SBD/25/Leagues Governing Bodies

THE POWER TROIKA: COMMISSIONERS TALK ABOUT ROLE AS BOSS

          At a New York Bar Association legal forum last week,
     NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, NHL Commissioner Gary
     Bettman and NBA Commissioner David Stern were asked about
     the leadership void at MLB, and according to NEWSDAY's Joe
     Gergen both Bettman and Tagliabue "downplayed the lack of an
     independent commissioner."  Bettman: "I think it's too easy
     to dump on baseball."  Tagliabue: "I think (the role of
     commissioner) can be given too much importance.  The
     challenges we face go far beyond one person or one group of
     persons. ... I think the commissioner issue is overplayed by
     a lot of people."  But Stern countered, "[W]e're being too
     kind. ... We're in a time when the CEO increasingly is
     expected to set the direction, to look at the big picture. 
     You need someone to worry on a full-time basis, to deal with
     consumers, shareholders and every aspect of the sport.  It's
     a good ideal to have somebody in charge" (NEWSDAY, 11/23). 

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