SBD/22/Leagues Governing Bodies

HOW MUCH DO SPONSORS REALLY AFFECT NFL PLAYERS?

     "Cap dodging" in the NFL is the topic of a piece by Len
Pasquarelli in this morning's ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  Citing Deion
Sanders' recent deal with Sega -- which is reportedly dependent
on him staying in San Francisco -- Pasquarelli writes, "Short of
an in-depth investigation of a player's bank accounts and tax
records, any complicity between an NFL team and a friendly
corporate entity could be virtually impossible to substantiate."
The topic was also raised at last week's owners' meetings.
Saints Owner Thomas Benson:  "You'd need the IRS and the FBI ...
and you still might not turn up anything concrete."  Commissioner
Paul Tagliabue has scrutinized the 49ers/Sanders deal and found
it "to be above board":  "Endorsement contracts for players have
been part of the game since Joe Namath arrived on the scene, if
not before that" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/22).
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