SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              CFL Acting Commissioner John Tory "gave the league's
         board of governors his notice" on Friday and said he plans
         to step down from his post "no later than" November 22, the
         date of the '98 Grey Cup, according to the Toronto GLOBE &
         MAIL.  Tory said that he will "step aside sooner if a
         suitable replacement is found."  Tory joined the CFL in '92
         as the board chair and planned to step down after the '96
         season.  But after Commissioner Larry Smith resigned, Tory
         "not only remained but also added the job of acting
         commissioner" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/7).

    Print | Tags: CFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies

              The Corel WTA Tour and women's tennis is "deeper, more
         diverse and often features matchups that are more intense
         and entertaining than those played on the men's tour,"
         according to USA TODAY's Doug Smith in a sports cover-story. 
         Tour CEO Bart McGuire: "Attendance is up everywhere, and
         television ratings are very good."  The Tour drew 20,000
         fans over the weekend for the early-round matches at Indian
         Wells, CA, for the Evert Cup and "large crowds" are expected
         this week even though the Newsweek Champions Cup men's event
         begins today at the same site.   Besides Steffi Graf and
         Monica Seles, the Tour also has five teen stars with
         endorsement pacts that "made each of them a millionaire." 
         Martina Hingis is with Sergio Tacchini; Venus Williams is
         with Reebok; her sister Serena is with Puma; Anna Kournikova
         is with adidas and Mirjana Lucic is with Fila.  The teen
         stars have also been featured in women's glamour magazines
         and hit the late-night talk show circuit.  McGuire: "Not
         only do we have high quality players, but we have players
         who are articulate and are good copy" (USA TODAY, 3/9). 
         currently searching for a new title sponsor to replace
         Corel, which is in the "final months" of its deal.  IMG's
         Stephanie Tolleson, leading the search, is "confident she
         soon will find a suitable replacement."  Tolleson: "We want
         to find the right partner for tennis and not someone who
         will just spend the sponsorship fee" (USA TODAY, 3/9).  
              EVENT MOVING? In New Haven, Dave Solomo reported that
         the Pilot Pen Int'l tourney in CT is "negotiating" with the
         USTA and promoters of the U.S. Women's hardcourt tournament
         in Stone Moutain, GA, about moving the event to New Haven to
         be played at the CT Tennis Center from August 24-30.  The
         men's and women's tournaments would be held in back-to-back
         weeks, instead of simultaneously (NEW HAVEN REGISTER, 3/8).

    Print | Tags: IMG, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Puma, Reebok, USTA, Washington Nationals

              On Sunday's "NBA on NBC," Hannah Storm led a round-
         table discussion on the Sprewell ruling.  NBC's Bob Costas:
         "I think the way that this has been framed has been largely
         misleading. ... It's inaccurate to say that this shows you
         can strangle your coach and get away with it.  How did he
         get away with it?  ... Even though the league did not get
         everything it wanted, a large portion of some very severe
         discipline was upheld and this now establishes a benchmark
         to work from for David Stern."  Costas added, "If the league
         had not gone relatively easy on the Dennis Rodmans and the
         Nick Van Exels ... there would have been more precedent to
         make this kind of judgement stand" ("NBA on NBC," 3/8). 
              OWNERS UNITED? In Denver, Mike Monroe wrote the "irony"
         in the NBPA claiming victory in the Sprewell ruling is the
         "increased likelihood of ownership solidarity" to reopen the
         CBA (DENVER POST, 3/8).  In Chicago, Sam Smith wrote that
         owners "are feeling an even greater loss of power from this
         decision and from the actions of several players who forced
         trades and then refused to report to their new teams"
         (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/8).  In Boston, Peter May reported that
         the NBA Board of Governors is scheduled to meet March 23 in
         Dallas and "expects to vote" on whether to reopen the CBA. 
         Celtics Chair Paul Gaston is reportedly one of a "handful"
         of owners "opposed to reopening," but May wrote that Stern
         "wants the agreement reopened," and has a "key ally" in Cavs
         Owner Gordon Gund, "in charge of an important committee, and
         thus will probably get his way" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/8). 
              SPREWELL NOTES: In Chicago, Lacy Banks wrote "insiders"
         say that Stern "probably" will replace Feerick as the league
         arbitrator (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/8)....In San Jose, Jesse
         Barkin listed selected excerpts from testimony taken at the
         Sprewell hearings (MERCURY NEWS, 3/8)....Suns Chair Jerry
         Colangelo, asked if he'd be interested in Sprewell: "I'm not
         interested in taking on any situation, regardless of the
         talent level, where there are some real questions about
         whether that individual has his life under control.  Life is
         too short for that" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/7).  In Detroit,
         Terry Foster wrote, "Sprewell is enticing.  He is tempting. 
         But so is the devil" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/8)

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NBC, Phoenix Suns, Seattle Storm

              USOC Exec Dir Dick Schultz said that he believes he
         knows which "two or three" players on the U.S. men's hockey
         team were responsible for the room vandalism in Nagano, and
         if the players don't come forward, he said the USOC's "only
         option" would be to sanction the entire team, according to
         Nicholas Cotsonika of the WASHINGTON POST.  Schultz said
         that he would give the players "a week to come forward
         before any action is taken."  Schultz: "You know, it's not
         that big a deal if somebody would just come forward and say,
         'Hey, we did it' and apologize."  Schultz added that "how
         severe the punishment will be -- and how far-reaching --
         will depend on whether the players come forward and how
         soon" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/9).  Late last week, USA Hockey
         Exec Dir David Ogrean sent letters to the players, citing
         the "gravity of the situation and the impact on USA Hockey,"
         which is dependent on income from membership dues and
         corporate sponsors.  He said he has received more than 500
         "negative messages" on the vandalism incident.  One league
         source: "If they won't cooperate, then let them all pay the
         price" (Brooks & Berman, N.Y. POST, 3/7).
              RESPONSE: The Islanders' Bryan Berard: "[W]e're going
         to go down as a team.  That's the way we want it" (N.Y.
         DAILY NEWS, 3/7).  Capitals and Team USA coach Ron Wilson:
         "I think it's gotten to the point where no one is going to
         step forward" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/8).  The Blackhawks' Chris
         Chelios: "We got blamed for everything else; let them figure
         it out" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/8).  But in N.Y., Larry Brooks
         wrote that, despite some threats, the punishment "must fit
         the crime," and a guilty player should face community
         service and donations to a youth hockey organization (N.Y.
         POST, 3/8).  In Denver, Terry Frei wrote guilty parties
         should just "step forward, say they're embarrassed and sorry
         -- and ask where they should send the checks" (DENVER POST,
         3/8).  In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont: "'Fess up and be done
         with it.  In six months, no one will remember your names"
         (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/8).  In Dallas, Cathy Harasta wrote the
         incident "will not go away by itself.  The innocent must
         act" (MORNING NEWS, 3/7).  In N.Y., Frank Brown wrote
         someone from the USOC, NHL, NHLPA or USA Hockey "better get
         fired once this gets fixed" as the organizations "are
         accountable for allowing this to snowball" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
         3/8).  In Toronto, Steve Simmons wrote that "more than one
         high level" NHL exec is "convinced" that NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
         Goodenow is behind the "cover-up" and "intent in protecting"
         his union members (TORONTO SUN, 3/8).  In Calgary, Jim
         Taylor wonders, "Who's in charge here, Inspector Clouseau? 
         This isn't exactly the pursuit of Carlos" (SUN, 3/8).

    Print | Tags: Chicago Blackhawks, Leagues and Governing Bodies, New York Islanders, NHL, USOC, Washington Capitals, Wilson Sporting Goods

              In his first in-depth interview since being suspended
         from the NBA for choking Warriors coach PJ Carlesimo,
         Latrell Sprewell spoke with CBS's Lesley Stahl on "60
         Minutes."  Sprewell was the only participant involved in the
         hearings interviewed for the "60 Minutes" segment. 
              HIS TAKE: Sprewell: "I wasn't choking PJ.  PJ, he could
         breathe.  It's not like he was losing air or anything like
         that.  I mean, it wasn't a choke, I wasn't trying to kill
         PJ."  Sprewell, asked if he would have stopped attacking
         Carlesimo if his teammates hadn't intervened: "But no one
         had been there yet, so it's not like I was going to sit
         there and kill the man, no.  No, I would have stopped." 
         Sprewell, on the lack of respect from Carlesimo: "You don't
         talk to people the way that PJ talked to me."  Sprewell said
         when he came back to the gym the second time after being
         thrown out of practice, as he got near Carlesimo, players
         tried to keep him from getting any closer: "I think when
         that happened, I just started swinging my arms just to get
         free from those guys.  This is where they say PJ was punched
         or something.  I know that I didn't intentionally go out
         there to hit PJ."  Sprewell, asked if he needs counseling:
         "No, I don't feel I need counseling."  Sprewell, asked if he
         "got away" with attacking Carlesimo: "I attacked him, but I
         don't know about getting away with it.  [It] cost $6.5
         million and 68 games, that's the highest suspension in any
         sport that's not drug related.  I mean, that's, to me, I
         mean, that's not getting away with anything" (CBS, 3/8).
              MORE SPREE: David Aldridge interviewed Sprewell for
         ESPN's "Sunday Conversation."  Sprewell, on where he would
         like to play if he had a choice: "If I could go anywhere
         today, if I had like one pick, I would be in DC."  On how he
         demonstrates to NBA Commissioner David Stern that he can
         control his temper: "Stern and I, we've never really talked. 
         At the hearings I saw him, but he really never really got to
         talk to me.  I was basically listening to what he was
         saying.  So there was no real dialogue between us."  On if
         Stern might have misjudged him based on what he saw and
         read: "No doubt, because he knows nothing about me."  On
         learning from the incident: "You know, I think the coaches,
         too, can learn a lesson here: that they really need to have
         an understanding of the player, and they really need to
         watch how they talk and treat players.  Because we're not
         kids, you know, we're men" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/8).  On
         CNN/SI, Sprewell told Fred Hickman: "[W]hen people just say
         I got away with it. ... I have lost my Converse deal, I have
         lost $6.5 million ... And not to mention my image.  People
         think that I am like the worst person in the world right
         now, and that's why I am here right now trying to change
         some of that" (CNN/SI, 3/8).  Sprewell was also interviewed
         this morning on ABC's "GMA" by Lisa McRee and will be a
         guest tonight on ESPN's "Up Close" (THE DAILY).  

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, Converse, ESPN, Golden State Warriors, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Sports Illustrated, Viacom, Walt Disney
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