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REFS RANK-AND-FILE READY TO MAKE A DEAL WITH NBA?
Published November 28, 1995
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).