SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

CFL LOOKS TO NAME CHANGE, DIFFERENT RULES TO MARKET GAME

     The CFL is discussing ways to make the league a more "viable
product in the U.S."  Among the possibilities: changing the name
of the league, "Americanizing" the rules, and having Canadian and
American divisions with more geographic rivalries.  Jim Speros,
managing partner of Baltimore's CFL team said the CFL "as we know
it is over. It's got to be an international league between two
countries."  Speros wants the league to rival the NFL, but
admitted, "we don't have any identity.  We're not maximizing our
potential."  The league is struggling in the U.S., where two of
four expansion teams must relocate before next season, and the
"crisis is equally evident north of the border," where teams in
Hamilton and Ottawa face financial trouble.  Commissioner Larry
Smith said the league must do "some pruning."  Smith: "There may
be a small consolidation process.  Consolidation could mean less
Canadian, more American cities."  The CFL's marketing committee
will explore options on a name change, as Speros believes the
league's name must "reflect the American partner."  The changes
are an attempt to make the CFL a more attractive product for U.S.
television, as "the success of American expansion ultimately
rests with a U.S. television contract," even if it means
extending the season into December.  Speros: "If we blow this
opportunity, somebody else will take advantage of it" (Ken
Murray, Baltimore SUN, 11/1).
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