SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         NBA officials "reportedly are privately talking about a
    lockout this summer," according to Sam Smith of the CHICAGO
    TRIBUNE, because the CBA approved by the players last September
    was never signed.  Bulls Player Rep Steve Kerr, who is resigning
    over the "furor":  "The league is claiming union leadership
    reneged on a lot of the negotiations [former NBPA Exec Dir Simon
    Gourdine] did.  No one seems to know what Simon negotiated.  To
    me, it's minor details.  But I think it could get ugly.  The
    whole thing is wacko.  All of a sudden our union is being led by
    the law firm that tried to get the union decertified."  Smith
    notes the talk, according to some "insiders," is of an August 1
    lockout, "giving teams time to make free-agent deals, but then
    shutting down the league again until a final agreement can be
    reached" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/2).  NBA Senior VP for Legal &
    Business Affairs Jeffrey Mishkin avoided talk of a lockout:  "We
    have an agreement.  [The NBPA is] trying to repudiate many of the
    key points.  But we plan to operate under the terms of that
    agreement as we believe it to be."  Agent Bill Strickland, a
    candidate to be new NBPA Exec Dir:  "It would not surprise me if
    the league locked us out again.  There have been quiet whispers
    for the last few weeks.  The league is trying to convince people
    that the disputed points were agreed to, but I can tell you I was
    very involved and there are a lot that weren't.  Based on the
    information I have, there is no agreement."  Union attorney
    Jeffrey Kessler, who took over negotiations on the details of the
    new CBA after the ouster of Gourdine, does not believe the league
    has the "legal standing" to institute a lockout.  Kessler:  "Both
    sides agree there is a document.  We disagree on the terms."  In
    Boston, Peter May notes the deadline is July 1, when the
    "floodgates will open" for free agents and new deals (BOSTON
    GLOBE, 6/2).

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA

         South Korea and Japan, the two contenders to stage the 2002
    World Cup, were told Friday to co-host the event, according to
    the FINANCIAL TIMES.  The "unprecedented decision" forces the two
    historically antagonistic countries to share the responsibilities
    and revenue of the event and was an "embarrassment" for FIFA
    President Joao Havalange who had backed Japan's bid.  Japanese
    officials described the decision as "unfair and foresaw serious
    disputes over which country would host the opening ceremony and
    the final."  The decision will "force FIFA to begin new
    negotiations on broadcasting rights" to the Cup, as initial
    offers were taken on the "assumption that the competition would
    be staged in one country" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/1).  The move
    "dilutes the economic benefits of the games," and the "biggest
    headache is expected to come in deciding which country will stage
    the final match" (Shirouzu & Cho, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/3).  The
    move was "a major victory for the Koreans" and a "fierce
    disappointment for Japan."  The Japanese spent a reported $75M on
    their bid, establishing a pro soccer league to gain "global
    credibility" (John Powers, BOSTON GLOBE, 6/1).  U.S. Soccer
    Federation President Alan Rothenberg called the ramifications
    "huge," adding, "There is a background of animosity and a lot of
    hurdles ahead" (George Vecsey, N.Y. TIMES, 6/2).  In Washington,
    John Haydon notes "FIFA's decision was a big surprise, but
    ultimately the right one" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/1).
         NEWS & NOTES:  FIFA also awarded the '99 Women's World Cup
    to the U.S., with U.S. officials regarding DC's RFK Stadium as
    the leading site for the semifinals and finals (Berkowitz &
    Sullivan, WASHINGTON POST, 6/1)....IMG is reportedly one of two
    candidates to take control of the French soccer club Olympique
    Marseille.  The offer is part of a strategy to extend IMG into
    the "hugely profitable and growing business" of European soccer

    Print | Tags: IMG, Leagues and Governing Bodies

         MLB's weekend action was dominated by coverage of the
    Indians-Brewers series, where a bench-clearing ball followed
    Albert Belle's throwing of a forearm into Brewers 2B Fernando
    Vina while running out a grounder.  Belle earlier had been hit by
    a pitch, and many in the media felt his hit on Vina was malicious
    ("Baseball 96," CNN, 6/1).  Belle's behavior is the focus of USA
    TODAY's Sports cover story, as his "baggage [is] getting heavier
    by the day" (Johnson & Antonen, USA TODAY, 6/3).  Fox's Steve
    Lyons:  "At what point do some of his teammates stop supporting
    some of the things that he's doing?"  Fox's Jeff Torborg: "I
    thought it was good clean baseball" ("Fox Saturday Baseball,"
    6/1). CNN's Tim Kurkjian, on Belle:  "I'm sure they'll look at
    these tapes, but I don't think he'll be suspended. ... He's
    really going to hurt somebody" ("Baseball 96," 6/1).  ESPN's
    Peter Gammons: "I don't think anything is going to happen.  Ever
    since the owners got rid of the commissionership, they got the
    anarchy they sought, and the Players Association isn't going to
    do anything because the Players Association is a rich man's
    guild" ("SportsWeekly," 6/2).  In DC, Mark Maske quotes one AL
    exec who said that AL President Gene Budig wanted to fine or
    suspend Belle for throwing baseballs at an SI photographer, but
    "the union raised hell."  The exec:  "At some point, even the
    union is going to have to say 'Enough is enough'" (WASHINGTON
    POST, 6/2).  ESPN's John Feinstein, on the Vina incident:  "How
    can Bud Selig [acting Commissioner/Brewers Owner] properly
    adjudicate the situation?  What he should do is suspend Albert
    Belle for a month at least, but he can't" (SportsReporters,"
    ESPN, 6/2).    MEETINGS:  Although quarterly owners meetings in
    Philadelphia were canceled, MLB's Executive Council will meet
    Wednesday with the "most significant" figuring to be Reds Owner
    Marge Schott, "who has been invited to attend."  The council is
    expected to decide within a week whether or not to discipline
    Schott for embarrassing comments and her operation of the team
    (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 6/2).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, Sports Illustrated, Walt Disney
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