SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • ANIMOSITY OVER TOURNAMENT SEEDING LINGERS AT U.S. OPEN

         ESPN's Brett Haber opened his report on the first day of the
    U.S. Open by saying, "Men's tennis almost went on strike on
    Monday."  Foreign players kept up their criticism of the USTA's
    decision not to go by the ATP computer ranking and conduct their
    own draw with allegations that the system was "rigged" in favor
    of U.S. players.  The theory, according to the critics, is that
    the USTA wants to keep U.S. players -- particularly Agassi, Chang
    and Sampras -- alive in the tournament for as long as possible to
    maintain high TV ratings and ticket sales.  USTA President Les
    Snyder:  "The important thing for folks to remember is that this
    is in the rules -- that we have a contract with the ATP that
    we'll use the ranking system for entry in the tournament, but not
    necessarily for seeding.  All four Grand Slams have agreed to
    that" ("SportsCenter," 8/26).  NEWSDAY's John Jeansonne reports,
    "Actual tennis action seemed to be bumped right off the radar
    screen by the brewing hurricane" (NEWSDAY, 8/27).  In
    Philadelphia, Bill Fleischman writes, "The U.S. Open is burdened
    with a controversy that won't go away" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 8/27).
    Thomas Muster, who dropped from No. 2 in the ATP rankings to a
    No. 3 seed, "ripped the process" at a players-only meeting on
    Sunday, while taking several "shots" at Agassi (ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 8/27).  Michael Stich said he almost pulled out of
    the tournament in protest before his opening match yesterday.
    Stich said the players should have boycotted Monday to "get a
    stronger message through."  Michael Chang, who replaced Muster as
    No. 2, said the reason he was a "no-show" at an ATP press
    conference on the matter was because he never received an invite.
    Chang supports the players' position (Gene Wojciechowski, CHICAGO
    TRIBUNE, 8/27).
    

    Print | Tags: ATP, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, USTA, Walt Disney
  • ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE: WAS DRUCKER FORCED OUT?

         In Tampa, Carter Gaddis reports Arena Football League
    sources say the Board of Directors "was unhappy" with
    Commissioner Jim Drucker's leadership "and forced him out."
    Drucker will get an expansion team.  In other AFL news:  The
    league is expected to open its Hall of Fame in Des Moines, IA,
    home of AFL Founder Jim Foster; the Memphis Pharaohs will move to
    Portland, OR, for '97; the St. Louis Stampede are said to be
    looking at Miami, and Connecticut and Charlotte are reportedly
    are eyeing New York (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 8/27).  A group led by Target
    Center head Dana Warg has 90 days to make an offer to the
    Minnesota Fighting Pike, at an asking price of $700,000.  Tom
    Scallen lost $400,000 leasing the Pike this year (Minneapolis
    STAR TRIBUNE, 8/27).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • BASEBALL LABOR TALKS: BALL RELUCTANTLY IN OWNERS' COURT

         While Randy Levine, MLB's chief labor negotiator, and MLBPA
    Exec Dir Don Fehr "remained optimistic" that a new CBA could be
    approved in the coming days, "there were indications that owners
    are in no hurry to reach a deal," according to this morning's
    MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.  It is possible that owners will not
    be ready to vote on a deal until their quarterly meetings
    September 10-12 in Seattle.  Tom Haudricourt reports, "Unless
    there is an oral agreement beforehand that merely has to be
    ratified by owners, the union would frown on such a delay."
    Haudricourt notes, in addition to granting service time and the
    prospect of a second tax-free year at the end of the deal,
    "owners are also disturbed by the perception that it is totally
    up to them to make a deal."  But until there is management
    consensus and Levine is told on what the union will have to give
    up in exchange for concession on those issues, "there will be no
    deal" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/27).
         VOTE-COUNTING:  The pace of talks has slowed because of
    acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's aim "to take a vote at the
    meetings in Seattle but not before then," according to Mark Maske
    of the WASHINGTON POST.  Selig is said to have "secured" at least
    22 -- and more likely 24 or 25 -- votes in favor of a deal that
    closely resembles the one negotiated earlier.  Management sources
    said Selig "is ready to move forward" with the White Sox, Cubs
    and Marlins the "only certain votes against" (WASHINGTON POST,
    8/27).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Miami Marlins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • LAND OF THE DUFFERS: U.S. OPEN GOLF GOES PUBLIC IN 2002

         Tomorrow, USGA officials and NY Gov. George Pataki make the
    formal announcement that the 2002 U.S. Open will be played on the
    Black Course at Bethpage State Park, a state-run public course.
    The only other public course to host an Open is Pebble Beach, but
    the $225 greens fees in Monterrey are about $200 more than those
    at Bethpage.  The course will undergo a USGA-managed
    reconditioning in the years before the Open (Jeff Williams,
    NEWSDAY, 8/27).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, USGA
  • TORONTO REPORT LAYS OUT AMBITIOUS NHL EXPANSION PLANS

         The NHL will expand by at least one team next year and add a
    total of four franchises by 2000, according to William Houston of
    the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  NHL sources cite the expected payoffs
    as the reason for "reversing an earlier strategy of slower
    growth."  With sale prices for expansion predicted at $80-$85M
    per team, current teams can expect a "windfall" of about $13M
    each.  The NHL charged $35-50M per team for the last round of
    expansion in '94.  The plan, according to the GLOBE & MAIL's
    Houston, is to place teams in Atlanta, Nashville, Houston and
    Portland.  Ted Turner would own the Atlanta team and Paul Allen
    the Portland entry.  The league will either add two teams for
    '97-98 and two more for '99-2000, or they will bring in one
    franchise at a time starting in '97.  With the league going to 30
    teams, Portland would be placed in the Pacific Division, Atlanta
    in the Atlantic, and Nashville and Houston in the Central (GLOBE
    & MAIL, 8/27).
         STILL HOPEFUL:  In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reports that
    Target Center head Dana Warg is in the process of organizing a
    group of 10 local business persons to apply for an NHL expansion
    team.  Hartman also reports that the word is the NHL will add
    four teams soon, but he identifies only Nashville and Atlanta as
    the two cities that are "sure to get franchises" (Minneapolis
    STAR TRIBUNE, 8/27).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
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