SBD/28/Leagues Governing Bodies

REFS RANK-AND-FILE READY TO MAKE A DEAL WITH NBA?

     NBA officials will meet with representatives of the league's
locked-out refs on Wednesday in New York.  According to CNN's
Nick Charles, a source said "a lot of referees" think the
league's latest offer was not a bad deal.  Charles: "If Mike
Mathis, the union chief, doesn't get it done Wednesday, they
might take matters into their own hands" ("Sports Tonight,"
11/27).  Tomorrow's session will be the first since the refs
rejected a November 20 league offer of an immediate 18.6% raise
and a 60% hike over the life of the five-year deal.  Mathis said
the two sides are "less than $20,000 a year per team apart."  The
NBA puts the difference at about $2-3M per team per year.  If
there is no agreement by Monday, the league will add a third ref
to the replacement crews (Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY, 11/28).
     HARD LINE:  In Atlanta, Ailene Voisin notes the possibility
of "mutiny" within the ranks of the refs' union.  She reports,
"Sounding remarkably similar to the complaints uttered last
summer by the Ewing-Michael Jordan faction, the rank-and-file is
questioning its leadership and becoming increasingly agitated by
the hardball tactics of chief negotiator Mike Mathis."  Ref
Derrick Stafford:  "Mike decides on the proposals by himself, and
that's wrong. ... We've been quiet, but no longer.  This week
[Mathis] gets it done or he's out" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/28).
     ANOTHER VIEW:  In San Antonio, veteran ref Jimmy Clark said
union members are united.  Clark:  "We really would like to hear
what all the players and owners think.  If they all believe that
we are wanting the moon, then maybe we should re-evaluate our
position, not think about sitting out the season.  But I don't
believe we are asking for the moon" (Glenn Rogers, SAN ANTONIO
EXPRESS-NEWS, 11/28).
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