SBD/8/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • EVERYONE'S GOT AN OPINION ON JERRY JONES

         Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones' quest to divest himself and his
    team from the revenue-sharing requirements in regards to NFL
    Properties continues to elicit strong opinions.  This morning,
    more NFL owners, several columnists and Jones' old friend, former
    Cowboys Coach Jimmy Johnson, weigh in.
         IN HOUSTON, NFL writer John McClain writes, "Before this
    season, Jones was just a sideshow, the P.T. Barnum of the NFL, a
    tireless, shameless self-promoter with an insatiable appetite for
    publicity. ... Some Cowboy observers say Jones wants the league
    to file a lawsuit against him so his attorneys -- and those from
    PepsiCo and Nike -- will have an opportunity to break the NFL
    Properties contract that expires in 2004" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
    9/8).
         IN NEW YORK, columnist Phil Mushnick -- who calls Jones a
    "bombastic, me-firsting showoff" and compares him to Don King and
    Donald Trump -- writes, "If Mr. Jones does not wish to
    participate in the NFL's profit-sharing system; if he no longer
    wishes to be a team player and insists upon making his own, more
    profitable deals, the NFL should not fight him, it should pave
    the way to accommodate him; now and forever" (N.Y. POST, 9/8).
         IN CHICAGO, Andrew Gottesman & Don Pierson write, "By
    generating sponsorship dollars that are not shared among all 30
    league teams, Jones is injecting some capitalism into an industry
    that traditionally has been run by socialism" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
    9/8).
         IN PHILADELPHIA, columnist Rich Hofmann writes, "Jones is
    threatening the NFL's very foundation."  While Eagles Owner Jeff
    Lurie withheld comment on the Jones deals, Eagles VP Joe Banner
    said, "We're not totally socialist around here."  Hofmann reports
    that Banner "makes the case that what Jerry Jones is doing isn't
    all bad.  He says that teams throughout the league currently have
    a problem, a problem in defining exactly what they can and can't
    do in terms of marketing themselves locally.  Banner figures this
    might lead to a clearer definition.  The Eagles, Banner said,
    also believe that more money could be generated leaguewide if
    more of the marketing decisions were made locally."  Hofmann
    disagrees warning of what could happen to lower-revenue teams if
    "economic power becomes the key determinant in the future of the
    NFL" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/7).
         ON TV:  After taping HBO's "Inside the NFL," Jimmy Johnson
    criticized Jones for making the Nike announcement during the
    "Monday Night" game.  Johnson:  "That's just Jerry.  He's gonna
    do everything possible to make every dollar he can make. ... The
    other owners are able to still make a profit and abide by league
    guidelines.  He does it because he wants to make more money"
    (N.Y. POST, 9/8).  HBO's Chris Collinsworth said a Deion Sanders
    signing by the Cowboys "spells the end of the salary cap as we
    know it.  I don't think there is any question at all that there
    is some sort of triangular relationship between Nike and the
    Dallas Cowboys and Deion Sanders" ("Inside the NFL," HBO, 9/7).
    

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  • LEAGUE NOTES

         THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports on the increased cost of
    attending an NFL game, based on research by Team Marketing
    Report.  The average NFL ticket price rose 9.3% to $33.39 this
    year.  The total stadium expense for a family of four rose 8.7%
    to $198.57 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/8)....THE SPORTING NEWS
    reports the MLBPA "privately concedes there is no way it can get
    back service time for its members."  Many players believed they
    would be free agents, but instead will simply be arbitration-
    eligible. "Of course, considering the state of baseball,
    arbitration eligibility will be the same as free agency for all
    but a few players" (TSN, 9/11 issue).
    

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  • THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART: NBPA VOTE COMPLETED

         "The results won't be known until next week, but both sides
    were ready to claim victory in the NBA labor fight Thursday,"
    according to this morning's CHICAGO SUN TIMES.  NBA Commissioner
    David Stern:  "We feel the majority of the players will do the
    right thing.  They will overwhelmingly approve the contract,
    which is a very good contract for everybody.  Then we can get
    back to the business of basketball and opening our season on
    schedule."  Agent Marc Fleisher:  "We killed them in New York,
    and we killed them in Winston-Salem and Los Angeles, while
    Philadelphia was a dead heat.  I hear that 12 voted in New York.
    I'd be surprised if (union supporters) had four votes.  Patrick
    Ewing and Dino Radja announced publicly they voted for us.  Eight
    voted in Los Angeles.  And I feel we got seven and definitely not
    less than six.  Most of our guys have refused to talk for fear of
    reprisals.  So it's my hope that most players who say they are
    voting for the union will actually (reject the union)" (Lacy
    Banks, CHICAGO SUN TIMES, 9/8).
         MORE FROM THE TOP:  NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine:  "We think
    there has been a good strong turnout and we've operated from the
    assumption that the larger the turnout the better it was for the
    union.  We feel very good about the results" (Mark Asher,
    WASHINGTON POST, 9/8).  Michael Jordan:  "If it doesn't carry
    then the players have spoken their mind, and that's all I ask.
    If the majority of the players choose to accept this deal then
    I'm with them, I'm with the majority, I'm with the players.  As
    long as, two years down the road, they can live with the
    repercussions of what this deal is going to give them, then I'm
    happy" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 9/7).
         FIRST IN LITIGATION, LAST IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE:  "Once
    again, the Twin Cities will become the sports litigation capital
    of the nation today when the NBA's contentious labor dispute
    moves into Minneapolis federal court," according to today's
    Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  U.S. District Judge David Doty will
    hear motions concerning the dissidents antitrust lawsuit and
    request for an injunction against the lockout, as well as the
    league's request to change venue from Minneapolis to New York.
    Weiner:  "Doty is not expected to make any rulings today.
    Indeed, if the outcome of the players' decertification vote is to
    uphold the union and, in essence, support a new collective
    bargaining agreement, then this case probably will be dismissed"
    (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 9/8).
         PASS THE HAT:  The "status of the NLRB itself could pose a
    problem for the NBA," according to the N.Y. TIMES.  NLRB New York
    Regional Dir Daniel Silverman:  "We have already received
    potential furlough notices.  It means if there is no budget on
    Oct. 1, employees may be laid off, myself included.  Our cases,
    basketball in particular, may be delayed by the absence of a
    budget" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/8).
         WITHER THE REFS?  "Should the decertification movement be
    defeated, as appears likely, next on the league's cramped agenda
    is to negotiate a new contract with the referees," (Peter Vecsey,
    N.Y. POST, 9/8).
    

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