SBD/5/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • FEHR NOT READY TO RESPOND TO OWNERS' LATEST PROPOSAL

         MLBPA Don Fehr said the players "might need additional time"
    before they are ready to respond to the owners' latest labor
    proposal.  Fehr told USA TODAY:  "The more we look at it, the
    clearer it is that it will take some substantial evaluation."
    Fehr is unclear whether the players will have a response by the
    holidays (Chuck Johnson, USA TODAY, 12/5).   ARBITRATION CHANGES?
    Contrary to an earlier stance, the owners "are willing to retain
    salary arbitration without reducing the number of eligible
    players, but that doesn't mean they want to leave the system
    unaltered," according to Murray Chass of the N.Y. TIMES.
    Proposed changes to the arbitration system by the owners:
    Keeping the outcomes of decisions sealed until all cases are
    decided; ending eligibility for so-called "Super 2's" -- a group
    of about 15 players with between two to three years service;
    making inadmissable the contracts of other players who settled
    through arbitration; limiting the comparison to salaries of
    players who have signed multi-year deals to arbitration years --
    not free agent years.  Chass writes, "The current market, then,
    could be eliminated as a factor in determining salaries of
    arbitration players" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/5).
         MINOR UPRISING:  The NABPL has been holding its annual
    meeting in L.A. this week with the participation of MLB execs
    limited to "a few seminars" and the Rule V draft of minor league
    free agents.  The last joint major-minor league convention was
    held in Louisville in '92, which acting MLB Commissioner Bud
    Selig described as a "three-ring circus" with almost $260M in
    player signings dominating.  This week, however, minor league
    execs have made the case for a return to the joint meeting (Ross
    Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 12/5).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • IT'S BACK TO "WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK" FOR NBA REFS

         By a vote of 27-26, NBA refs agreed to accept the league's
    final contract offer and ended the lockout the league had imposed
    on October 1.  ESPN charted the salary progress under the new
    contract:
                        NO EXPERIENCE   20 YEARS+
              1995-96      $75,000      $211,000
              2000-01       99,000       278,000
         In addition, ESPN's Linda Cohn noted pension payments will
    now be $2,700 for every year worked, rising to $3,300 by the end
    of the deal ("SportsCenter," 12/4).  According to NBA Senior
    VP/Legal & Business Affairs Jeffrey Mishkin, the refs are
    expected to be back working "within a week."  Mishkin said their
    raise is a cumulative 60% over the term of the five-year deal,
    with an 18.6% increase this year followed by annual raises of 6%,
    6%, 14 1/2% and 5% in the remaining years.  Increases in pension
    and severance payments were 10% (Mark Asher, WASHINGTON POST,
    12/5).
         GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS:  ESPN's Keith Olbermann:  "They're
    back, but they're clearly not happy about it" ("SportsCenter,"
    12/4).  CNN's Paul Crane:  "The refs don't get all the money they
    wanted, but do get more than they had" ("Sports Tonight," 12/4).
    NBRA General Counsel Fred Slaughter:  "The rank and file have
    spoken.  My guys are ready to go" (Shaun Powell, NEWSDAY, 12/5).
    Refs negotiator Mike Mathis:  "You could say it was a good-news,
    bad-news situation if you want to.  We're all happy to be going
    back to work, but there are some veteran officials who feel this
    deal wasn't very good for them" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/5).
         HOW CLOSE WAS IT?  Several reports note two veteran refs,
    Jake O'Donnell and Jack Madden, were absent from the Chicago
    meeting because of illness.  In L.A., Mark Heisler calls veteran
    refs the union's "hard-liners," and 26-year vet Paul Mihalik
    believes the absences "could have swung the outcome" (L.A. TIMES,
    12/5).  Slaughter:  "If those two members had come, it's no
    telling what the outcome would have been" (Roscoe Nance, USA
    TODAY, 12/5).  Mihalik:  "As far as being satisfied with what we
    got?  No.  We actually came to a point where we stopped comparing
    ourselves to people in the other sports because it wasn't a good
    comparison at times in certain areas.  We tried to come up with
    what was fair and equitable, and evidently the majority felt we
    had reached that point and we had received what we were going to
    receive" (ESPN, 12/4).  The pension plan is still "at issue"
    (Melissa Isaacson, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/5).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • LEAGUE NOTES

         CFL Governors ended their annual meeting last week without a
    "concrete answer" on which teams are in or out for '96.
    Questions surround each of the league's five U.S. franchises
    (CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/2).  Pepper Rodgers, President and
    coach of the CFL's Memphis Mad Dogs, said he will discuss the
    possibility of starting a new four-down U.S. league out of the
    failed American clubs.  Rodgers:  "I know there's a possibility
    for a television contract in the States, and not for the CFL"
    (Marty York, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/2)....In Boston, Nick
    Cafardo examines a proposal to build a 25,000-seat baseball
    stadium in Worcester, MA, for a possible UBL franchise.  The UBL
    has hired HKS Corp. of Dallas to design the stadium, and former
    Red Sox GM Lou Gorman and former Sox manager Joe Morgan are
    floated as a potential brain-trust (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/3)....The
    AHL surpassed the 1 million attendance mark for '95-96 on
    December 3, the earliest date the league has done so (AHL).
    

    Print | Tags: AHL, Boston Red Sox, CFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • NFL NEWS & NOTES: KEY MEETING WITH CLEVELAND OFFICIALS

         NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue meets with Cleveland Mayor
    Michael White this week on the city's proposed $175M renovation
    of Cleveland Stadium -- specifically to determine "how solid the
    proposal is (how real are the dollars?) and what type of
    renovation can be done."  According to Timothy Smith, the meeting
    "could go a long way in determining" whether Tagliabue recommends
    that owners vote against the move when they meet on the issue on
    January 17 in Atlanta (N.Y. TIMES, 12/5).  ESPN's Chris Mortensen
    said it is "not going to be smooth sailing" in terms of league
    approval for the Browns' move.  Mortensen said if the  stadium
    renovation package "works, the league will take up the fight.
    The city already has Art Modell hung up in the courts.  The lease
    that the city has with the Browns may be very enforcable for
    three more years -- and, obviously, that would lead to a very
    ugly situation."  Mortensen said the NFL prefers Modell sell the
    Browns and the Bucs move to Baltimore.  A possible compromise is
    Modell leaving the Browns name in Cleveland and the Bucs to
    Cleveland ("NFL Prime Monday," 12/4).
         BLACK QUARTERBACKS:  ABC's "Nightline" examined the lack of
    African-Americans in "thinking positions" in sports, particularly
    as NFL quarterback.  Armen Keteyian noted there are 7 black QBs
    out of 91 total in the NFL -- 8% in a league that was 68% black
    last season.  Guests were Warren Moon and Bill Walsh.  Walsh:  "I
    think communication has improved dramatically between black and
    white.  There are far more black athletes in the National
    Football League than white, and I think you are going to see a
    major trend of more black men playing that position" (ABC, 12/4).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Cleveland Browns, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Walt Disney
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