, December 20, 1999, review of SoleInfluence, p. 70.*