SBD/4/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         Japan, South Korea and Mexico all submitted bids to stage
    the 2002 World Cup by the December 31 deadline, according to
    FIFA.  The decision is not scheduled to be made until '96 and
    FIFA officials "long have suggested they would prefer Asia, which
    never has hosted."  Mexico is a two-time host (Jerry Langdon, USA
    TODAY, 1/4).

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         According to Professional Bicycle League (PBL) Commissioner
    Peter O'Neil, Chicago, Miami, New York and Houston are all very
    close to becoming franchise cities in the proposed eight-team
    league.  The race format would have two five-member teams racing
    on a city course approximately a half-mile long.  Every other lap
    counts for points with finisher order scored at one point for
    first, two for second, etc. (PBL).

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         Labor Secretary Robert Reich has scheduled meetings with
    both sides in baseball's labor dispute.  Today, Reich meets with
    MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr; next week, he will meet with Rockies
    Owner Jerry McMorris, acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Red
    Sox CEO John Harrington (Tracy Ringolsby, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,
    1/4).  Meanwhile, the 104th Congress gets under way today.  Two
    lawmakers, one in the Senate and one in the House, will introduce
    legislation to repeal some form of MLB's antitrust exemption.
    The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Pat Moynihan (D-NY), could be
    debated within the next two months.  Moynihan's bill states that,
    except for negotiating national broadcasting rights, the
    antitrust laws "shall apply to the business of organized
    professional baseball" (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/4).
         REPLACEMENTS:  Many GMs and owners around the league said
    that preparations to field replacement teams have begun.  Blue
    Jays GM Gord Ash notes that even though the team cannot field a
    replacement team in Toronto, that does not mean they will not
    field a spring training team in FL.  Ash:  "We can't afford to
    wait until March 1 and say all of a sudden we've got to play a
    [exhibition] game on March 3 and we've got no one to play it"
    (Larry Millson, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/4).  Blue Jays President
    Paul Beeston notes that the team will not break Ontario laws or
    move to another city to use replacement players:  "We're the
    Toronto Blue Jays, not the Buffalo Blue Jays or Vancouver Blue
    Jays.  It's not our intention to break the rules of the province
    of Ontario" (TORONTO SUN, 1/4).  Braves President Stan Kasten
    said the Braves have plunged "full force" into developing plans
    to field a replacement team (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 1/4).  Cubs President Andy MacPhail: "We have to
    start looking at this point.  What practical alternative do we
    have now?" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/4).  Harrington will speak today
    by telephone with MLB's 10-man operations committee about having
    a season without the striking players.  Harrington hinted that
    instead of replacements for spring training, the teams could ask
    minor leaguers to report earlier and work with major league
    coaches:  "That isn't to say we would use minor leaguers as
    replacements.  The notion is that we would spend more time
    developing those younger kids" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 1/4).
         UNION'S WORLD TOUR '95:  Fehr is scheduled to hold player
    meetings in seven cities (Chicago; Tampa; San Juan, PR; Phoenix;
    Los Angeles; Dallas; and Caracas, Venezuela) over the next two
    weeks in order to update players on the situation.  The union
    staff will meet with agents in Chicago on Saturday, in New York
    next Tuesday and Los Angeles on January 12 (Tracy Ringolsby,

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Toronto Blue Jays

         For the first time since the NHL imposed its lockout on
    October 1, negotiators for the league's owners and players met
    for three consecutive days.  "The pessimistic mood that was
    created by four hours of reportedly unproductive talks on Sunday
    has, at least in some minds, been overtaken by more than 18 hours
    of negotiations over the past two days," writes Damien Cox in
    this morning's TORONTO STAR.  No new talks have been scheduled,
    but there is a possibility that lower-level negotiations will
    continue (TORONTO STAR, 1/4).  The WASHINGTON POST quotes NHL VP
    of Public Relations Arthur Pincus saying that discussions will
    continue today.  NHLPA spokesperson Steve McAllister added there
    has been nothing set up between NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow and
    NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, but "at some point, to get a deal,
    those two guys would have to meet" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON
    POST, 1/4).  One "angry" GM:  "I don't think Goodenow and Bettman
    will meet again until it's done and it's time to shake hands"
    (Mark Everson, N.Y. POST, 1/4).
         OWNERS MEETING?  The L.A. TIMES is reporting that the NHL
    Board of Governors will hold a conference call today, "but it was
    not known whether the purpose was to poll the governors about a
    potential deal or merely to update them" (Helene Elliott, L.A.
    TIMES, 1/4).
         MORE FROM THE RUMOR MILL:  With both sides maintaining a
    secrecy agreement, speculation on what issues are under
    discussion varies.  Maple Leafs President Cliff Fletcher, who was
    involved in the earlier round of lower-level talks:  "There are
    only six guys who know what is going on -- the four guys in the
    room along with Bob Goodenow and Gary Bettman.  The rest is all
    speculation and it's all over the map" (CP/VANCOUVER SUN, 1/4).
    The BOSTON GLOBE reports the league has dropped its demand for a
    tax should the players "capitulate" on three other significant
    issues:  a rookie cap no higher than $800,000, elimination of all
    "meaningful" salary arbitration, and unrestricted free agency
    only at age 32 or 33.  According to a source, it is now up to
    Goodenow to respond (Dupont & Marrapese, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/4).
    Also in Boston, Bruins President Harry Sinden and team player rep
    Dave Reid denied a Tuesday report by sports-radio station WEEI
    that the lockout "appeared over" (Joe Gordon, BOSTON HERALD,
    1/4).  The Toronto GLOBE & MAIL reports discussions focus on
    Group II free agents (age 24 or five years exp.) The owners want
    to retain the right-to-match and allow only two Group II players
    per team to apply for arbitration per year.  That arbitration
    would be non-binding.  In exchange, the players would be eligible
    for unrestricted free agency at age 30 (David Shoalts, Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL, 1/4).
         WHAT TO DO?  In New York, Larry Brooks writes that it is
    Bettman's "responsibility" as commissioner to explain to the
    Board of Governors that a deal without a tax is still a victory
    for the owners.  One GM, noting that the players have made
    concessions "pretty much straight down the line":  "The problem
    is now the hockey people have to be given the opportunity to
    explain that to the owners and I'm not so sure that's going to be
    done."  But while management appears fixated on the tax, one
    "prominent" agent said:  "It isn't the league office; it's the
    owners" (N.Y. POST, 1/4).  One league source told the HARTFORD
    COURANT:  "If there is no payroll tax, then no free agency and
    concessions on salary arbitration are the only thing left.  What
    leverage do the players have then?  That's what I think [NHL
    Senior VP & Dir of Hockey Ops Brian] Burke and [NHL General
    Counsel Jeff] Pash were trying to explain to them the other day.
    The players would be better off with some sort of tax plan" (Jeff
    Jacobs, HARTFORD COURANT, 1/4).

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs

         In response to the Panthers' pursuit of Steelers Defensive
    Coordinator Dom Capers as the team's first head coach, NFL
    Commissioner Paul Tagliabue yesterday delivered "one of the most
    punitive actions in recent NFL history.  Tagliabue fined both
    teams and ordered that the Panthers forfeit their second and
    sixth-round draft picks in the upcoming draft.  The $150,000 fine
    to the Panthers and the $50,000 fine to the Steelers, as well as
    the loss of draft picks, was "significantly more severe than the
    figurative slap on the wrist that Carolina GM Bill Polian had
    predicted" (Len Pasquarelli, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/4).  The
    ruling marked the first time in NFL history that a club has been
    penalized more than one draft choice for rule violations.  The
    Panthers justified their actions by saying that they couldn't
    wait until the end of the Steelers' season to pursue Capers
    because of "potential competition from colleges" (SAN JOSE
    MERCURY NEWS, 1/4).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers
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