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NFLPA LEADERS DELIVER THEIR "STATE OF THE UNION"

     NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw, Asst Exec Dir Doug Allen, and
General Counsel Richard Bertelson held a news conference to
review the past year and look ahead to '95 from the vantage point
of the league's players' union.  Topics discussed were the first
year of the salary cap, a survey of NFL players on the league's
playing surfaces, and the union's new for-profit marketing arm,
Players Inc.
     PLAYERS INC.:  Allen:  "We're the first sports union that
has created a for-profit marketing subsidiary, and it's the only
marketing company that is dedicated to marketing all of the
players in a professional sport. ... The way the law works, a
sports union can license player rights for passive royalties, but
the players enthusiastically supported doing much, much more than
that."
     THE CAP:  Upshaw outlined the effect of the salary cap
saying that the CBA ensures "labor peace" through 2000.  Upshaw
released figures that showed 18 teams spending over the cap of
$34.6M and that the players' share of Direct Gross Revenues
($1.706B total) was $1.092B, or $39.002M per team.  That was an
8% improvement over '93.  Upshaw:  "Our players are living on 64%
of revenues, and that stays in the locker room. ... The system is
working."
     LEGAL ISSUES:  Bertelson outlined the state of legal action
over the CBA.  Several players who are challenging the CBA are
now deciding whether to appeal an 8th Circuit decision supporting
the cap to the Supreme Court.  If they decide not to appeal,
$150M in damages awarded to the players will be freed.  On the
ruling by the 2nd Circuit Tuesday, Bertelson: "The NBA's players,
unfortunately, are faced with the same dilemma that we were faced
with in 1989 -- Do you continue the union in existence, which
only, under this ruling, would protect the owners not the
players?  Or do you decide you don't want to have collective
bargaining rights, and pursue your individual rights?"
     SURVEY:  Not surprisingly, the players overwhelmingly prefer
natural grass.  85% like grass, 7% turf.  70% say the playing
surface plays a role in their free agency decisions.
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Related Topics:

NBA, NFL

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