SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies


          While negotiators for the NFL and NFLPA have been
     working to extend the current CBA which expires in 2002,
     "several key differences have slowed negotiations
     dramatically in recent days," according to Mike Freeman of
     the N.Y. TIMES.  Several officials estimated that the
     chances of reaching a deal in the next few weeks were 50-50.

     The league "would like" a CBA extension before agreeing to a
     new TV deal.  According to officials, there are "two major
     sticking points" between the league and its players.  The
     union is looking to "get rid" of the "franchise player"
     designation which "is typically used by teams on their best
     player."  That player is then guaranteed the average salary
     of the top five at his position.  If a team loses its
     "franchise player," it receives two No. 1 draft picks as
     compensation.  Freeman: "Some agents and players despise the
     rule, feeling it limits a player's freedom and salary."  But
     an "even bigger problem" that has come up during
     negotiations is that the union "wants teams to guarantee the
     first year of player salaries, which would be unprecedented"
     in the NFL.  Freeman: "There is little chance that ownership
     will approve either proposal, which has led to the
     stalemate."  Freeman adds that negotiations between the two
     sides will continue in the coming days (N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).
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