SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              The first game of the ABL Championship series between
         the Columbus Quest and the Richmond Rage drew 4,152 at
         Battelle Hall in Columbus, OH.  The best-of-five-game series
         continues Tuesday night (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 3/3).  
              SEASON REAX: In Colorado Springs, Ralph Routon of the
         GAZETTE TELEGRAPH: "Just how good was the American
         Basketball League and its Denver franchise, the Colorado
         Xplosion?  Better than even the most hopeful optimists could
         have expected."  Noting the 4,000-plus regular attendance,
         Routon notes "the best news of all was the quality of
         basketball. ... That's the best reason -- quality of product
         -- for the ABL to push onward. ... The guess here is, by
         next season, we'll see some kind of merger between the ABL
         and WNBA, which clearly would be in the sport's best
         interests.  It would also have an excellent chance of
         survival" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE TELEGRAPH, 3/1).  In St.
         Petersburg, Sharon Ginn of the TIMES: "Both leagues are
         preparing for their next drafts -- late April for the WNBA
         and early May for the ABL. ... For now, recruiting efforts
         are low-key."  The ABL has been sending information about
         its league to coaches, letting them give it to their seniors
         "at the appropriate time," according to Tracey Williams, ABL
         Dir of Player Personnel.  Ginn: "There is still the
         untouched issue of what happens if an underclassmen decides
         to leave school early" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/2).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, WNBA

              The International Motorsports Speedway Group will move
         its headquarters to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the
         '97 racing season.  A new facility will be constructed for
         both the IMSG and its subsidiary, the Int'l Motor Sports
         Association (IMSG)....NBC's Peter Vescey, on the recent
         indictments of three NBA refs for tax evasion: "It is
         definitely going to impair the game.  It is going to be
         bumpy at best because we are talking about an intimidation
         factor here.  If coaches and players feel that they can back
         down the weaker refs, the less experienced refs, they will
         not hesitate to do so. ... If you lose the quality referees
         that we are talking about, the names that we've heard, it is
         going to have an effect" ("NBA on NBC," NBC, 3/2).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NBC, Speedway Motorsports Inc.

              The All-American Football League was profiled in
         Sunday's BOSTON GLOBE by Nick Cafardo.  One of the league's
         founders, Randy Vataha of Boston-based Game Plan Inc.,
         humorously said, "In two years, we hope to put the NFL out
         of business."  The league, scheduled to start in March '98,
         will have teams in Boston, L.A., Chicago, Miami, Tampa Bay,
         Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas and San
         Francisco.  Vataha "expects there to be 4-5 former NFL
         players per team" and although he "would like a TV deal," he
         said that "since investors will make their return on ticket
         sales, it's not vital."  He hopes that any TV deal will be a
         time buy.  All travel, training, salaries, stadium rents,
         etc., will be paid for by the league.  Average ticket prices
         will be around $18.50, but Vataha "expects" to have a
         package where a family of four can attend for $50.  Players
         contracts will not be guaranteed (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/2).  In
         Dallas, Rick Gosselin writes under the header, "Spring
         League May Stir Up Some Free-Agency Movement in '98." 
         Gosselin: "Obviously, the only dent the new league might
         make in the NFL's free-agency market would be its 12 marquee
         players, all quarterbacks."  A player "might want to go that
         route for a season to try to establish a more attractive
         market for himself in the NFL" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/2).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL

              Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan of Federal District Court in
         Manhattan ruled Friday that Bud Selig is not the
         commissioner of MLB, according to Murray Chass of the N.Y.
         TIMES.  Kaplan gave his decision in a lawsuit brought
         against Selig by minor-league club owner Marvin Goldklang
         over financial compensation for giving up territorial rights
         to the Marlins.  Selig had stated in depositions that he
         "was only the chairman of the executive council, which
         served as commissioner in the absence of a commissioner and
         made all decisions."  Kaplan wrote: "Based on the evidence
         before the court, it is apparent that Selig is neither the
         de jure nor the de facto Commissioner of Baseball."  Kaplan
         ruled that a de jure commissioner would be legally elected
         or appointed and Selig "was neither."  Kaplan: "There is a
         vacancy in the Commissioner's office" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/1).
              ROBINSON REAX: In S.F., Tim Keown on MLB's season-long
         honoring of Jackie Robinson: "It seems this anniversary
         should be treated as the equivalent of the day you stopped
         beating your wife.  Something to acknowledge, but not to
         trumpet. ... The honor in this issue is all Robinson's, not
         baseball's" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/1). 

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Miami Marlins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
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