SBD/13/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         The NBA met with representatives of its locked-out referees
    association for more than three hours yesterday, but "little
    progress was made" toward reaching a new CBA. Jeffrey Miskin, the
    NBA's Senior VP/Legal and Business Affairs and league negotiator,
    said the two sides "remain very far apart on the economic
    issues."  No new meetings were announced (HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
    10/13). As the exhibition season began, replacement referees were
    used.  In Houston, Eddie Sefko writes the "backup players" used
    during the Rockets/Spurs games were "a lot better than the backup
    referees."  Sefko: "Judging by the preseason opener, the league
    ought to up their offer or some coaches and more than a few
    players are going to go nuts."  Longtime veteran Charles Jones:
    "They didn't have a clue. ... I think the league ought to lock
    these guys out, too" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/13).
         GOOD DEAL? SI's "Scorecard" notes the effect the new rookie
    salary cap is having on contract negotiations: "No whining. No
    griping. No shouted ultimatums. Can the NBA season be approaching
    this quietly?"  Last year at this time four of the top 10 NBA
    draft picks were still unsigned and 11 of the 27 overall were
    holding out.  This year with the wage scale, all 29 first round
    picks are signed. By "giving headstrong rookies and tightfisted
    owners little to argue about, the NBA has administered a giant
    aspirin to an annual headache" ("Scorecard," SPORTS ILLUSTRATED,
    10/16 issue).

    Print | Tags: Houston Rockets, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, San Antonio Spurs, Sports Illustrated

         Jerry Jones struck back at the NFL's declaration that the
    Cowboys violated the NFL's salary cap with Deion Sanders'
    contract, claiming that the league responded "maliciously,
    carrying their marketing conflict into this dispute."  Ed Werder
    writes in this morning's DALLAS MORNING NEWS that Jones vowed
    that the NFL's rejection will be "tenaciously challenged."
    Jones: "This is not about Deion Sanders' contract.  This is about
    sticking it to the Dallas Cowboys."  Werder reports that Jones
    "has declined compromise offers" from the league and will contest
    the league's ruling "with the highest possible authorities."  The
    NFLPA will represent Sanders and the Cowboys in a two-step
    process for Jones' appeal.  The two sides will first have a
    hearing before an arbitrator known as the "NFL special master."
    Werder reports that the loser can appeal to U.S. District Court
    Judge David Doty, who supervised the implementation of the
    league's CBA.  Sanders' deal pays him $37.1M, with a $12.99M
    signing bonus.  His salary is at the  league minimum of $178,000
    over the first three seasons.  Although Sanders will average $5M
    a season over seven years, his salary counts for only $2.035M
    under the cap for the first three seasons (DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
         JONES GETS AN ALLY:  In this morning's N.Y. TIMES, Allan
    Myerson reports that the NFLPA has joined Jones' side "raising
    the prospect of a broader battle with owners over the huge salary
    packages demanded by the game's superstars." NFLPA General
    Counsel Richard Berthelsen: "It's our view that the league has no
    leg to stand on" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/13).
         AND IF JONES CAN'T WIN WITH THE FORCE?  An unfavorable
    ruling for the Cowboys would limit their free-agent spending and
    could force them to cut players "if an edict comes before the end
    of the season," according to Kevin Lyons in this morning's FT.
    WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM.  Jones added that he hopes the league's
    objections won't affect "the Cowboys' future regarding such
    things as the Thanksgiving Day game, scheduling and appearances
    on national television" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/13).
         REAX:  On last night's TNT coverage of the Rams-Falcons game
    Kevin Kiley noted that "every deal Jerry Jones does now, he puts
    under a microscope ... I doubt that he broke the rules"  ("TNT
    Wrap Up," 10/12).  ESPN's Keith Olbermann: "If we need a new
    national soap opera to replace the State versus O.J., we may have
    found it - the NFL versus Jerry Jones" ("SportsCenter," 10/12).
    In Fort Worth, Gil Lebreton writes, "Jones is dead right on this
    one. ... If league owners were so suspicious of teams
    circumventing the salary cap, where were they last season, when
    San Francisco circumvented its way to the Super Bowl?" (FT. WORTH
    STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/13).  "The Empire strikes back," writes MORNING
    NEWS Columnist Frank Luksa, who notes that "Jones lacks support
    and a sponsor" within the NFL's "power structure."  (DALLAS
    MORNING NEWS, 10/13).  "Fox NFL Sunday" will feature an interview
    with Jones by James Brown (Fox)

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, LA Rams, Turner Sports, Walt Disney
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