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The Insider: Jackson, Knicks owner already clashing

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New York Knicks owner James Dolan said last month he willingly and gratefully ceded control of the front office to bring in Phil Jackson as team president.

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Apparently, that was so last month.

Dolan and Jackson are clashing over personnel decisions, the New York Daily News reports, with Dolan pushing to retain select personnel that Jackson has already decided not to keep. His first, and predictable, move as president was firing coach Mike Woodson.

Almost immediately after, reports out of New York surfaced that members of the front office were encouraging Jackson to keep assistant coach Herb Williams in some capacity.

Responding to a question about the Daily News report, Jackson said Wednesday that Dolan has “been very true to his word” thus far in his promise to give Jackson autonomy over basketball decisions.

Jackson, who received a five-year, $60 million contract to run the team and come out of retirement from coaching as a first-time team executive, promised changes throughout the organization in announcing Woodson’s departure.

Els back in

his happy place

Four-time major winner Ernie Els returns this week to one of his favourite cities, where he shares the alluring nickname of ‘The Big Easy,’ to make his eighth career start at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

At a PGA Tour event where he has always enjoyed a “good vibe,” the smooth-swinging South African lost out to American Jason Dufner in a playoff for the title in 2012, then tied for 15th last year at the TPC Louisiana.

“In fact, in my previous two appearances here I’ve been 19 under (par) ... that’s a tidy scoring average of around 68, which reflects my fondness for this golf course.

Els, a 19-times winner on the PGA Tour, will aim to feed off those positive memories in front of supportive fans as he seeks his first victory on the U.S. circuit since the 2012 British Open.

Els has been drawn in a high-profile grouping for the first two rounds at the TPC Louisiana, along with U.S. Open champion Justin Rose and local favorite and 2001 winner David Toms.

Kelvington cards ace

Rick Kelvington shot a hole-in-one on Tuesday at the Little Crow Country Club.

Kelvington aced the 130-yard No. 6 hole on the Willows course using a 9-iron.

Valley Golf’s Ladies

Golf begins today

The Valley Golf Thursday Morning Ladies Golf begins today at the club.

Golfers will meet at 8:30 a.m. for a meeting and coffee with golf to follow.

Players do not have to be Valley Golf members to participate and there are no handicaps.

Wildcats first

to cast union votes

Football players at Northwestern University on Friday are to become the first U.S. student athletes to vote on whether to join a union.

Those players on scholarship at the Evanston, Illinois, school are deciding whether they want the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) to negotiate with Northwestern on their behalf.

CAPA was founded by Kain Colter, a senior and quarterback at the Chicago-area university, along with Ramogi Huma, a former University of California-Los Angeles football player who advocates for student athletes.

Colter and Huma have said improved safety protections, scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance and ongoing medical coverage after graduation for sports-related injuries would be among CAPA’s priorities.

Northwestern said in a statement on Wednesday that the football players would cast votes between 6 and 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. and noon on Friday. School officials declined to comment further until the election is over.

— Reuters and Staff Reports

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