SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         Arenaball, a sport that is "conceived, performed and
    marketed as an unashamed entertainment enterprise," is examined
    by Charles Pierce in the latest issue of GQ.  Upon the sport's
    inception, "Arenaball immediately tapped into the demand for
    relatively inexpensive sports productions. ... The same dynamic
    that caused a boom in minor league baseball and hockey also
    worked to the benefit of Arenaball."  Pierce calls the sports a
    glimpse of the "birth of a raucous future toward which most
    spoorts seem to be slouching."  While a "garish display" of the
    future of sports, others -- the NBA is mentioned -- may surpass
    Arneball.  Pierce:  "In fifty years, people are going to think it
    was all so lovely and quaint" (GQ, 8/95 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA

         In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reports that there is "a chance"
    that the MLBPA will have a new offer to consider after today's
    MLB Exec Committee meeting in Chicago (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE,
    8/1).  One owner tells the N.Y. TIMES:  "We're going to start
    talking economic issues with them as early as this week or next
    week."  Baseball's players and the owners need the resuming labor
    negotiations "to get a deal and assure the fans peace in our
    time," writes Murray Chass in today's N.Y. TIMES.  Chass
    continues, notes that, even without a salary cap, owners "could
    pay players as little as they want in many cases" and use that
    strategy to force the players "to accept whatever position they
    adopt.  If the owners were to pursue that strategy, they would do
    so with the belief that the players would not strike again.
    Indeed, the players prefer a new agreement to a new work
    stoppage, but they are unlikely to accept a deal at any cost"
    (N.Y. TIMES, 8/1).
         LEGAL TEAMS:  As of now, according to Chass, the legal
    lineup for both sides will be:  Stanley Jaspan, Rob Manfred and
    Frank Coonelly for the owners, and Lauren Rich, Michael Weiner
    and Steve Fehr for the players.  Chass notes the possibility that
    Randy Levine, currently New York City Commissioner of Labor
    Relations and former representative for the Yankees, could be
    added to the owners' legal team.  If Levin is hired, it could be
    as head of the owners' negotiating committee (N.Y. TIMES, 8/1).
         NEW RULES:  In San Francisco, Tim Keown writes on the recent
    anti-fan actions by such players as Jack McDowell and Chili
    Davis, "Two years ago, those incidents would have been
    insignificant, quirky sidelights, hardly front-page news.  Not
    any more.  The strike changed the rules, turned every incident
    into a further sign of deterioration, a small glimpse of the
    empire's decline" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/1).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Yankees

         NASCAR is examined in today's WASHINGTON POST by Ken
    Denlinger.  Subheads include "Selling the Sport," "From
    Martinsville to Long Pond," and "Gordon and the Future."
    Denlinger writes, "NASCAR is by far the most commercial of all
    sports.  Long before baseball had billboards behind home plate
    and colleges gravitated toward corporate tie-ins, NASCAR had
    sponsor names splattered all over its cars and the uniforms of
    its drivers."  Kyle Petty:  "All sports depend on outside money.
    We're just honest about it and nobody else is" (WASHINGTON POST,
    8/1).  The excitement surrounding the Brickyard 400 this weekend
    is reportedly not as great as the inaugural race last year.
    Although all 310,000 seats have been sold, "word has spread" that
    seats are available through ticket agencies.  Jeff Gordon:  "I
    don't know if it can ever be what it was the first time.  The
    inaugural event, the first time stock cars ever raced here.  That
    was just a huge event.  You wonder if it can be bigger than that"
    (AP/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/1).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NASCAR

         The NLRB voted 5-0 yesterday "to seek a stay" of the class-
    action, antitrust lawsuit filed in Minneapolis federal court
    against the NBA by Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, and 14 other
    players, according to Mark Asher in today's WASHINGTON POST.  The
    NLRB is "maintaing that the suit cannot go forward unless players
    vote to remove -- or decertify -- the union as their collective-
    bargaining representative."  Asher:  "The first hearing in the
    antitrust case is set for Sept. 6 in Minneapolis, and NLRB
    officials are not certain the decertification process will be
    completed by then."  Jeffrey Kessler, lawyer for the players
    seeking decertification:  "I think it's incorrect; I don't think
    the courts will accept it.  I do not believe this action in any
    way will impede the progress of our antitrust case."  NBA Senior
    VP Jeffrey Mishkin said the ruling "merely confirms that complex
    labor issues remain to be resolved and that misrepresentations
    were made to our players that antitrust litigation would be a
    quick-fix substitute for collective bargaining."  NBPA Exec Dir
    Simon Gourdine:  "That lawsuit involves the players against the
    NBA.  This decision by the NLRB does not have much effect on the
    union per se" (Mark Asher, WASHINGTON POST, 8/1).
         WILLIAMS SAYS NEW DEAL IS CLOSE:  According to a report by
    Kerry Eggers in today's Portland OREGONIAN, NBPA President Buck
    Williams "believes the union and league officials are a 'couple
    of meetings away' from a collective bargaining agreement that
    could help ward off the decertification movement."  Williams:
    "It's a race against time.  I'm very confident we can bring a
    revised agreement back to the players before the decertification
    vote takes place.  It's something that can and will be done."
    According to Williams, another negotiating session between the
    union and league is tentatively scheduled for this Thursday or
    Friday (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/1).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
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