SBD/16/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              On his "NBA Beat," ESPN's David Aldridge reported that
         while the NBPA is "looking into" decertification should the
         league reopen its CBA next summer, "the agents for several
         high-profile players are concerned that decertifying may
         invalidate the guaranteed contracts their players have." 
         Aldridge: "Lawyers are looking for precedence now, but if
         they don't find an answer that's satisfactory, the NBA's
         union could be without one of its most powerful arguments
         when it goes back to the bargaining table" (ESPN, 12/15).
              HOUSTON'S ROCKET: Charles Barkley appeared on ESPN's
         "Up Close" on Monday.  Barkley, on his talk of a boycott of
         the All-Star Game and/or the World Championships: "I don't
         even know if we're going to have to have a boycott, because
         I think we are going to get locked out.  I think there's no
         question we're going to get locked out" (ESPN, 12/15).
              OH SPIT! USA TODAY's Roscoe Nance writes the NBA "has
         alerted teams it is cracking down on excessive use of
         profanity by coaches and players."  Offenders will be fined
         $2,500 and could be suspended (USA TODAY, 12/16).

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

              There's a "battle brewing" between the NHL and the
         NHLPA "over the continuance of the Canadian Assistance Plan
         (CAP)," according to Bob McKenzie of the HOCKEY NEWS.  The
         NHLPA has field a grievance with the NHL "against the CAP,
         effectively challenging the legality of it."  McKenzie
         reports the move "apparently prevented NHL governors" from
         formally approving the CAP for another year at the meetings
         earlier this month in FL.  McKenzie: "Instead, the governors
         'recommended' its continuance, recognizing its future hinges
         on the outcome of an arbitration hearing."  The CAP is a
         two-part revenue-sharing plan offering financial aid and
         incentives to "small-market" Canadian teams.  One element
         gives Canadian teams "certain breaks when they're forced to
         match a free-agent offer sheet in U.S. dollars."  The NHLPA
         declined comment while the NHL "simply confirmed an NHLPA
         grievance had been filed" (HOCKEY NEWS, 12/19 issue). 

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL

              ABL CEO Gary Cavalli said the league has signed 32 of
         the 35 players it "targeted to retain," according to Bruce
         Berlet of the HARTFORD COURANT.  The three unsigned players
         are the Blizzard's Jennifer Rizzotti, the Rage's Dawn Staley
         and the StingRays' Venus Lacy.  Rizzotti and Staley "could
         receive sizable offers from" the WNBA and Cavalli is in
         talks with their agent, Kenton Edelin, who also represents
         Rebecca Lobo (HARTFORD COURANT, 12/16).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, WNBA

              The LPGA and Ford's Mercury division have created the
         '98 Mercury LPGA Series, which will provide live TV coverage
         of seven LPGA tournaments during the '98 season on ESPN and
         ESPN2.  The TV series is a first for the LPGA and expands
         Mercury's LPGA partnership.   Six of the seven events will
         appear on ESPN2 and one on ESPN.  Each tournament will have
         three days of coverage, Friday through Sunday.  The series
         begins with the HealthSouth Inaugural from January 16-18. 
         ESPN's OCC Sports will produce the series (LPGA).
              VISIBILITY: LPGA Commissioner Jim Ritts, at yesterday's
         '97 LPGA awards luncheon in NY: "We've got a depth of
         talent, and the money we're playing for is higher than ever.
         But visibility is the key to everything. ... Tiger [Woods]
         expanded the universe of potential fans.  Now we have to
         reel them in with our product.  Visibility and television
         are the most important things."  In N.Y., Clifton Brown said
         while the LPGA had a "remarkable year," it "remains in a
         fierce battle for attention in a sports market that is more
         competitive than ever" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/16).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, LPGA, Walt Disney
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