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SBD/23/Leagues Governing Bodies
NBA PLAYERS TAKING THE LEAGUE BACK TO COURT (OF LAW)
Published September 23, 1994
The legal "power struggle" between the NBA and the NBPA "moved into a federal appeals court" yesterday, where the union sought to reverse a lower court ruling that found that the salary cap, college draft and right of first refusal signing system "do not violate antitrust law." The NBPA contends, after the collective bargaining agreement (C.B.A.) expired June 24, the three disputed policies "fell out of the jurisdiction" of federal labor law and became provisions "restricting the free-market opportunities of players from the day they are drafted to when they retire." In July, the NBPA "failed to persuade" a U.S. District Court that the end of the C.B.A. "extinguished its collective bargaining relationship" with the NBA. After the hearing, NBA Commissioner David Stern: "We expect to prevail in this case. We've told the players we have to make a deal" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 9/23). The NBA will announce today or early next week that the cap for the upcoming season is $15.9M per team, not the anticipated $16.3M -- a 6% increase from '93-94 (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/23).