SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         Long-discussed plans for a Tournament Players Club in
    Atlanta could be finalized as early as this summer, according to
    PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem.  If the TPC were constructed, it
    could eventually be a new site for the BellSouth Classic which
    has been played at Atlanta Country Club since its inception in
    1967.  Finchem:  "We're looking at two different sites now.  If
    we get the deal done this year, we might be able to play in '97,
    but more likely in '98" (Glenn Sheeley, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, PGA Tour

         The MLBPA, in a letter to management attorney Chuck
    O'Connor, said "that all unsigned players are entitled to
    unrestricted free agency because owners improperly changed work
    conditions and contract language when they implemented the
    salary-cap system on December 23."  The union's case could affect
    835 players.  MLBPA General Counsel Gene Orza:  "We'll pursue
    this in court, in arbitration or any venue the owners desire."
    O'Connor dismissed it as another anti-cap ploy:  "It's designed
    to shake up the clubs, but it's something we anticipated.  We
    probably will use the letter as further evidence of the union's
    refusal to bargain collectively" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 1/6).
    "The two sides remained focused on litigating rather than
    negotiating" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/6). O'Connor said
    arbitrator George Nicolau will not hear the dispute:  "The
    grievance procedure is a creature of the contract.  We don't have
    a contract so we don't have a grievance procedure. ... It will
    wind up at the NLRB" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).
         WASHINGTON WATCH:  White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta
    said that President Clinton is "very concerned" about the lack of
    progress in the dispute and that he plans to use "whatever kind
    of influence he can bring" to find a solution.  Labor Secretary
    Robert Reich, who met with Orza and MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr on
    Wednesday, holds a similar meeting with acting Commissioner Bud
    Selig, Rockies Chair Jerry McMorris and Red Sox CEO John
    Harrington next week.  While Former President Jimmy Carter
    offered his services as a mediator, the Clinton Administration,
    which appointed special mediator William Usery in mid-October,
    plans to stick with Usery (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/6).  Of
    all the legislation offered during the opening days of the 104th
    Congress aimed at repealing baseball's antitrust exemption, USA
    TODAY's Hal Bodley writes that Rep. Pat Williams' (D-MT) bill has
    the "best shot."  The Williams bill would subject both sides to
    binding arbitration if there is no deal by February 1.  Fehr:  "I
    don't know that one-year binding arbitration would be something
    we would not consider" (USA TODAY, 1/6).  There is the
    possibility that the deadline on Williams' bill could be pushed
    back from February 1.

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Leagues and Governing Bodies

         The NHL Board of Governors is "set to kill the players'
    latest contract proposal at their emergency meeting in new York
    tomorrow," according to Paul Hunter in this morning's TORONTO
    STAR.  "But that doesn't necessarily mean the season will die
    with it.  There is growing conjecture the owners, after
    announcing unanimous rejection of the union's proposal, will
    counter with a 'final' offer of their own" (TORONTO STAR, 1/6).
    ESPN's Bob Ley:  "Free agency at age 30 could be the deal-
    breaker" ("SportsCenter," 1/5).  In Vancouver, Tony Gallagher
    writes that the "current feeling" is that the NHL will offer two
    counter-proposals:  one with a tax, and one without.  On the free
    agency age issue, Gallagher adds that if the players were to go
    to 31, "there is a much greater likelihood of acceptance, and you
    can almost write Saturday's anticipated counter-proposal on that
    right now."  The owners also want a clause to reopen the five-
    year deal if salaries don't go down after two years.  That should
    be included in the no-tax counter-proposal (Vancouver PROVINCE,
    1/6).  In Washington, Dave Fay floats other scenarios, including:
    private talks today; more negotiations next week; a counter-
    proposal to the union even before Saturday's vote (WASHINGTON
    TIMES, 1/6).  One NHL Governor told the L.A. TIMES:  "Monday
    night is the absolute deadline" (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES,
         OWNERS SURVEY:  The TORONTO SUN polled NHL owners an found
    that opposition to the players' plan is running 20-6.  FOR:
    Kings, Islanders, Rangers, Penguins, Blues, Maple Leafs.
    AGAINST:  Ducks, Bruins, Sabres, Flames, Blackhawks, Stars, Red
    Wings, Oilers, Panthers, Whalers, Canadiens, Devils, Senators,
    Flyers, Nordiques, Sharks, Lightning, Canucks, Capitals, Jets
    (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 1/6).
         MANAGEMENT REAX:  Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden sees
    the vote as "sink or swim":  "If in a moment of brain-deadness we
    do accept their offer, the season swims.  But if it's rejected,
    as I believe it will be, then I think the season's over" (Kevin
    Paul Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/6).  Lightning Governor David
    LeFevre:  "In fairness to the fans, we have to end the
    negotiating process.  Even if that means losing the season" (ST.
    PETE TIMES, 1/6).  While Devils Owner John McMullen called the
    NHLPA offer a "disappointing document," Sabres Exec VP Gary
    Meehan noted that they have made "significant movement" and
    called it a "good framework" for further talks (Joe Lapointe,
    N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).  Capitals GM David Poile:  "The present system
    is better than what's on the table now" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON
    POST, 1/6).  Whalers Owner Peter Karmanos:  "I'll tell you my
    vote:  See you around" (Viv Bernstein, DETROIT FREE PRESS, 1/6).
         WHAT'S FACING THE COMMISSIONER?  At least one Governor feels
    NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "will avoid putting his stamp of
    approval on the deal immediately, which could put his own job at
    risk if it is narrowly approved.  Rather, Bettman will present
    the offer in a neutral fashion, and gauge the support it has"
    (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/6).  In Toronto, Scott
    Morrison writes, "The owners had best be prepared tomorrow to
    assemble a palatable    counterproposal, one that offers a viable
    alternative for the players.  And that is the daunting task
    facing Bettman, the true test to his leadership and his ability
    to make a deal" (TORONTO SUN, 1/6).  In New York, Larry Brooks
    writes that the NHLPA gave Bettman a "slingshot" to fight off "an
    army of Board militants."  One moderate Governor:  "I don't
    understand what the players did this week.  They're daring us to
    shut them down" (N.Y. POST, 1/6).
         BLIND OPTIMISM?  Two agents expressed their opinion that the
    players' offer should be enough for the owners.  Don Meehan:  "I
    believe those three things [changes in arbitration, $900,000
    rookie cap and elimination of Group I free agency] alone will
    bring about a major change in the marketplace -- what was wished
    for.  And I haven't found a single general manager who disagrees"
    (Jim Proudfoot, TORONTO STAR, 1/6).  Neil Abbott:  "I think it's
    already done, and it'll just be a little media show (tomorrow).
    The owners have already talked and they're happy as pigs in
    bleep" (Stephen Harris, BOSTON HERALD, 1/6).
         REALITY BITES:  The NHLPA's marketing committee spent
    yesterday "rounding up sponsors for a proposed players' league
    which could start as early as February" (Dave Fuller,  TORONTO
    SUN, 1/6).

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Comcast-Spectacor, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Jets, NHL, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Walt Disney, Washington Capitals

         According to former Congressman Tom McMillen, one of the
    organizers of the proposed United Baseball League, a commitment
    from RFK Stadium is the only obstacle keeping DC from gaining a
    UBL franchise.  McMillen, who has been busy trying to assemble a
    group of investors that would own a DC entry, says the "holdup"
    is that RFK has an "informal, exclusive agreement with the two
    groups seeking a [MLB] expansion franchise in Northern VA."
    Those agreements expire this month (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST,

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB

         MLB has rejected the latest contract proposal from the MLB
    Umpires Union.  The union proposal calls for "a pay hike from the
    current range of $60,000-$175,000 to $100,000-$320,000 and a
    doubling of all post-season pay pool."  NL President Len Coleman
    said "there is no appetite for those numbers."  MLB has locked
    out its umps, who will not be paid without a deal.  The league
    submitted a counter-proposal on Wednesday which was "not well
    received" after the union had declined a no-strike, no-lockout
    deal that would "roll over the existing contract" until a
    settlement.  Speculation is that if no deal is reached, MLB may
    look to replacement umpires (Rod Beaton, USA TODAY, 1/6).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
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