SBD/21/Leagues Governing Bodies

NFLCA COACHES HOLD "QUIET" PROTEST; OWNERS GAIN AFL ENTRY

          At the NFL owners meetings in FL, "most members" of the
     NFL Coaches Association (NFLCA) "quietly took part in a
     protest" before a coaching symposium was set to begin,
     according to Mike Freeman of the N.Y. TIMES.  The group of
     "about" 50 to 60 coaches, "upset with issues they say
     include race and age discrimination, as well as pension plan
     issues, staged a non-confrontational protest that could
     signal future labor unrest."  The members entered the
     symposium 15 minutes late on Wednesday morning "to show the
     league that coaches, particularly assistants, are unified
     and prepared to take on the league."  Among the coaches were
     Eagles head coach Ray Rhodes and former Raiders head coach
     Art Shell.  Also present was NFLCA Founder William Wallen,
     who said that 94% of the NFL's assistants are association
     members.  But NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the
     protest "bordered on silliness because we're well aware of
     their issues."  Tagliabue: "We've been talking to them; more
     than talking to them, we've changed a number of policies."
     He cited changes in the league's health insurance plan (N.Y.
     TIMES, 5/21).  In DC, Leonard Shapiro writes that the NFLCA
     members now face "a more important question: What next?" 
     Sources say the NFLCA "will not register as a union, but
     that a class-action lawsuit charging the NFL with age and
     race discrimination is being considered."  While coaches
     acknowledged the health insurance changes, they said other
     issues "have not been addressed" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/21).
          OTHER LEAGUE NOTES: NFL owners adopted a resolution to
     allow NFL teams to own AFL teams within their own markets.
     ...Kansas City's proposal to be considered to host the 40th
     Super Bowl in 2006 was rejected (USA TODAY, 5/21)....NFLPA
     Exec Dir Gene Upshaw said the league should make the new
     Browns franchise competitive as quickly as it can: "We are
     not going to punish an expansion team for being an expansion
     team.  It's not fair to the players, it's not fair to the
     city, it's not fair to the new owners, and it's not fair to
     the league" (BEACON JOURNAL, 5/21).  Panthers Owner Jerry
     Richardson: "We'll resolve it in a way that will give them a
     fair chance to compete.  Ours worked well" (SUN-SENTINEL,
     5/21)....Of the 52,000 PSLs sold for the new Browns
     franchise, about 10,000 are left, most of which cost $250 or
     $500 (BEACON JOURNAL, 5/21)....In San Jose, Sam Farmer
     writes that during the meetings, NFL owners "tiptoed oh so
     close to the issues troubling the 49ers, yet never treading
     on that delicate ground."  Tagliabue, on the fate of the
     team's $525M stadium/mall complex: "I really haven't spent
     enough time on it recently to feel comfortable that what I
     would say would even be accurate" (MERCURY NEWS, 5/21).

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