SBD/11/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              SPREE TO BE YOU & ME: NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter, asked
         if he could have helped Latrell Sprewell better prepare for
         his recent media appearances: "I would have probably --
         hopefully -- better prepared him.  I would have probably
         been a little more selective in terms of what shows I
         permitted him to go on."  The tour was scheduled by
         Sprewell's agent, Arm Tellem.  Hunter, meanwhile, "distanced
         himself -- and the union -- from the interviews."  Hunter:
         "It probably doesn't play too well with some people"
         (BLOOMBERG/PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/11)....Sprewell, on
         whether he feels a weight has been lifted from him since the
         ruling: "I'm starting to feel that as I can get out and tell
         people what really happened" ("Inside the NBA," TNT, 3/10).
              NOTES: Pilot Pen CEO Mike Davies is "seeking a four- or
         five-year lease with an option for another five years" from
         the USTA to bring the U.S. Women's Hardcourt Championship to
         New Haven, CT.  In Hartford, Greg Garber reports that if a
         deal is reached, Davies' organization "is prepared to
         piggyback local advertising for the women's event" with the
         men's Pilot Pen tournament (HARTFORD COURANT, 3/11)....Also
         in Hartford, Jerry Trecker previews the upcoming MLS season,
         and writes that the league "faces a continuing battle to
         gain acceptance beyond the already committed fans."  Trecker
         reports that the '98 season will open with "some positives,"
         including two new teams and a "better television package,"
         which includes games on ABC, ESPN, Univision and regional
         sports nets.  Trecker adds that "sponsor interest remains
         high, too, suggesting the business world has more confidence
         in" the sport, but that "in the meantime, a low profile is
         still the operative mode for MLS" (HARTFORD COURANT, 3/11).

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS, NBA, Turner Sports, USTA, Walt Disney

              "Many of the [NBA's] referees say they think the IRS is
         mounting another charge at several of them," according to
         Dwight Jaynes of the Portland OREGONIAN.  One NBA ref:
         "There are still about 25 of us under investigation, and we
         think another 15 could be indicted by April 15."  But Jaynes
         wrote that "there is an assertion by some that the actual
         amount of taxes owed is not enough to merit the heat of this
         investigation."  One ref said George Tolliver, a former ref
         indicted last year, "owed tax of about $10,000.  But he lost
         his job and his ability to repay the debt. ... People owe
         much more in taxes than that all the time and don't get
         prosecuted."  Two refs also told Jaynes that the NBA "had a
         part" in the investigation and added, "They knew what we
         were doing and, in fact, used it against us in collective
         bargaining.  It was a way for them to pay us more money
         without having to pay various payroll taxes on that money. 
         Now they are doing nothing to help us."  But Jaynes wrote of
         "speculation" that NBA Commissioner David Stern is waiting
         for the investigation to end and "then will contemplate some
         kind of amnesty program."  NBA Senior VP Rod Thorn: "David
         has said publicly this isn't necessarily a death sentence. 
         But he hasn't said it isn't either" (OREGONIAN, 3/10).
              THE OTHER REF: NEW YORK's Barbara Campbell profiles
         Sandra Ortiz-Del Valle, who filed a $1M gender
         discrimination suit against the NBA, "which declined to hire
         her as a ref despite her seventeen years of experience." NBA
         League Counsel Jeffrey Mishkin said that Ortiz-Del Valle
         "did not" meet the NBA's standards.  Ortiz-Del Valle has
         rejected two NBA settlement offers, first $25,000, then
         $75,000, "in favor of her day in court" (NEW YORK, 3/98).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA

              The Professional Hockey Players' Association (PHPA) and
         the AHL announced the ratification of a new, four-year
         Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The CBA, extending through
         August 31, 2002, was approved by the AHL players. 
         Components of the deal include: a PHPA sponsored 401(k)/
         Group RRSP; revised Standard Player's Contract; increased
         player per diem; increased pension contributions; player
         benefit program enhancements; and increased minimum salary
         for players recalled from lesser leagues (PHPA).

    Print | Tags: AHL, Leagues and Governing Bodies

              The USOC "is not ready to announce specific punishment
         for the room-trashing episode" involving U.S. hockey players
         in Nagano, but Joe Lapointe of the N.Y. TIMES writes that
         the USOC "appears to be moving away from threats, hoping for
         a settlement in the form of a group apology and a
         significant payment by team members."  The USOC had
         "threatened possible sanctions" against the entire team for
         the incident, possibly banning all players from future
         international competitions.  Lapointe: "The new strategy
         seems to be based, at least in part, on a feeling that the
         USOC may be on uncertain legal ground trying to punish the
         hockey team as a whole" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/11).  In N.Y., Ira
         Berkow writes under the header "Hockey Team's Stonewalling
         Is Childlike Behavior."  Berkow, in response to Brian Leetch
         who recently said the threat of a team penalty sounded like
         "elementary school": "If they act like children, it is only
         proper that they be treated like children" (N.Y. TIMES,
         3/11).  USOC President Bill Hybl and USOC Exec Dir Dick
         Schultz will hold a news conference today (USA TODAY, 3/11).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, USOC
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