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SBD/15/Leagues Governing Bodies
FEDERAL SHUTDOWN DOESN'T STOP DC TALK ON SPORTS LEGISLATION
Published November 15, 1995
Cleveland Mayor Michael White was in Washington yesterday to meet with his state's congressional delegation regarding possible legislative responses to the Browns' move. In addition, White sought contact with the Dept. of Justice, claiming that Browns Owner Art Modell dealt "fraudulently" with the city. The bills proposed by OH Rep. Martin Hoke and OH Sen. John Glenn both seek to limit sports franchise movement. According to the WASHINGTON POST's Ken Denlinger, they "agree in all areas, except one: Glenn's would grant the leagues a limited exemption from antitrust laws." Glenn: "That's what we're hung up on now. The leagues can't stop a team from transferring." Hoke: "From my perspective, I don't trust the NFL [which has a limited exemption to pool revenue] to act in the interest of anybody other than the team owners." Glenn's bill would force a team to give 180 days notice before moving and that the team name remain. Hoke would require the league to give the vacant community an expansion team within a year of a qualified buyer being found (WASHINGTON POST, 11/15). CONTRACT WITH AMERICA'S FANS: WA Sen. Slade Gorton, a conservative Republican who generally favors free commerce, also believes teams should be limited in their ability to move. Gorton believes, in exchange for public subsidies teams receive, they are not entitled to be treated as "pure private enterprises" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/15). Thomas Boswell writes, "If all major sports had a Fans Rights Act, which allowed leagues a partial exemption regarding franchise location -- but nothing else -- then all our games would be better served" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/15).