SBD/28/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig denied a story that MLB is
    investigating whether exiled Reds Owner Marge Schott is
    "meddling" in the day-to-day affairs of the franchise.  Selig did
    say NL President Len Coleman will be "monitoring the situation
    very closely."  Coleman is in Cincinnati today to review
    compliance with MLB's edict (USA TODAY, 6/28).  On Thursday, the
    DAYTON DAILY NEWS reported that Schott has been upset with new
    policies enacted under interim CEO John Allen.  One Reds
    employee:  "She was on a rampage, just sticking her nose into
    what everybody was doing and wondering why she didn't have any
    checks to sign."  Another employee:  "I've seen her ranting and
    raving and waving her arms in protest" (Hal McCoy, DAYTON DAILY
    NEWS, 6/28).  An NL spokesperson told ESPN "they will not begin
    an investigation unless someone in the Reds organization issues a
    complaint" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/27).
         NEWS & NOTES:  Former minor league ump Craig Compton, fired
    in October '94 after being named the top umpire prospect a year
    earlier by Baseball America, has filed suit against the NL, AL,
    their counterparts in the minor leagues and the MLB Office for
    Umpire Development, alleging he was denied promotion because he
    is white.  Compton, who has filed similar complaints with the
    EEOC and a PA state agency, seeks $100,000 in damages (PHILA.
    DAILY NEWS, 6/28). ....BASEBALL AMERICA notes the White Sox's
    upcoming contract talks with No. 1 pick Bobby Seay have put Owner
    Jerry Reinsdorf in an "interesting position:  either pay more for
    Seay's services than he might think they're worth, or let him go
    for the fiscal sake of the industry."  Reinsdorf has called for
    limits on scouting budgets, including signing bonuses (BASEBALL
    AMERICA, 7/8-21 issue).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Walt Disney

         Negotiators for the NBA and its players "were working
    overtime last night" to resolve the remaining issues regarding
    the to-be-signed collective bargaining agreement in hopes of
    averting the second lockout in as many years, according to the
    WASHINGTON POST.  Sources from both sides said talks were likely
    to continue today.  Meanwhile, NBA Commissioner David Stern told
    BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS that he will "ban" free agents signings
    if there is no deal by Monday, July 1 -- the day players can
    begin negotiations with teams.  Mark Asher reports, "Neither side
    was predicting a deal will be struck" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/28).
    On the issue of payment for the use of the players' logo, USA
    TODAY's Roscoe Nance reports the union originally asked for $31M,
    but has lowered that demand to $29M -- money which will go to the
    players, not the union (USA TODAY, 6/28).
         BAD DREAM TEAM:  USA Basketball spokesperson Craig Miller
    said they have not heard from any Dream Team member that he will
    not report in the event of a lockout.  One NBA GM, saying said an
    Atlanta boycott would be "tragic":  "I understand wanting to put
    pressure on the NBA, but that just isn't the right thing to do.
    You're supposed to be playing for your country in an
    international competition.  What does that have to do with the
    amount of money you make or the benefits you are receiving?"
    (WASHINGTON POST, 6/28).
         OPINIONS:  In Chicago, Lacy Banks calls the owners' threat
    of a lockout a "bully tactic that can be costly for all parties
    because I don't think the players will surrender like they did
    last year."  He continues, "With TV money, foreign commitments
    and the league's image at stake, I believe the players are better
    able to call the owners' bluff."  Banks calls the players' demand
    for $29M from group licensing "chump change" and indicates he
    would support a player boycott of the Olympics should the league
    lock out its players (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/28).  In New York,
    Peter Vecsey is "convinced they'll avert a lockout.  Why?
    Because David Stern always has said, 'If money is the only
    obstacle [which, Vecsey notes, it is] preventing us from reaching
    an agreement, we can work it out'" (N.Y. POST, 6/28).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA

         In a teleconference yesterday, NBA Commissioner David Stern,
    NBA VP/Business Affairs Val Ackerman and NBC Sports President
    Dick Ebersol announced a five-year TV rights agreement between
    the new Women's NBA with NBC presenting weekly coverage beginning
    June '97.  Stern cited NBC's track record and the NBA's "comfort"
    level with the network as key reasons.  Ebersol indicated the
    deal is based on revenue and profit sharing and that NBC expects
    WNBA coverage to produce at least a 3.0 rating by the third year.
    Stern said a cable deal, airing two prime time games a week,
    would be announced within three weeks, with Lifetime and Turner
    among those considered.  Any local TV deals will be negotiated by
    the teams (THE DAILY).  Ebersol:  "In the last three years, the
    two sports that have shown the most growth are NASCAR and women's
    basketball.  Knowing what the NBA can bring to this, it can
    really develop into something" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/28).
         CABLE:  INSIDE MEDIA's Mike Reynolds reports Lifetime and
    ESPN are the front-runners for the cable package (INSIDE MEDIA,
    6/28).  ESPN's Dan Quinn:  "We're very interested and discussions
    are taking place" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/28).
         DETAILS:  Stern said the eight teams would play in NBA
    cities, in NBA arenas, and would be operated by NBA team front
    offices. He added the WNBA's access to those resources --
    including "the best marketers in all of sports" -- coupled with
    the NBC deal, are two differences between the WNBA and past
    failed women's leagues.  The NBA's Val Ackerman said the best
    players will get "top salaries," but they would likely be lower
    than the ABL's considering the ABL has a longer season.  Stern
    does not see the ABL as "a competitive issue" since the ABL will
    play in the fall and the WNBA in the summer. The WNBA has a Labor
    Day timetable to announce cities and player signings (THE DAILY).
         REAX:  Stern:  "If we can't do it, it can't be done"
    (WASHINGTON POST, 6/28).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes, "One
    can't help but think that NBC has taken a big step toward
    protecting the second most valuable television sports property,
    after the NFL" (Baltimore SUN, 6/28).  In St. Pete, Brian Landman
    writes, "No women's league -- amateur or professional -- has
    commanded such coverage, which bestows a credibility to the
    fledgling league" (ST. PETE TIMES, 6/28).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NASCAR, NBA, NBC, NFL, Walt Disney, WNBA
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