SBD/11/Leagues Governing Bodies

NBA REFS AWAIT POSSIBLE NEW ROUND OF INDICTMENTS BY THE IRS

          "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).

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