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  • ESPN'S MORTENSEN SAYS NFL "NERVOUS" ABOUT ST. LOUIS SUIT

              The NFL "is nervous and rightfully so," about the
         antitrust lawsuit filed by the St. Louis Business and
         Convention Bureau that is set to be heard in U.S. District
         Court on October 6, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. The
         lawsuit is over the $29M relocation fee that NFL charged the
         Rams to move from L.A., of which the Visitors and Convention
         Bureau was charged $20M.  While the NFL has "made overtures"
         to Rams President John Shaw about settling, one St. Louis
         source said that "is a fruitless attempt because the Rams
         are not the litigant" and have "only filed a lien to collect
         against the NFL if a judgement is rendered in favor of St.
         Louis."  One league owner told Mortensen that the NFL "is
         irate with Shaw because, in a deposition, he accused NFL
         commissioner Paul Tagliabue of lying about circumstances
         regarding the Raiders' obligations on a move."  Mortensen
         adds that the "league is not confident about the case" since
         St. Louis "has a distinct home-field advantage."  While
         damages could be trebled, a court loss would also impact the
         NFL's relocation deals with the Ravens and Oilers.  League
         sources say that Ravens Owner Art Modell "will be a witness
         for the league [h]owever there is an agreement that the
         Ravens' deal will be modified on the exact terms of any
         settlement with St. Louis" (ESPN SportsZone, 9/14).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Edmonton Oilers, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Walt Disney
  • EWING REPORTEDLY LEADING CANDIDATE FOR UNION PRESIDENT

              Patrick Ewing is a "leading candidate" to be named NBPA
         President when it announces results of a vote taken by
         secret ballot among the league's 29 player reps, according
         to an AP report in the DETROIT NEWS.  Ewing had "pushed" in
         '95 "to try and persuade NBA players to decertify the union
         before the current" CBA was ratified.  Ewing is currently VP
         of the union's nine-member executive committee, which is
         headed by Buck Williams (AP/DETROIT NEWS, 9/13). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
  • SELIG TO TAKE REALIGNMENT PLAN TO ATLANTA, BUT WHICH ONE?

              MLB Acting Commissioner Bud Selig was interviewed by
         Fox's Chip Carey and Steve Lyons before Saturday's "MLB on
         Fox" telecast.  Selig, on realignment: "The schedule really
         right now just doesn't work and that's a disaster for all 30
         clubs ... we're trying now to deal with individual club
         concerns."  Selig, asked if he had a concrete plan to
         present at the owners' meetings in Atlanta this week: "Not
         at this point.  I mean, we have a significant number of
         plans ... with variations off those plans."  On the search
         for a full-time commissioner: "There are serious candidates,
         but we've agreed ... that to protect them and everybody else
         that this is to be done on a very confidential basis ... we
         haven't set a timetable, but I have said recently ... that
         hopefully by the end of the year we'll have somebody at
         least ready to come on board" ("MLB on Fox," 9/13).
              PETER'S PRINCIPLE: Giants Owner Peter Magowan said that
         he is "prepared to take his fellow owners to court to
         prevent" an MLB realignment plan that would move the A's to
         the NL, according to Henry Schulman of the S.F. EXAMINER. 
         Magowan said that the "legal basis for a suit would be the
         Giants' franchise agreement, which decrees the Bay Area as
         Giants territory" in the NL (S.F. EXAMINER, 9/14).  MLB
         owners will meet Tuesday through Thursday in Atlanta, with
         realignment on the agenda.  Padres President Larry Lucchino,
         a member of the realignment committee, thinks a decision
         will be reached on a '98 schedule: "Fortunately and
         mercifully.  We need to move on to the schedule.  We need a
         (1998) schedule and we need some decisions.  The world isn't
         waiting for a perfect decision.  It's just waiting for a
         decision" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 9/14).
              PARTY FOR FIVE: In L.A., Ross Newhan writes on Selig's
         five-year reign as acting commissioner: "No one criticizes
         Selig's passion or work ethic.  He is on the phone 10 to 12
         hours a day, earning the $2 million a year his colleagues
         pay him."  But one NL owner said, "I criticize Bud for
         agreeing with everybody he talks to, whether he agrees with
         them or not, and I also think five years is a very long
         interim period."  Newhan: "Selig has also tended to insulate
         himself among allies, making sure that Reinsdorf and
         Minnesota owner Carl Pohlad, among others, are always on the
         executive council and other influential committees to help
         Selig control vote."  The NL owner adds that a "majority" of
         NL owners would oppose Selig's possible candidacy for the
         full-time position in part due to a "marketing void."  The
         NL owner: "That's where baseball has really suffered.  Deals
         just aren't getting done.  The '97 season was a total loss
         in that regard and there's no excuse for it.  Greg Murphy
         was hired [as MLBE President] with a lot of fanfare, but he
         doesn't have Bud's support.  It's a real void.  We're not
         generating the income we should" (L.A. TIMES, 9/15). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, News Corp./Fox, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres
  • VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS CONCLUDE TO SLUGGISH ATTENDANCE

              The World Championships of Beach Volleyball concluded
         Saturday at the UCLA tennis center and southern Californians
         "are veritable sticks in the sand when it comes to their
         beach volleyball ... which resulted in more than 1,000 empty
         seats," according to Mike Penner of the L.A. TIMES.  Beach
         volleyball on tennis courts "was a mixed proposition at
         best."  While Management Plus promoter Leonard Armato said
         the artificial beach succeeded in "changing perceptions"
         about the sport in southern CA, FIVB President Ruben Acosta
         "expressed disappointment at the small crowds at UCLA" and
         said that if the championships ever return to the L.A. area
         he would go to Manhattan Beach.  Penner: "Attendance became
         such a sensitive issue among tournament organizers that no
         official gate totals were released for any of the four dates
         of competition."  Acosta said he was "very concerned" about
         the size of the crowd and "promised to 'do my best to see
         that these seats will not be empty at the next World
         Championships.'"  Penner: "Those are scheduled for 1999,
         possibly in South Africa, possibly in Berlin, but not
         probably back in Westwood" (L.A. TIMES, 9/14).  Preliminary
         overnights for NBC's coverage on Sunday of the volleyball
         championship finals were a 2.5/5 (THE DAILY).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBC
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