SBD/19/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              WOMEN'S HOOPS: Roger Thurow examines the ABL and WNBA,
         writing that women's basketball, "swaddled in a warm, fuzzy
         blanket during its recent ascent in popularity, sits
         precariously atop the same fault line of outsized riches and
         celebrity that rumbles beneath all sports. ... This week,
         the first fissures -- salary wars, jealousies over
         endorsements, player defections -- opened up and began
         swallowing the innocence" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/19).  In
         Utah, Doug Robinson: "This thing could get ugly before it's
         finished, namely because it involves a) money; and b) women. 
         Women fighting is not a pretty sight" (DESERET NEWS, 9/18).
              NFL: In L.A., Steve Harvey wrote that Raiders Owner Al
         Davis "tells friends he believes NFL owners might agree to a
         settlement in his latest lawsuit by allowing him to bring an
         expansion team to Hollywood Park" (L.A. TIMES, 9/18)....In
         the NFL's first visit to western Canada, Vancouver will host
         an American Bowl game at B.C. Place August 15, 1998 (NFL). 

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Oakland Raiders, WNBA

              MLB owners yesterday voted to approve public ownership
         of franchises, according to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore
         SUN.  The decision "could have a significant long-range
         impact on the economic health of the industry" and owners
         "apparently view it now as another way to bring new money
         into the sport."  MLB President & COO Paul Beeston: "It
         certainly is another option for financing.  When you've got
         a new option available, it's going to be beneficial."  Teams
         "will not be allowed to put the majority of their stock in
         the marketplace, and voting rights of public shares will be
         restricted" (Baltimore SUN, 9/19).  In N.Y., Murray Chass:
         "No rush to the stock market is expected. ... To go public,
         a team would have to issue a prospectus and annual reports
         with financial disclosure that clubs have always been
         reluctant to provide" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19).
              NO BLUE JAYS VOTE: A vote on the sale of the Blue Jays
         was "pulled at the last minute from the agenda," according
         to Jim Byers of the TORONTO STAR.  One source close to the
         meetings: "It was a shock. ... [I]t was suddenly taken off." 
         Another source said Blue Jays-parent Interbrew SA "asked
         that the issue not be dealt with Wednesday."  Byers adds
         that it "isn't clear if the action was requested for
         housekeeping reasons or something more serious, such as
         problems with the proposed purchase" (TORONTO STAR, 9/19).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Toronto Blue Jays

              MLB owners adjourned their meetings in Atlanta Thursday
         "without solving their realignment riddle.  But make no
         mistake: Realignment is approaching, and more than likely
         will affect no more than seven teams, possibly as few as
         five," according to Jerome Holtzman of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. 
         The owners also extended their original realignment deadline
         from September 30 to October 15 and "indicated it could be
         delayed further if necessary."  Of note is that "a simple
         majority vote from both leagues will remain the manner of
         deciding the issue, but if settlement is not achieved before
         or immediately after the World Series, a two-thirds majority
         would be required" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/19).  
              NEW PLAN: In N.Y., Murray Chass writes that a "key" in
         approving a compromise plan of two leagues, with four NL
         divisions and two AL divisions, is convincing the Astros to
         move to an AL Midwest division.  Chass: "If the planners
         want the Astros to move, they will very likely offer a
         financial inducement."  It is also "possible" that the
         Giants could be compensated for any economic loss stemming
         from the A's joining them in the NL (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19).  In
         Houston, Alan Truex writes that while Astros Owner Drayton
         McLane wants to be in the same division as the Rangers, he
         "doesn't want the Astros to move."  Truex: "Privately, other
         owners blame McLane for the ... stalemate" (HOUSTON
         CHRONICLE, 9/19).  ESPN's Peter Gammons reported last night
         from Atlanta that Selig "hopes to have this realignment done
         in three weeks.  Then, he has to take it to the union, which
         begins another story" ("SportsCenter," 9/18).  

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Houston Astros, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Oakland Athletics, Walt Disney

              From the NBA's annual meetings in Orlando, Sam Smith of
         the CHICAGO TRIBUNE writes that "the rocket ship called the
         NBA that soared above all sports in the '90s may have
         reached its zenith, and the ride down may prove more heart-
         stopping than imagined."  Smith: "As league, team and
         network TV officials gathered for a weekend of meetings, a
         serious potential malfunction occupied their thoughts. ...
         [T]he consensus ... is that a lockout or strike looms after
         this season."  NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik: "It's
         clear in some respects our collective bargaining agreement
         is not working so well."  Smith reports that the labor
         contract signed two years ago "has become an albatross" that
         "must be removed."   Also, while ten teams "lost money last
         season ... as many as 15 could lose money" this year.  One
         team exec listed Boston, New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia,
         Washington, Cleveland, Indiana, Milwaukee, the Clippers,
         Sacramento, Vancouver, San Antonio, Minnesota, Denver and
         Dallas "as teams that have lost money or face potential
         deficits."  As the league and owners "dig in for what could
         be a lengthy labor battle next fall," the players'
         association is "building a strike fund."  Led by newly
         elected President Patrick Ewing, and his agent, David Falk,
         the union "has been taken over by hard-line players and
         attorneys who tried to scuttle" the '95 deal (CHICAGO
         TRIBUNE, 9/19).  On his "NBA Beat," ESPN's David Aldridge
         reported that, "The revenge of the dissident agents is
         complete."  Falk, "who is among the most bitter opponents"
         of the CBA, now has three clients, Ewing, Juwan Howard and
         Dikembe Mutombo, on the NBPA Exec Committee (ESPN, 9/18).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, Walt Disney

              The Beach Volleyball World Championships, played last
         week at UCLA, are examined by Michael Bamberger in SI under
         the header, "Sand Blast. The First World Championships Of
         Beach Volleyball Were A Hit, But The Struggle For the
         Sport's Future Continues."  Bamberger writes that the event,
         "promised to be the first meeting of all the best players"
         in the world, was still "threatened to break down at times
         because of petty haggling."  But Management Plus' Leonard
         Armato, the event co-promoter, said off-the-beach events
         will mark the future of the sport.  Armato: "To watch beach
         volleyball at the beach, you have to schlepp across sand ...
         and try to find a place to sit.  Corporate America isn't
         going to do that.  And you need corporate America if you're
         going to grow the game" (SI, 9/22).  More Armato: "Where
         sports start and where they end up are two totally different
         events."  He added that organizers would follow the model of
         hosting tournaments in an amenity-filled, in-stadium
         setting, "utilizing modern venues and marketing principals
         to create interest in a unique event" (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Sports Illustrated
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