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THE CRAB POUND? RUMORS PERSIST ABOUT BALTIMORE BROWNS
Published November 3, 1995
Baltimore TV station WBAL reported yesterday that the Browns and the state of MD had reached a "handshake" agreement to have the team move to Baltimore to play next season ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/2). However, a headline in today's Cleveland PLAIN DEALER states, "Modell declares the Browns not for sale to squelch rumor." Browns Owner Art Modell was "evasive" in a direct response, but David Hopcraft, a spokesperson for Modell, called the report of a deal a "bum story" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 11/3). FROM CHARM CITY: Neither the Maryland Stadium Authority nor the Browns would comment on talks, but sources say the Browns "are believed" to have signed an outline for an agreement to move the team to Baltimore in time for next season, according to this morning's Baltimore SUN. The news comes as Cleveland officials "scrambled" yesterday to move forward in efforts push for passage of a referendum on a $170M renovation of Cleveland Stadium. Pro- stadium "Go Cleveland Committee" President Andy Juniewicz: "We're obviously trying to put this rumor to rest." Juniewicz also noted the rumors may be an attempt to "drum up" support for Tuesday's vote (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 11/3). MD Gov. Parris Glendening held a "hastily arranged" lunch yesterday in Annapolis with Maryland Stadium Authority President John Moag and several top aides. When asked about the lunch, Glendening smiled and said they discussed college basketball, adding, "We can't negotiate any type of deal or arrangement by way of media, and I will not make any specific comments until we are able to stand up with a signed contract." The SUN's Morgan notes sources familiar with the talks say Moag is preparing for a press conference on Monday (BALTIMORE SUN, 11/3). ESPN's Chris Mortensen also reported Browns officials denied the WBAL report that a "handshake deal" is in place ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/2).