SBD/12/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              In his Sunday BOSTON GLOBE column, Peter Gammons
         reported that the "rumblings among [MLB] owners is that
         there may be two commissioner candidates presented at the
         Executive Council meeting this week, but while the sentiment
         in the NL may be strongly against Bud Selig taking the job
         full-time, there is little chance that either candidate will
         be accepted and so one way or another Selig will be asked to
         remain in power" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/11).  One NL Owner is
         quoted in Gammons' ESPN SportsZone column as saying, "It's
         not that we don't like Bud; we like and respect him.  But we
         need a fresh voice.  We need to break away from the clique
         that's run the game for so long, the old Cold War warriors. 
         But now the executive council will get names from [Search
         Committee Chair] Jerry McMorris, no one will agree on one
         and Bud will survive" (ESPN SportsZone, 1/10). 

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Walt Disney

              On CNN/SI, Jackie MacMullan discussed the controversy
         surrounding 2ball, the new All-Star Weekend event which
         pairs NBA and WNBA players: "The players were upset that the
         league had not notified them that they were getting rid of
         the slam dunk and going to this 2ball set, and they also
         felt a little chagrined that the NBA, who of course is
         controlling the WNBA, was using their venue to promote the
         women's basketball.  And so there was some talk this week
         ... of actually boycotting this event.  Now, the league and
         the players and the union all got together and I think the
         players have decided that this isn't the battle that the
         union wants to fight. ... But clearly, it's just a preview
         of the skirmishes to come ("This Week In The NBA," 1/11).
              THE BUTLER DID IT: Riverdale, NY, high school
         basketball player Niesha Butler said yesterday that she will
         likely attend GA Tech in the fall, where she "would
         consider" playing one year before challenging the WNBA's
         eligibility requirements, according to Ron Dicker of the
         N.Y. TIMES.  The WNBA requires players meet one of four
         criteria to be eligible for its draft: Players must be at
         least 22- years- old, complete college eligibility, have a
         college degree or complete at least two seasons in another
         professional league (N.Y. TIMES, 1/12).  Butler added that
         even if she played in the WNBA, she would still attend
         classes during the school year (N.Y. POST, 1/12).  

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Sports Illustrated, WNBA

              Soccer Leagues of America, Inc. (SLA), an organization
         formed to develop and manage professional minor indoor
         soccer leagues across North America, will begin operation
         with the '98-99 fall/winter indoor season.  The OH-based
         group has also entered into a major league/minor league
         working relationship with the NPSL.  OH-based attorney, and
         former NPSL franchise owner, Richard Chernesky was named SLA
         President.  The SLA's plans include the formation of soccer
         leagues comprised of a minimum of six to eight teams to
         begin play this fall.  It will also look to develop players,
         referees and front office personnel for major league pro
         soccer.  SLA will target cities that may not have the arena
         or population size to support an NPSL team (SLA).
              MORE SOCCER: The NPSL Philadelphia Kixx drew a
         franchise-record crowd of 12,239 at CoreStates Spectrum for
         their game against the Edmonton Drillers on Saturday
         (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/11)....MLS Commissioner Doug Logan
         was in Philadelphia and said, "We make no bones about the
         fact that we are vitally interested in Philadelphia as a
         place to expand to during the next round of expansions. 
         But, we need a facility where we can play our game and none
         presently exist" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/10).

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS

              The NFL "has asked its" five TV partners to pay a
         "combined increase of nearly 70%, for a total of about $1.85
         billion annually, to retain broadcast rights," according to
         sources of Stefan Fatsis of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The 
         incumbents -- ABC, Fox, NBC, ESPN and Turner --"have been
         summoned" for meetings today and tomorrow at the NFL's N.Y.
         offices and league execs "have told the networks they want
         to announce a final deal Wednesday."  Sources add that the
         league "plans to let CBS enter the bidding if any of the
         incumbents seeks to switch from their current programming." 
         Fatsis writes that the NFL "is demanding a longer contract,
         for either five or six years, with the league holding an
         option to extend the deal to a total of eight years." 
         Fatsis also reports that the Monday night package "should
         have extra allure because the NFL has decided to move its
         starting time" from 9:00pm to 8:00pm ET, giving it "the
         entire prime-time evening in the East" (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
         1/12).  In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reports that the NFL "is
         seeking eight-year deals, according to participants in the
         talks."  Sandomir writes that the league "would have the
         option of opening up the contract during the deal, which it
         could exercise to get more money if the advertising market
         gets better than it already is" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/12). 
              MORE SOURCES: In DC, Leonard Shapiro writes that league
         sources said CBS Sports "is still very much in the running
         for a piece of the action," and that it is "reportedly very
         interested in the Monday night schedule," as well as "other
         packages" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/12).  
              NO CBA DEAL: On Sunday, NBC's Will McDonough reported
         that Steelers Owner Dan Rooney told him that "there's going
         to be no" extension of the current CBA ("NFL on NBC," 1/11).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBC, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Viacom, Walt Disney

              The AVP Board of Directors announced that Harry Usher
         has been named the AVP's interim CEO, effective immediately. 
         Usher replaces previous CEO Jerry Solomon.  In a statement,
         the AVP announced that Solomon's consulting agreement was
         mutually terminated by his management company, P.S.
         StarGames, and the AVP Board.  Usher was COO of the '84
         Summer Olympics in L.A., and also served as Commissioner of
         the USFL and President & CEO of Dorna USA.  The AVP
         celebrates its 15th anniversary in '98 and the Miller
         Lite/AVP Tour's six-month season starts in March (AVP).  
              CALIFORNIA DREAMING: BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports
         that Solomon is "out" after "a player uprising."  Lefton
         adds that sources said "players were distressed about the
         league's financial condition and its hq being in Boston,
         where Solomon lives," instead of CA.  Usher's post "is said
         to be on a three-month interim basis" (BRANDWEEK, 1/12).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
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