SBD/7/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         MLB officials will be "watching closely" next week when the
    Padres and Mets play a three-game series in Monterrey, Mexico.
    During MLB's last expansion, Monterrey got serious consideration.
    The series is being played in Mexico because San Diego is hosting
    the Republican national convention (USA TODAY, 8/7)....NFL
    Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, on criticism that his five-game
    suspension of Cowboys WR Michael Irvin was not enough:  "This was
    his first offense, and that makes it difficult because you hope
    it will be his last offense" (USA TODAY, 8/7)....With the start
    of the NFL preseason, many in the sport are glad the tumultuous
    off-season has finally ended.  NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw:  "The
    players aren't excited about two-a-days, but at least we can get
    on with something else."  Tagliabue: "You've got a handful of
    guys who sour the barrel for all the other guys" (USA TODAY,
    8/7)....As more and more WTA Tour staff members move from the St.
    Petersburg offices for the Tour's CT HQs, there are rumors WTA
    Tour CEO Anne Person Worcester has plans to close the St. Pete
    office (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 8/7)....Eastern League President
    John Levenda was fired by the league's board.  The apparent
    front-runner for the post is Brian Mahoney, the Trenton Thunder's
    Assistant GM, a key organizer of the Double-A All-Star Game

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Mets, NFL, San Diego Padres

         MLB chief labor negotiator Randy Levine and MLBPA Exec Dir
    Don Fehr met in New York yesterday, but according to all reports,
    "little progress was made."  Levine:  "We had a meeting Tuesday
    and discussed all the issues.  We will meet again Friday."
    Meanwhile, MLB's Executive Council meets in Milwaukee today where
    Levine will ask for permission for a final offer to the players
    "as early as next week."  If that does not produce an agreement,
    management is ready to ask U.S. District Court Judge Sonia
    Sotomayor to lift her injunction imposed in March '95 that led to
    the end of the strike.  The intent of Sotomayor's injunction was
    to force the sides to reach a deal, "but they went eight months
    without even negotiating."  If the injunction is lifted, the
    owners would be free to implement their own economic system,
    which they believe would force the union to make a deal.  The
    players, however, retain the threat to call another strike (Tom
    Haudricourt, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 8/7).
         DUELING QUOTES:  Fehr: "If they choose to go back to court
    and publicly re-air all our disputes, I have a hard time
    believing that's positive" (NEWSDAY, 8/7).  Levine:  We haven't
    had a new labor agreement since 1992.  This is insane. ... We're
    not going to sit the whole season the way it is.  I think the
    players want it over, the owners want it over. I want it over
    with.  At least I think the players want it over.  I'm trying to
    give them the benefit of the doubt" (Dave Van Dyck, CHICAGO SUN-
    TIMES, 8/7).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB

         In the current BRANDWEEK, Terry Lefton examines the progress
    of Players Inc., the NFLPA's marketing arm.  While NFLP may have
    30 of the most recognizable names under contract, Players Inc.
    has the rest.  Vikings WR Chris Carter: "My agent represents 20
    or 30 people -- he can't be in contact with corporate America the
    way Players Inc. can."  Lefton also notes how Players Inc. has
    gone after companies that were left out of NFL sponsorships.
    When MCI lost out to Sprint as the NFL's telecom sponsor, MCI
    signed with Players Inc. at a much lower cost. Now MCI has an NFL
    ad campaign featuring players with "hometown appeal."  Players
    Inc. also has inked Norwegian Cruise Lines and Bally Fitness
    Centers.  Players Inc. will launch its own sportswear line this
    fall, with many players expected to sport the look during
    interviews and TV shows (BRANDWEEK, 8/5 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Minnesota Vikings, NFL, Sprint

         Val Ackerman, currently NBA VP of Business Affairs, has been
    named President of the new Women's NBA, which holds its inaugural
    season in '97, effective October 1.  Ackerman will report to NBA
    Deputy Commissioner and COO Russ Granik (NBA).    JUMP BALL:  The
    new American Basketball League is scheduled to begin play on
    October 18, and ABL Co-Founder Gary Cavalli said that nine
    members of the U.S. Women's Olympic team -- all except Sheryl
    Swoopes, Rebecca Lobo and Venus Lacey -- have agreed to play.
    Seven of those nine have signed contracts, according to Cavalli,
    with "strong verbal commitments" from Lisa Leslie and Ruthie
    Bolton.  The WNBA is seen by ABL backers as a "carpetbagger" and
    any hopes for a merger "seem unlikely" (Ann Killion, SAN JOSE
    MERCURY NEWS, 8/4).  USA TODAY notes "speculation" on how firm
    the ABL contracts and commitments are.  Ackerman:  "We don't see
    it as a competitive situation."  WNBA cities will be chosen in
    the next few months and "player procurement" should begin in
    September.  Ackerman:  "Our hope is that we end up with some of
    the Olympic players.  How many, I just don't know" (Steve
    Wieberg, USA TODAY, 8/6).
         LOST TO THE RUNWAY?  Lisa Leslie, described as the U.S.
    team's "most effervescent personality," told the L.A. TIMES she
    plans to model first before signing with any pro league.  Leslie,
    who has signed with the Wilhelmina agency:  "I will play the game
    again.  I'm not sure about when and where."  The L.A. TIMES'
    Robyn Norwood notes, "It isn't particularly fair, but the future
    of women's basketball in this country might depend on the
    decisions made by Leslie and the rest of the Olympic team" (L.A.
    TIMES, 8/5).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, WNBA
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