SBD/18/Leagues Governing Bodies

CFL SUSPENDS POSSE FOR SECOND TIME, ENDURES HEAVY CRITICISM

     While there were reports over the weekend that CFL
Commissioner Larry Smith was engaged in last-ditch talks to save
the Las Vegas Posse, it appears that the league is ready to go
ahead with a "dispersal draft" of Posse players today (TORONTO
SUN, 4/18).  On Friday, the CFL again suspended the franchise
after efforts to sell the team to FL-based developer Norton
Herrick and move it to Jackson, MS, again fell through.  Herrick
pulled out after failing to convince local MS politicians to
cover his estimated $3M annual loss.  Any further talks seemed
directed at avoiding legal action.  Noting that the Posse is a
publicly-owned company, Calgary Stampeders Owner Larry Ryckman
said, "By law, it is our responsibility to say we did everything
we could to sell the Las Vegas Posse.  The league is in a very
tenuous situation with this public franchise."  One league source
described the situation as "the worst mess the CFL has ever
gotten itself into.  This is a serious problem -- a very serious
problem" (Allan Maki, CALGARY HERALD, 4/15).
     TOUGH TIMES:  In Baltimore, Ken Murray writes, "The CFL was
left with a huge credibility crisis and a shell of a franchise."
In three years of U.S. expansion, the CFL "has made its share of
clumsy mistakes."  But the "mishandling" of the Posse "could be
the low point."  Robert Wanzel, a sports management instructor at
Ontario's Laurentian Univ.:  "If we were bush league before, what
are we now?"  (Baltimore SUN, 4/18).  In Vancouver, Kent
Gilchrist writes, "Never before in the league that has been
around since 1909 has it been exposed to the ignominy and
credibility-sapping of the last month" (Vancouver PROVINCE,
4/18).
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