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  • CASEY MARTIN VS. PGA TOUR: MARTIN SHOWS SIGNS OF STRESS

              Casey Martin took the stand in the third day of his
         suit against the PGA Tour and explained how his disabled
         right leg "has prevented him from living a normal life,"
         according to Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST.  Martin,
         who "broke down once" during his 75 minute testimony, spoke
         in a "calm, clipped voice," saying that his leg causes him
         "such immense pain that he has been unable to sleep
         uninterrupted for many years."  Martin also testified that
         blood "gathers and hardens" in his ankle, that he takes "at
         least" five Advils a day, wears two stockings on his leg "to
         aid circulation," and "no longer runs, exercises or drives." 
         Martin also said the "essence of golf" at PGA and Nike Tour
         levels is "[m]aking shots," not walking.  PGA Tour Policy
         Board Chair Richard Ferris also testified yesterday, and
         told the court that "walking is part and parcel of the game"
         at the highest levels.  Martin's lawyers are expected to
         rest their case today (WASHINGTON POST, 2/5).  While being
         questioned by his attorney, Martin broke down in recalling
         an incident during a college tourney when he was offered the
         use of a cart, but refused.  After the court granted a five
         minute recess, Martin "reiterated" he would prefer walking
         "if he could."  The Tour said "it will appeal the case if it
         loses."  Martin said he won't appeal but will "try to play
         without a cart."  In Chicago, Michael Hirsley: "Martin
         struggling to walk the course could be a lingering public-
         relations black eye for pro golf" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/5).
              DETAILS: PGA Tour attorney William Maledon said
         Martin's disability is "not the issue in the case, and it's
         unfortunate that that emotional issue is being given the
         prominence that it is" (CNN/SI, 2/5)....The PGA Tour's
         Ferris testified that carts are allowed on the Senior Tour
         because it is a "money-driven 'nostalgia' tour, far less
         competitive than" the PGA Tour (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/5).  
              ADVANTAGE MARTIN? ESPN's Jimmy Roberts pointed out a
         part of Ferris' testimony that "might in the end prove
         especially damaging" to the PGA Tour's case, that carts were
         provided for all players during the qualifying school
         because one was provided for Martin.  Roberts: "Ferris said
         that in the Tour's view, that did not compromise the
         integrity of the competition ... [which] would seem to be at
         odds with the Tour's very own central argument" (ESPN, 2/4).
         
    

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  • NFLPA CALLS UNCAPPED YEAR IN 2000 A "VERY BIG ISSUE"

              The NFLPA "has informed the league that it is prepared
         to allow" the CBA to expire after the 2000 season and not
         extend it through 2002, according to Leonard Shapiro of the
         WASHINGTON POST.  The present CBA calls for an end to the
         salary cap for the 2000 season, but the league and union had
         been negotiating to extend the deal, "and cap," through
         2002.  NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw said NFL owners want the
         cap through 2002 "to cover the first five years" of the new
         TV deal.  Upshaw: "We're not willing to do that unless
         they're willing to be give us something in exchange, and so
         far they haven't been willing to do that."  He declined to
         say what the players would want, but said, "Uncapped years
         is a very big issue to us."  NFL Senior VP/Communications
         Joe Browne said league owners will discuss the CBA at their
         February 18 meeting in Dallas (WASHINGTON POST, 2/5). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL
  • NHL GM'S: TINKER, TINKER, TO PROTECT THEIR STARS?

              At the conclusion of their three-day meetings in
         Scottsdale, AZ, NHL GMs recommended five rules changes for
         next season, according to Tim Tyers of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. 
         The league also announced that a "stricter standard for
         calling obstruction and interference away from the puck will
         be used when the NHL resumes play after" the Winter
         Olympics.  Some of the rules recommended for adoption
         include employing two referees and limiting the size of
         goalie equipment (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/5).  In Toronto, David
         Shoalts reports that "the most interesting changes were
         among six possible rule changes that will be used on an
         experimental basis" in the AHL and IHL later this season,
         including the elimination of the red line, which would speed
         up play in the neutral zone by eliminating the two-line pass
         (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/5).  The league "abandoned its idea for
         four quarters" (Bruce Garrioch, OTTAWA SUN, 2/5).
    
    

    Print | Tags: AHL, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
  • PHILADELPHIA MAYOR ED RENDELL INTERESTED IN MLB POST

              In a profile of Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell, Larry
         Platt writes that there are "those who believe that if no
         [MLB] commissioner is in place when Rendell's term expires
         in '99, Rendell would be interested."  If ever named,
         Rendell said he would hire Philadelphia Inquirer MLB writer
         Jayson Stark as his assistant (PHILADELPHIA, 2/98 issue).
    
    

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  • STERN TO TESTIFY IN SPREWELL HEARING; GAG ORDER LOOSENED

              Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo testified for seven hours
         yesterday at the Latrell Sprewell hearing, according to
         Athelia Knight of the WASHINGTON POST.  Also testifying on
         Wednesday was NBA Dir of Security Horace Balmer, who will
         resume his testimony this morning.  Commissioner David Stern
         "also is expected to testify" today (WASHINGTON POST, 2/5). 
         TBS' Craig Sager reported that Carlesimo "established that
         there was a second attack" by Sprewell and that he "did
         return, did swing at the coach, and did use the phrase,
         'I'll kill you.'"  Last week during his testimony, Sprewell
         "denied the second attack," saying he was held back by
         teammates before contact was made.  Sager noted that "under
         [CA] law it does not matter whether contact was made.  An
         assault is defined as an attempt."  Sager also reported,
         contrary to earlier reports, that Sprewell "didn't hang up
         the phone on Balmer and was cooperative" when Balmer called
         him to investigate the incident in December (TBS, 2/4).
              TENSIONS RISING? In San Jose, Jesse Barkin writes that
         Carlesimo had a "long day ... if cross-examination from
         [NBPA] attorney Jeffrey Kessler was anything like it has
         been for other witnesses."  Barkin quotes a witness as
         saying of Kessler, "At one point, I felt like punching the
         guy" (MERCURY NEWS, 2/5). In N.Y., Mike Wise reports that
         arbitrator John Feerick made a "slight modification" to his
         gag order, ruling that Stern, NBA Dep. Commissioner Russ
         Granik, NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter and a Warriors team rep
         "can state general beliefs or opinions about the case"
         during All-Star Weekend.  But, they can't give "any
         specifics" on the hearing or testimony (N.Y. TIMES, 2/5).
    
    

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  • WTA TOUR PUTS BENCHMARK AT $8M A YEAR FOR NEW TITLE SPONSOR

              These are "schizophrenic times for women's tennis,"
         according to SI's Jon Wertheim who examines the WTA Tour in
         "Scorecard."  Ratings and attendance are "at an all-time
         high," prize money "has doubled" since '89, and the game's
         "stable of young, marketable personalities has never been
         bigger."   One of new CEO Bart McGuire's "most urgent
         assignments" is to find a title sponsor to replace Corel,
         which did not renew its four-year, $12M contract after the
         '98 season.  A WTA "insider" said the Tour has "set a
         negotiating floor" of $8M a year with the next partner,
         adding "that pays all our administrative costs.  We're in
         big trouble without it."  In addition, a pending dispute
         over the make-up of the WTA Player's Board caused "rumors"
         at the Australian Open that "top players might form a tour
         of their own that would feature smaller draws and,
         consequently, bigger payouts."  IMG Senior Exec VP Bob Kain:
         "I don't necessarily think it will come to that, but it's
         definitely doable.  Historically, the top players have been
         very sensitive to players lower down, but this coup woke up
         the sleeping giants" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 2/9 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: IMG, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Sports Illustrated, Time Warner
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