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  • JETS DEADLINE FOR PURCHASE MAY 1?

         If the Jets are not bought by Winnipeg investors by May 1,
    the team could be on the move, according to Kevin Paul Dupont of
    the BOSTON GLOBE.  Jets Owner Barry Shenkarow said he will not
    extend the deadline from May 1, "perhaps because he believes he
    can pocket $75 million plus (US funds) by selling south of the
    border."  Dupont reports that Ogden Corp. has a standing offer to
    move the team to the Target Center in Minneapolis, and if the
    team is sold that could mean the July 8 amateur draft, to be held
    in Winnipeg, would move -- possibly to L.A (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Jets
  • L.A. KINGS ANNOUNCE VACHON AS PRESIDENT

         Former Kings goalie and front office exec Rogie Vachon has
    been appointed President of the team.  Vachon replaces Bruce
    McNall, the former owner of the team who plead guilty in December
    to a bank fraud scheme.  Vachon will be responsible for all
    operating aspects of the team and report to Kings Chair Joseph
    Cohen (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 3/18).  Former Bruins Asst GM & Coach
    and ESPN analyst Mike Milbury was reportedly offered the dual
    position of Kings GM-Coach. Milbury said last night that he
    intends to stay at ESPN for the rest of the year ("National
    Hockey Night," ESPN, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, ESPN, Franchises, Walt Disney
  • POSSIBLE RAMS BUYER OFFERED OVER $200M FOR TEAM

         Rams Owner Georgia Frontiere was offered $225M from a buyer
    who would keep the team in the L.A. area, according to Will
    McDonough of the BOSTON GLOBE.  The proposal, "which came through
    the NFL office to Frontiere," was rejected last week at the
    league meetings.  One owner said Frontiere would have received
    $200M up front and $5M a year for five years.  The owner said
    there were "three parties interested in buying the team and
    keeping it in Anaheim.  The $225 million was the best.  Almost
    all of the owners would like to see her sell and get out of the
    league.  There was a deal to be made here and the Rams screwed it
    up" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).
         NEXT STEPS:  Representatives of the Rams and FANS Inc. met
    for four hours in St. Louis to discuss their strategy.  L.A.
    lawyer Max Blecher, who represented the L.A. Coliseum during the
    Raiders move in the early '80s, was present.  The focus of the
    meeting was "retooling the relocation agreement" between FANS
    Inc. and the Rams, and possible legal action against the NFL.
    FANS Inc. spokesperson Tom Eagleton:  "I think you're going to
    see some (legal) action by March 31st" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS
    POST-DISPATCH, 3/18).  But a move to St. Louis "is still a
    possibility," writes Pat Yasinskas in Tampa.  "Don't be surprised
    if the Rams sweeten the pot for the league" (TAMPA TRIBUNE.
    3/19).
         AND THE EXPERTS SAY:  In an analysis of the NFL's history in
    anti-trust lawsuits, the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH examines the
    Rams' chances for legal success.  Three factors from the owners'
    meeting "strengthen the Rams' case, should the team sue,"
    according to anti-trust experts.  1) Statements by Patriots
    management saying they voted against the move because they could
    not compete with the Rams under the deal -- "this is a classic
    anti-competitive statement."  2) "Indications of collusion
    between the NFL and Fox."  And, 3)  The suggestion that the
    league treated Frontiere differently because she is a woman
    (O'Neil & Freivogel, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/18).
         THE BOYS CLUB:  Although league management seeks to be
    "socially progressive," the owners' treatment of Frontiere proved
    "they are relative Neanderthals and hardly ready yet to follow
    the impressive lead" of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, according to
    Len Pasquarelli in Atlanta.  It's "all too obvious there was some
    sexism involved" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/19).  In Fort Worth,
    Brian Higgins writes the owners "engaged in a game at which they
    proved to be curiously adept.  It's called extortion."  Higgins
    believes that "for a league that prides itself on a slick
    business history, the NFL imposed a horribly unfair business
    decision on the Rams" (FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New England Patriots, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams
  • THE NFL DOMINO EFFECT: SEVERAL TEAMS WAIT FOR RAMS FALLOUT

         Several NFL teams await the league's decision on the Rams to
    decide their own future.  In Cincinnati, Bengals President Mike
    Brown reiterated his teams need for a new facility, but stressed
    he has no desire to move.  However, an NFL spokesperson said the
    league's top priority is putting teams in St. Louis and L.A. as
    early as '96.  And if NFL owners "can find another team to move
    to Los Angeles, the league probably would approve the Rams move."
    A source close to the NFL said one option considered by the
    owners in Phoenix is to build a stadium at Hollywood Park to be
    shared by the Raiders and either the Bengals or the Browns.  But
    the Bengals' Brown said it "sounds like some imaginations are
    running wild."  Brown:  "No one has brought these plans up to me.
    No, the league can't make you move.  It can only bar you. ... We
    need a new stadium to compete, or we will have to look at other
    options" (Green & Hobson, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/18).  One
    "possible scenario" has the Bengals moving to St. Louis if the
    Rams remain in Anaheim (Will McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).  In
    Cleveland, Browns Owner Art Modell said his team had a stronger
    case to move under the NFL relocation guidelines than the Rams.
    Modell said his team will not play in Cleveland Stadium when the
    lease runs out in '98, "unless there is a major overhaul under
    way."  Modell:  "It's not a threat.  It's simply a matter of
    fact."  If the stadium issue is not resolved, Modell said he
    would consider selling the team to a buyer who might move the
    club (Tony Grossi, Cleveland PLAIN-DEALER, 3/17).
    

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Franchises, NFL, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams
  • WITH LEWIS CEREMONY WEDNESDAY, NEW REPORTS OF DRUG USE ARISE

         With the Celtics scheduled to hold "Reggie Lewis Night"
    Wednesday evening at the Boston Garden, two new reports over
    continue to suggest the former basketball star may have used
    cocaine.  On Saturday, the BOSTON GLOBE reported in a page one
    exclusive that former Northeastern AD Irwin Cohen informed NU
    President John Curry that Lewis and a teammate "tested positive
    for cocaine in March of 1987."  Cohen was suspended with pay from
    his new position as Assistant to the President while NU
    investigates the case.  Curry told the GLOBE:  "I can no longer
    say that Reggie Lewis was free from drugs while he played at
    Northeastern" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/18).  In this morning's WALL
    STREET JOURNAL, Ron Suskind reports that former NU player Derrick
    Lewis, a "close friend" of the Celtics star, said "the two of
    them used cocaine together on several occasions," including five
    days before Lewis collapsed during a playoff game in '93 (WALL
    STREET JOURNAL, 3/19).  Reggie Lewis' widow, Donna Harris-Lewis,
    again claimed that her husband did not use drugs, but the BOSTON
    GLOBE reports that Harris-Lewis called Dr. Gilbert Mudge, Lewis'
    cardiologist, on the night of his death and left a message
    stating:  "There were many things that we could never tell you.
    There were many things that you didn't know" (Stephen Kurkjian,
    BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).
         CELTICS RESPOND:  The Celtics said they will host the Lewis
    event on Wednesday.  Celtics Chair Paul Gaston said the night
    will celebrate Lewis' life, "not for the mistakes he might have
    made along the line."  Gaston said he was undecided whether he
    will pursue the $100M lawsuit he threatened last week against the
    Journal over the original story.  Gaston:  "My beef all along
    last week was I was accused of committing insurance fraud and
    this doesn't change that" (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).
    The GLOBE's Dan Shaughnessy writes that the Northeastern story
    raises more questions:  "Follow the money. ... What did the
    Celtics know and when did they know it? ... When is the last time
    anybody saw Dave Gavitt?"  Gavitt was Celtics CEO at the time of
    Lewis' death.  Shaughnessy urges the Celts to put the event "on
    hold ... This just doesn't feel like the time to be raising any
    banners" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).
         MEDIA WATCH:  NBC, which was criticized by some for ignoring
    the Lewis story during last week's NBA coverage, mentioned the
    GLOBE piece yesterday during "Prudential's At the Half."  Hannah
    Storm noted the revelation that Lewis had tested positive for
    cocaine while at Northeastern.  Storm: "We should mention here
    that there is no indication that Lewis used cocaine after 1987.
    He entered the NBA later that year" (NBC, 3/19).  In New York,
    Phil Mushnick writes that it is time for NBC to "admit what
    several key NBCers privately admit with regret.  NBC has become
    extremely selective about what it reports based on its
    relationship with its two most important business partners -- the
    NFL and the NBA. Especially the NBA" (N.Y. POST, 3/20).  In L.A.,
    Mark Heisler addresses NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol's
    characterization of the original Journal piece as "wholly lacking
    in substantiation."  Heisler notes that it "was based on
    interviews with 12 doctors, some of whom treated or were
    consulted by Lewis" (L.A. TIMES, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Franchises, NBA, NBC, NFL, Seattle Storm
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