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         Japan and South Korea are "bidding ferociously" against each
    other for the rights to the 2002 World Cup, according to the
    FINANCIAL TIMES.  The competition has fed into ongoing "quarrels"
    over events that took place during World War II, and South Korean
    Prime Minister Lee Hong-Ko has warned that the World Cup bidding
    could worsen matters.  FINANCIAL TIMES' Terazono & Burton write,
    if South Korea gets the games, it could be a "fatal blow" to the
    Japanese professional soccer league, as Japan has never made it
    to the World Cup finals and could give up on the sport.  If Japan
    wins, it would add to a "long list of grudges" South Korea has
    against Japan.  FIFA decided against moving the decision up to
    December '95.  An announcement is still expected in June '96
    (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/18-19 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies

         Doug Logan will reportedly be named the first Commissioner
    of MLS today.  Logan has an "entertainment and arena-business
    background" and will be asked to steer the league during their
    inaugural season which will being play in April (USA TODAY,
    11/21).  Alan Rothenberg is expected to formalize his future role
    with the MLS this week.  With the "need for a hands-on leader,"
    Rothenberg passed on being full-time Commissioner.  Rothenberg
    has been viewed as "having spread himself too thinly between MLS,
    his law practice and the presidency of the [USSF]."  Grahame
    Jones reports the move has been "mutually agreed-upon" and that
    Rothenberg is "not being forced out" (L.A. TIMES, 11/21).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS

         During halftime of "Monday Night Football" last night, ABC's
    Al Michaels delivered a video op-ed on the problems facing the
    NFL.  Michaels opened by describing the league as "spinning off
    its axis."  He continued, "The NFL will likely soon lay claim to
    the dubious honor of becoming the first major professional sports
    organization in North America ever to witness four franchise
    shifts in a two year period and things are just heating up. ...
    Now we're being told that circumvention of that cap is behind all
    these franchise moves so that teams can remain competitive.
    Excuse me!  What's behind these moves is an old game played in
    sophisticated ways.  The cities of St. Louis, Baltimore, Oakland
    and Nashville stood on street corners whistling, 'Hey, sailor.'
    And the Rams, Raiders, Browns and Oilers crossed the street and
    made the whistlers pay to boot. ... Perhaps scariest of all is
    the fact the old guard owners are the ones on the move" ("MNF,"
    ABC, 11/20).
         NEW LEAGUE:  USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes reports the 16-team
    Fan Football League, proposed by USFL Founder Dave Dixon, would
    play a 24-game schedule from September to March.  Dixon, who
    claims to have received "tremendous response," promises the FFL
    would play in "top markets" (warm-weather and dome cities), with
    "the best stadiums," and "big-name coaches" (USA TODAY, 11/21).
         VIEWING NOTE:  Tonight, PBS' "Nightly Business Report" will
    feature a segment on the business of pro football ("Nightly
    Business Report," 11/20).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Cleveland Browns, Edmonton Oilers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Oakland Raiders, LA Rams, Walt Disney

         The NBA said it has reached its "negotiating limit" with its
    locked-out referees and that they are prepared to play out the
    regular season with replacements, according to the PHILADELPHIA
    DAILY NEWS.  NBA Senior VP/Legal & Business Affairs Jeffrey
    Mishkin made the remarks after announcing that the refs had
    rejected a five-year offer that included "an initial salary
    increase of 18.6% and a total of 60% in raises."  The refs said
    the proposal still would not make them the highest paid officials
    in pro sports, and expressed displeasure the NBA  "bypassed the
    union leadership and sent copies of the deal to every member of
    the staff, requesting that they vote on it" (Phil Jasner, PHILA.
    DAILY NEWS, 11/21).  CNN's Fred Hickman reported union leadership
    "has refused to put the latest league proposal for a 10% salary
    hike over the next five years to a vote."  Hickman quoted NBA
    Commissioner David Stern as saying the union "left us no choice
    other than to continue our season with new officials who will
    begin working 3-man crews December 4" ("Sports Tonight," 11/20).
    Stern was "disappointed" the union chose to reject the deal
    without having a vote of its membership.  No new talks have been
    scheduled (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/21).
         THE WOMEN'S GAME:  The U.S. Women's National Team is hoping
    the "momentum from Atlanta will quickly lead to a new era" of
    women's pro basketball, according to Mark Starr of NEWSWEEK.
    Besides marketing the team prior to the Olympics, the NBA is
    expected to help two new leagues scheduled to begin play by next
    fall.  NBA VP/Business Affairs Val Ackerman:  "Our goal of making
    basketball the most popular sport in the world is not limited to
    the 320 best male players in the U.S."  Champion Products VP Matt
    Mirchin:  "When the NBA puts its marketing muscle behind
    something, it usually becomes quite successful."  But Starr
    writes, despite the corporate involvement, "women's basketball
    doesn't yet measure up" to the men's game.  In fact, Starr
    believes women's basketball is "getting a boost from middle-aged
    sportswriters nostalgic for the kind of hoops they grew up with"
    (NEWSWEEK, 11/27 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA

         Despite the outcry over a World Tour idea that was floated
    just one year ago, the "notion of increasing elite competition
    among the world's best players lives on strongly," according to
    Jeff Rude in the cover story of the current GOLFWEEK.  Frank
    Williams, agent to Greg Norman, who backed the proposal last
    November, said he believes golf fans will "see some sort of world
    tour in 1997 -- not until then because of the existing
    (television) contracts."  PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem
    confirmed he and other pro tour commissioners from around the
    world are working on "specially designated series of events with
    an international context."  Finchem said resolving the Tour's FTC
    issues earlier this year has helped move the process forward.
    Norman and organizer John Montgomery, Jr., say they have seen
    "two other serious proposals," one by Joe Collet, a former agent
    for Seve Ballesteros (GOLFWEEK, 11/18 issue).  An editorial in
    GOLFWEEK states that "golf needs a world tour.  The people want
    it, the players want it, the sponsors want it."  Existing tours
    "better deliver quickly" before a "maverick" tour disrupts pro
    golf (GOLFWEEK, 11/18 issue).
         MONTGOMERY MOVES ON: Montgomery, who was the World Tour
    "frontman," is profiled as "recovering from World Tour setback."
    He now heads Montgomery Sports in Marietta, GA, which works with
    college football athletic directors on logo properties (Richard
    Mundry, GOLFWEEK, 11/18 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, PGA Tour
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