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The CFL may be entering its final "few weeks of existence," according to its Chair John Tory, in an interview with Marty York of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Tory: "This is third down and long for us and there's very little time left on the clock." Tory confirmed the CFL is "just about out of money," adding that none of the nine clubs in the league will make a profit this season, "largely because funds were required to keep alive the Ottawa Rough Riders, B.C. Lions and, to a lesser extent, the Montreal Alouettes." Tory: "There's no point in being unrealistic about this in public any more. We are extremely close to folding." Tory said increased playoffs attendance "could go a long way to restoring the league's financial help." He is also eyeing "financial contributions from CFL players," and appealed to CFLPA Exec Dir Dan Ferrone for contributions. Tory has "sensed Ferrone and the players don't understand the severity" of the situation. Tory: "We're in our hour of need right now, and I'm getting the impression that Dan doesn't want to help." Ferrone said his players are "prepared to help" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/17).
More than 35,000 tickets have been sold for Sunday's MLS Cup '96 in Foxboro, MA (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/17). MLS Commissioner Doug Logan is interviewed in USA TODAY. Logan: "We're satisfied with where we are now." He added that income from ticket sales was $4M above projections. Changes for '97 include the recruitment of more foreign players and MLS Deputy Commissioner Sunil Gulati say the league may add up to 20 new international players (USA TODAY, 10/17). ...Charles Barkley, on the NBA overpaying young players who have yet to prove themselves: "The NBA made all these guys stars so they can sell jerseys and shoes, but most of these guys can't play. It's sad. We might laugh it off, but seriously it's a shame" (AP/ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/17). ...SI's "Scorecard," on the D'Backs signing free-agent Travis Lee to a $10M contact: "Remember October 10, 1996. It may go down as the day the economics of baseball changed forever" (SI, 10/21 issue)....WASHINGTON TIMES tennis writer Josh Young releases his annual list of the "Eight Most Powerful People in Tennis." One through eight: Nike CEO Phil Knight; Andre Agassi; IMG Senior Corporate VP Bob Kain; ATP Tour Board of Dir member and Newsweek Champions Cup/Evert Cup Tournament Dir Charlie Pasarell; Tennis Industry Association President and Wilson Racquet Sports VP Jim Baugh; ESPN VP/Programming Steven Risser; ATP Tour CEO Mark Miles and Nuveen Tour Co-Owners Jimmy Connors and Ray Benton (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/15).