SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

NBA BOARD OF GOVERNORS HAS A FULL PLATE THIS WEEK

     The NBA Board of Governors meets tomorrow and Wednesday in
New York and -- according to the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION -- "the
whispers are becoming nastier and more persistent" about labor
issues.  A rundown of some items facing the board:  SALARY CAP --
 players say the cap is "obsolete" and only "limit[s] movement
and stifle[s] their ability to earn higher wages"; ROOKIE SALARY
CAP -- "Besides the strong sentiment toward retaining the cap,
owners are becoming increasingly enamored of a rookie salary
scale that would restrict wages until a player becomes a proven
commodity"; THE DRAFT -- owners say the two-round draft "ensures
the competitive balance within the league," while the union
argues it "restricts a player's right to work in a city of his
choosing"; FREE AGENCY -- "players hope to abolish the concept of
restricted free agency"; LICENSING/MERCHANDISING -- "many believe
that the players' desire to immediately claim a greater share of
licensing/merchandising revenues ultimately will prod the union
toward compromising on other issues" (Ailene Voisin, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 10/2).
     ENDORSEMENTS, ENDORSEMENTS, ENDORSEMENTS:  In Boston, Steve
Bulpett writes that the Board of Governors "would do well to
recall that enlightenment is what got the league to its exalted
status.  And that the elevator also travels downward."  A lockout
would "be a largely senseless act," but so would a strike by the
players -- since "the wrath of the fans would rain on them in
financially injurious ways. ... One finds it hard to picture an
advertiser seeking a player roundly perceived as selfish to
endorse his or her product."  Celtics GM M.L. Carr:  "There is
only a certain amount of outside work available for professional
athletes and if a particular group of them falls out of favor
with the fans and the sponsors, then someone else will be there
to step and take over that spot.  And when you look at what's
happened in other sports, this is the perfect time for basketball
to ride in as the good guys with the fans" (Steve Bulpett, BOSTON
HERALD, 10/2).
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