SBD/29/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              Blues F Brett Hull, who "used to be a walking
         advertisement for hockey," last night "turned into the NHL's
         worst nightmare, slagging the league and the people who run
         it," according to Dave Fuller of the TORONTO SUN.  Hull, who
         has missed 13 games with a hand injury and is scheduled to
         rejoin the Blues tonight, said that he "avoided watching"
         his team's games during his absence.  Hull: "The games suck. 
         I wouldn't pay to watch them.  It's boring.  The whole style
         of the game is terrible.  There's no flow to the game at
         all."  Hull claimed that the "smaller, skilled players" are
         getting "squeezed out of the league," adding that expansion
         has "diluted the product, and now we're going to expand
         again."  Hull: "It's up to the fans to do something about
         it.  The players should stand up and be heard, too.  But the
         players don't say crap" (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN, 1/29).
              WHAT ABOUT FOX? In an examination of the "tenuous"
         future of the Oilers, team GM Glen Sather tells Ed Willes of
         the N.Y. TIMES that he sees "the wave of the future" for the
         league as TV and "mass-marketing."  Sather: "We need a
         national TV contract so we can compete for players with
         Philadelphia and New York.  That's why Nagano is so
         important. ... There's going to be a lot of attention on the
         game.  NBC just got out of the football business.  Maybe
         they'll get into hockey" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/29).

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBC, NHL, St. Louis Blues

              U.S. Sen Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Bob Dole joined Casey
         Martin on Capitol Hill yesterday, and the legislators, who
         were both sponsors of the '90 Americans With Disabilities
         Act (ADA), said that they "support" Martin's request to use
         a cart at PGA and Nike Tour events and that it "fits the
         intent" of their bill, according to Athelia Knight of the
         WASHINGTON POST.  Harkin said that rules which create
         barriers for people with disabilities "must be changed," and
         Dole added that he was "pleased" with this week's ruling by
         an OR Federal Magistrate that the PGA Tour is a public
         organization and not exempt under the ADA.  Dole: "The PGA
         does not mean Please Go Away. [Martin]'s here to stay." 
         Martin called the support of the two "overwhelming," saying
         that in the golf community, he is "probably not being
         received with open arms right now.  But, it's nice to know
         that I have friends in higher places" (WASH. POST, 1/29).
              HOP ABOARD, IT'S FILLING FAST: The Martin "bandwagon is
         picking up speed," according to USA TODAY's Harry Blauvelt.
         Greg Norman called Martin in support yesterday.  Norman told
         Martin that he wouldn't be deposed by the PGA "because he
         doesn't agree with them."  Court TV has "petitioned" U.S.
         Magistrate Thomas Coffin for "permission to show" Martin's
         trial, set to begin Monday, and both the CA legislature and
         the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently passed
         resolutions "in support of" Martin (USA TODAY, 1/29).  

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Nike, PGA Tour

              During the second day of Latrell Sprewell's arbitration
         hearing in Portland, OR, Sprewell and Warriors coach P.J.
         Carlesimo "did acknowledge each other casually" and shook
         hands in the first meeting since their December 1 dispute, 
         according to Craig Sager on the "NBA on TBS."  Sager noted
         that Carlesimo "is no longer the center of the focus of the
         Sprewell camp" as the "focus is strictly on whether there
         was a premeditated second attack" on the day in question.  
         Sager: "It is no longer Sprewell against Carlesimo, it is
         Sprewell against the Warriors for terminating the contract
         and Sprewell against the league for handing down the
         suspension."  Sager added that no Trail Blazers who played
         under Carlesimo will be asked to testify (TBS, 1/28).
              ONE-ON-ONE: Three Warriors players -- Felton Spencer,
         Joe Smith and Bimbo Coles -- testified yesterday before
         arbitrator John Feerick.  Assistant coaches Paul Westhead
         and Rod Higgins then followed the players, with Higgins
         "ending the 12-hour session," according to David Steele of
         the S.F. CHRONICLE.  Carlesimo was scheduled to appear after
         Higgins, but "he stayed from early morning until the very
         end, observing the testimony of his players and coaches." 
         Steele reports that Coles' appearance before Feerick was the
         "longest yet, lasting some four hours."  While his agent,
         Sean Holley, was "concerned about repercussions from the
         team or the league," Coles agreed to appear.  Holley: "I
         don't think a lot of the guys really realized what was going
         on.  I think they thought they'd just have to give some kind
         of statement.  But this is like a trial."  After his
         testimony, Spencer said, "It was kind of odd because they
         were both there. ... It was rather intense" (S.F. CHRONICLE,
         1/29).  In N.Y., Mike Wise notes that one league official,
         who spoke to a player that testified, said that what the
         "players believed what would be an informal interview turned
         into an extremely awkward situation."  NBA lawyers "read
         interviews the players" gave to the league's security office
         the day after the incident, and asked them to "elaborate on
         their previous statements."  Some accounts differed from
         Carlesimo's and "the players were apparently surprised" to
         have them read in his presence (N.Y. TIMES, 1/29).
              MORE TO COME: The hearing continues today and "possibly
         Friday," then moves to New York next week, where Carlesimo
         will testify (Thomas Heath, WASHINGTON POST, 1/29).  But in
         Chicago, Lacy Banks reports that it is not certain even if
         Sprewell or Carlesimo will testify at all.  Banks: "That has
         become uncertain because sources confirm reports that
         neither Carlesimo nor Sprewell are the primary focus of the
         arbitration any longer.  Rather, the NBA players union is
         going after the Warriors and the NBA, claiming Sprewell's
         punishments were excessive."  One "insider" said NBA
         Commissioner David Stern may be asked to testify about "how
         and why he arrived" at his decision (SUN-TIMES, 1/29).

    Print | Tags: Golden State Warriors, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Portland Trail Blazers, Turner Sports, Vulcan Ventures
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