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SBD/19/Leagues Governing Bodies
LEAGUE ASKS FEDS TO CHECK EX-HEADS OF NFL PROPERTIES
Published December 19, 1994
The NFL has asked federal authorities to look into the activities of two former heads of NFL Properties, according to a report in N.Y. NEWSDAY. John Flood, fired as NFL Properties president in March, and his predecessor, John Bello, who resigned in September, 1993, are reportedly being probed for their involvement with a trading card company licenced by the league. Although the possible offenses are not entirely clear, Flood and Bello -- "in an apparent conflict of interest -- reportedly made as much as a million dollars each in dealing with the card company, ProSet." Flood was fired by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue immediately after his involvement with ProSet was revealed. At the same time, Tagliabue created an owners committee to check on NFL Properties. When he was fired, Flood "told friends and associates he believed his investment was proper and he did nothing to undermine NFL Properties." NFL officials would only confirm that information has been turned over to federal authorities. Retail sales associated with NFL properties generated nearly $3B in 1993. The football card market had total sales of about $15.3M, "but reportedly suffered a net loss of $7 million last year." One NFL owner familiar with the special owners' committee: "This [probe] only concerns the two former Properties employees and no one else concerned with the league in any way" (Manny Topol, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 12/18).