SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 64: PREZ APPOINTS MEDIATOR

         The Clinton Administration named former Labor Secretary
    William Usery as a special mediator in "an attempt to craft a
    settlement in the two-month-old baseball strike."  Usery, 70, who
    served under Gerald Ford and was director of the Federal
    Mediation and Conciliation Service, will be introduced this
    afternoon at a White House news conference.  (Maske & Swoboda,
    WASHINGTON POST, 10/14).  Labor Secretary Robert Reich asked the
    players and owners to agree to "return to the bargaining table
    next week" with Usery acting as a special mediator.  The two
    sides have not met since September 9.  Gene Orza, MLBPA's
    associate general counsel: "It has been clear for a while that
    the Administration, as well as it should, has a keen and ongoing
    interest in seeing that this disagreement is resolved" (Ross
    Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 10/14).  One administration source said they
    have "been working behind the scenes on this for quite some time"
    (Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 10/14).
         NO COMMENTS FROM THE TOP:  Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig
    and MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr refused comment on the appointment,
    but Orioles Owner Peter Angelos called it "a constructive and
    positive step."  Angelos:  "In labor matters, (Usery) has few
    peers" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 10/14).  Another owner
    called it a "significant step in the right direction" (WASHINGTON
    POST, 10/14).
         MORE LAYOFFS:  Central Baseball -- the Commissioner's
    office, the American and National Leagues, MLB Properties, the
    Baseball Network and MLB International -- reduced its work force
    by 27 employees due to revenue losses from the work stoppage
    (MLB).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Baltimore Orioles, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 14: EUROPE SHUTS ITS DOORS

         "European clubs won't be allowed to sign locked out NHL
    players and ignite a potential legal battle," according to Rene
    Fasel, president of the Int'l Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
    Fasel:  "We will not let them play.  We have a contract with the
    NHL (governing player transfers) and will abide by that
    contract."  NHLPA spokesperson Steve McAllister said the union
    has not yet explored the legal hurdles on playing in Europe or
    the minors.  McAllister said the NHLPA "will make its position
    clear next week" (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES, 10/14).  Fasel's
    statement "came as a surprise" to several agents.  Ron Salcer,
    who represents Pavel Bure among others:  "This would be very
    disturbing" (Joe Lapointe, N.Y. TIMES, 10/14).  On advice from
    its lawyers, the NHL decided "not to prevent players from playing
    in the IHL or Europe during the work stoppage" (Dave Fuller,
    TORONTO SUN, 10/14).  For one, the Canucks won't stand in Bure's
    way if he wants to play in Europe.  Canucks VP George McPhee:
    "Legally, he can do it" (Iain MacIntyre, VANCOUVER SUN, 10/14).
    And after meeting with Doug Gilmour, who is seeking a place to
    play, Maple Leaf President Cliff Fletcher would only say:  "He
    wants to play to keep in as much shape as possible, but it's not
    a risk-free thing" (Damien Cox, TORONTO STAR, 10/14).  The IIHF's
    decision "is surely to result in a windfall for lawyers, as clubs
    and the players involved are expected to challenge the ruling in
    court" (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/14).
         THE IHL:  The N.Y. TIMES reports that Marty McSorley, a
    member of the NHLPA's negotiating team, is seeking to play with
    the IHL's Las Vegas Thunder (Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 10/14).
    But agent Rick Dudley is doubtful that IHL teams "will open up
    their rosters."  Dudley:  "I don't think the Detroit Vipers --
    who are basically sold out, anyway -- are going to bring in five
    NHL players.  The economics would discourage them" (Damien Cox,
    TORONTO STAR, 10/14).
         P.R. EFFORTS:  St. Louis was the first stop for NHL VP of
    Hockey Operations Brian Burke in a seven-city tour that will take
    him to Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, San Jose and
    Dallas.  Burke:  "It drives me nuts to read quotes where a player
    says this'll drive salaries down, it'll be tax avoidance, teams
    will trade players to get down to the cap.  We've guaranteed that
    their share will not be diminished."  Burke also called the
    union's slow pace during negotiations "intolerable and
    inexcusable" (Dave Luecking, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/14).
    Execs from all NHL clubs met with media to go over facts and
    figures.  Lightning Governor David LeFevre:  "These figures are
    real.  There are teams losing money, and we are one of them" (Roy
    Cummings, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/14).  But in Vancouver, Tony
    Gallagher calls the NHL's claim that players get 62% of gross
    revenue a "monstrous distortion" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/14).
         BACK TO THE TABLE?  CNN's Nick Charles: "The key to the NHL
    labor news today can be summed up in a single work:  Nothing"
    ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/13).  Burke said the league will
    attempt to restart talks next week (Mult.)  NHL VP Communications
    Arthur Pincus said the league will have an announcement "later
    this week" on the schedule and possible cancellations (Len
    Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/14).
         CRACK-IN-THE-FACADE WATCH:  In Toronto, Dave Fuller writes
    the owners "appear to be playing a game of divide-and-conquer"
    with the players.  But, "as antsy as the players are to get back
    to work, there are no signs yet of a rift developing inside the
    union" (TORONTO SUN, 10/14).  In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont asks,
    "How long can the rank and file go without checks? ... Probably
    50-60 percent of the NHLPA membership will begin to feel the
    crunch in a matter of 3-5 paychecks (mid-November to mid-
    December).  The owners are banking on it, literally" (BOSTON
    GLOBE, 10/13).
         NO BIG LOSS:  Salomon Brothers' Jay Cohen on the impact on
    ITT's recent acquisition of Madison Square Garden, the Rangers,
    Knicks and MSG Network: "Even if the season is lost, affect on
    earnings may be a nickel a share in '95.  And I expect the
    company earns about $8.80 a share, so it's a relatively minor
    impact" ("Market Wrap," CNBC, 10/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks, NHL, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Tampa Bay Lightning, Time Warner, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Nationals
  • NFL EXPANSION TEAMS BOTH LOBBYING FOR NFC WEST PLACEMENT

         Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson "is aggressively lobbying
    the NFL to assign" his team to the NFC West.  Richardson said
    yesterday that he recently wrote NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
    "stressing the Panthers' preference for being placed" in the NFC
    instead of the AFC.  His argument is that with the proximity of
    the Falcons and Redskins, Carolina fans are more accustomed to
    seeing the NFC.  Richardson also said the affiliation with the
    "popular" NFC could help the team "offset anticipated losing
    records in the Panthers' first several seasons."  Assuming there
    is no realignment, the Panthers will be in the NFC because the
    overlap between the Jaguars' and Buccaneers' TV markets would
    prevent those two from being in the same conference.  Withouth
    realignment, the Jaguars would join the AFC Central.  However, a
    swap of the Colts (AFC East) and Bucs (NFC Central) would reverse
    the assignment of the two expansion teams.  Jaguars owner Wayne
    Weaver, who also wants to be in the NFC, favors the Bucs-Colts
    swap.  NFL owners meet in Chicago November 1-2 for final
    discussions on realignment (Charles Chandler, KNIGHT-
    RIDDER/ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins
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