SBD/5/Franchises

SHULA TO STEP DOWN AFTER 26 YEARS WITH DOLPHINS

     After 26 years with the Dolphins and having amassed the
record as the NFL's winningest coach, Don Shula will announce his
resignation today.  Under his contract, Shula has the option of
staying on in an administrative capacity.  Shula also owns a
piece of the Dolphins (Mult., 1/5).
     ARE FOX AND HBO LOSING AN ANALYST?  On HBO's "Inside the
NFL," Len Dawson said colleague Jimmy Johnson refused to
participate in any talk concerning his replacing Shula. HBO's
Gary Myers said Johnson told him he felt he was a part of the
story and it would be inappropriate for him to comment until Don
Shula made an announcement on his own.  Myers also reported that
Johnson insists he has not been contacted by the Dolphins, but
that he has spoken with the Bucs (HBO, 1/4).  ESPN's Chris
Mortenson:  "Jimmy Johnson is not going to go away. His
popularity in South Florida is immense. ... A key factor, though,
is does Don Shula remain in the front office with authority?  If
that happens I don't think Jimmy Johnson is going to be the next
coach of the Miami Dolphins" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/4).
     WAYNE IN THE BOX:  Nick Buoniconti speculated Shula was
forced out by Huizenga, "I've never known Wayne Huizenga to make
a bad business deal and this probably goes in the same line as
that.  You have to remember that in 1997 all those luxury boxes -
- 200 of them -- come up for renewal.  Those are major leases,
major revenue for that stadium, major revenue for Wayne Huizenga.
We know that if in 1996 the Dolphins do not have a good team,
it's going to be very difficult for him to sell those skyboxes
because he wants to almost double the rent on those" ("Inside the
NFL," 1/4).
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