SBD/16/Leagues Governing Bodies

ABL TAKES HIT AS MVP MCCRAY SET TO SIGN WITH WNBA

          The WNBA announced today that ABL MVP Nikki McCray has
     jumped leagues and signed with the WNBA.  McCray will join a
     team of 11 WNBA players in Europe this October (WNBA).  ABL
     CEO Gary Cavalli: "The basic reason she left is that the
     WNBA gives her more promotional exposure."  McCray earned
     $125,000 last year with the ABL (Valerie Lister, USA TODAY,
     9/16).  In N.Y., Lisa Olson reports that with a "personal
     services" contract at the WNBA, McCray is "expected to make
     around" $250,000.  Sources tell Olson that McCray will be
     "optioned out" to one of the WNBA's expansion teams.  Olson:
     "The first bullet has been fired, and it's a killer. ...
     [The move] could be the opening salvo in what is shaping up
     to be a bitter war between the two pro leagues" over
     players.  Now that "each league has finished its debut
     season, the gloves are off" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/16). 
          TIP-INS: Cavalli said that while the league lost $4-5M
     in its inaugural season, it projects losses of up to $1.5M
     this year and plans to break even by next season.  In other
     ABL news, Fox Sports Net "plans to put microphones on
     coaches, officials and, possibly, players" for its ABL
     coverage this season, according to USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke. 
     Players could be miked on a tape-delayed basis to "avoid
     embarrassing language" (USA TODAY, 9/16).  

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