SBD/12/Leagues Governing Bodies

NFL NEWS & NOTES: OVITZ'S L.A. BID FRAUGHT WITH OBSTACLES?

          Michael Ovitz's bid for an NFL team in L.A. was
     examined by CNN's Casey Wian on "Moneyline."  Sports
     management consultant David Carter: "Michael Ovitz brings
     three major things to the table that the NFL likes ...
     political savvy, business connections and a tremendous
     amount of money.  His war chest of $750 million, when
     combined with his connections here locally, make him a very
     formative player."  Ovitz declined to comment for CNN.  Wian
     added that Ovitz "also faces formidable obstacles,
     environmental problems, for one," and the presence of the
     L.A. Coliseum which has its own proposal for a renovated
     stadium with luxury boxes.  L.A. City Councilmember Mark
     Ridley-Thomas, on the New Coliseum Partners: "We are
     cheaper.  We can build it quicker. ... We're the game in
     town to beat, and as near as I can tell, no one has put
     together the wherewithal to do that" ("Moneyline," 5/11).
          UNION BOSS: NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw is featured in a
     Q&A by USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell, who writes, "Yes, these are
     good times for Upshaw, who has survived harsh criticism,
     skepticism and even dissent within the ranks to sustain his
     position longer than any current players' union chief." 
     Upshaw says the NFLPA is now "worth more than" $70M, and its
     Players Inc arm has "become worth more than" $30M in three
     years.  Upshaw said that over the past five or six years the
     union has worked with the league "to do what's best for the
     game.  For once, we all understand that it's not a
     competition between the players and the owners, that the
     other sports are the real competition" (USA TODAY, 5/12).
          AGENT TO SUE? MA-based agent Jack Mula is "considering"
     suing the NFL to change its rules which prohibits a college
     player from taking part in minicamp until his class has
     graduated -- even if the player has completed his degree
     requirements.  Mula said the rule hurts late-round draft
     picks and free agents who "have to get to camp and show what
     they can do right away" (Nick Cafardo, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/12).

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