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NFL NEWS & NOTES: OVITZ'S L.A. BID FRAUGHT WITH OBSTACLES?
Published May 12, 1998
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).