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AFTER 18 DAY TENURE, CLARSON OPTS OUT OF WTA TOUR CEO DEAL
Published January 7, 1998
The WTA Tour announced that its newly-named CEO, Ric Clarson, has reversed his decision to take the post and will remain as VP/Tournament Business Affairs of the PGA Tour. Clarson had accepted the position on December 19 and was set to begin a four-year term on January 15 (WTA Tour). In a statement, Clarson said his "heightened awareness of certain issues within the organization has made me rethink my commitment and reconsider my acceptance of this position" (THE DAILY). WTA Tour Search Committee Board Member Bob Arrix said that Clarson "was aware of the challenges and opportunities of the job prior to accepting the position." Arrix went on to add that the Tour is hoping to have a CEO announcement by the end of the week (WTA Tour). THEN AGAIN, MAYBE I WON'T: In N.Y., Robin Finn called the news "an embarrassing setback for women's professional tennis." While Clarson did not make his reasons public, "there were indications" that they "had to do with his reluctance to uproot his family from Florida, as well as a reluctance to assume control of a sport that will be without a sponsor at the end of 1998, is limited by its $10 million operating budget and is beleaguered by a rift" within its Players Association (Robin Finn, N.Y. TIMES, 1/7). In FL, Laurie Casaday reports that Clarson's decision "was based" on the unsettled Board dispute, which he had the "understanding ... would be amicably resolved." Clarson said he "presented a proposal that would settle" the conflict, but "it was rejected" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/7). TWO PLAYERS? In CONDE NAST SPORTS FOR WOMEN, Andrea Leand reports that "potential suitors" for title sponsorship of the WTA Tour, "include two multinational electronics companies" (CONDE NAST SPORTS FOR WOMEN, 1/98 issue).