SBD/30/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              BOYS ON THE SIDE: In Toronto, Tom Tebbutt reported that
         the ATP will announce this week "it is dropping its plan to
         have more combined men's and women's top-level tour events"
         (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/29).  WTA players continue to draw the most
         notice at Wimbledon.  In Raleigh, Caulton Tudor writes that
         "the world's most prestigious tennis tournament rapidly has
         become a ladies-before-gentlemen event of the first order. 
         But it's not just Wimbledon.  It's the entire sport, really"
         (NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/30).  In L.A., Lisa Dillman wrote that
         "it is becoming obvious that female tennis players are
         attracting more attention than their male colleagues. ...
         What will truly be interesting in the future is how and if
         the teenagers evolve into leaders, on the equal-pay issue
         and other matters impacting the women's tour" (L.A. TIMES,
         6/29).  In DC, Jennifer Frey wrote under the header, "As The
         Men Face Break Point, Women Stars Grab Center Court"
         (WASHINGTON POST, 6/29)....In Tampa, H.A. Branham: "The
         question becomes how the men plan to turn things around, or
         at least begin to rival a competitor that once presented no
         competition" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/29)....In N.Y., Phil Mushnick
         wrote, "Is there a major sporting event that has vanished
         from the forefront of the American public's consciousness
         faster than Wimbledon?" (N.Y. POST, 6/29).  
              NOTES: The L.A. Times reported that the WNBA's Lynette
         Woodard and ESPN women's basketball commentator Mimi Griffin
         are candidates to head the WNBA players union.  But the
         union "is slow to develop in the league's second season"
         (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/30)....ABL players and their agents
         "are wondering about the rumor" that Michael Jordan "will
         buy the ABL's Chicago expansion franchise," according to
         Earl Gustkey of the L.A. TIMES.  ABL CEO Gary Cavalli
         "wouldn't comment," other than saying that Jordan's
         involvement would be an "exciting possibility."  Jordan was
         not available for comment (L.A. TIMES, 6/30).

    Print | Tags: ATP, Dallas Stars, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Walt Disney, WNBA

              MLB management sources "confirmed Monday that a special
         executive session has been called for July 9 in Chicago
         during which Bud Selig" will be named MLB commissioner "on a
         permanent basis," according to Tom Haudricourt of the
         MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.  Selig confirmed that the
         meeting had been called, but he would not confirm that he
         had officially decided to accept the job.  A three-fourths
         vote of the 30 MLB clubs is required for election, with no
         more than five clubs in either league objecting.  Only the
         White Sox, Cubs and Giants have been reported to object to
         Selig's election (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/30).
              LET'S PLAY TWO! In N.Y., Murray Chass reports that
         today is the designated date for MLB to submit next year's
         schedule to the MLBPA for its approval, but yesterday MLB
         asked for and received a two-week extension.  Chass reports
         that "the two sides should have little trouble agreeing on
         an official schedule."  Reports have next year's interleague
         schedule for the East divisions including home-and-home
         series between the Yankees-Mets; Blue Jays-Expos; Devil Rays
         - Marlins; Orioles-Phillies; and Braves-Red Sox (N.Y. TIMES,
         6/30).  Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner said playing the
         Mets twice next year is not a "a good idea," calling it
         "overkill, plain and simple" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/30).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Miami Marlins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays

              The NBA's "nuclear summer has begun" as Commissioner
         David Stern announced yesterday the league will lock out its
         players beginning midnight Tuesday, according to David Moore
         of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  The recommendation of the
         league's nine-man labor relations committee was "unanimous"
         and the "only action" the owners needed to void the final
         three years of the current CBA.  Moore writes the owners'
         decision "was driven by economics" and there are "strong
         indications this impasse is more complex and contentious"
         than previous disputes between the league and its union
         (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/30).  Stern: "We can't afford to
         play the season under the current system. ... The final
         numbers aren't in, but for the first time, as a whole, we
         believe the league was actually unprofitable last season." 
         Stern, asked if the lockout could threaten the start of the
         season: "Yes, that is fair and accurate.  Unfortunately,
         there are a number of clubs that would do better not
         operating than actually operating.  That's something the
         players don't yet understand."  NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter
         said in a statement, "Unfortunately, the owners continue to
         demand unprecedented concessions.  Until the owners abandon
         their posture of seeking one-sided concession bargaining and
         show some willingness to compromise, it is difficult to
         expect any progress" (Greg Logan, NEWSDAY, 6/30).  In S.F.,
         David Steele calls it a "mild surprise" that the league "did
         not even make a pretense of pushing negotiations" with the
         NBPA until the last moment, "announcing its intentions a
         good 32 hours before" the CBA was to expire.  Stern: "We
         were in touch with the union. ... But we really had nothing
         to talk about" (David Steele, S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/30). 
              WHAT IT MEANS: In N.Y., Mike Wise reports that while
         league business will effectively be stopped, previously-
         scheduled charity games "were spared."  Players
         rehabilitating injuries will be forced to work out
         arrangements through the team to be treated privately (N.Y.
         TIMES, 6/30).  In Boston, Peter May reports that teams will
         "forward a player's mail, and the league won't prevent
         players and management from co-mingling in social
         situations, such as weddings" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/30).  USA
         TODAY's Roscoe Nance: "For the average fan, the lockout
         won't have many visible effects" (USA TODAY, 6/30).
              NEXT MOVE: NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik said the
         Larry Bird exception continues to be the sticking point in
         negotiations.  Granik: "At our last meeting, the union said
         to us that unless the owners are prepared to maintain the
         Larry Bird exception they have nothing further to talk
         about" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 6/30).  Granik: "We tried not
         to focus on the Bird exception as such, but we need an
         agreement that is not open-ended.  There may be one whereby
         we keep 'Bird,' or some elements of it" (DENVER POST, 6/30).
         In Chicago, Lacy Banks reports the owners want to replace
         the Bird exception with a new rule allowing high-profile,
         10-year vets to be grandfathered into the exception. The
         NBPA's Hunter: "But that's only for this year.  It's a one-
         shot deal."  Granik has proposed that a player whose
         contract has expired will be able to re-sign for his old
         deal with a 5% increase.  Teams will be allowed to go "over
         the cap" in signing players with the 5% increase (CHICAGO
         SUN-TIMES, 6/30).  Yesterday, Stern mentioned three economic
         models the league would consider: Decide on a fair share for
         the players and write a check to the union to distribute as
         it wishes; agree on a specific percentage of the gross, and
         if salaries exceed that percentage, the owners would not be
         responsible; or a hard cap (NEWSDAY, 6/30).  Hunter: "Their
         position is no hard cap, no deal. ... For lack of a better
         word, our only position on that is to go to war" (USA TODAY,
         6/30).  More Hunter: "They don't want the top player on any
         team to make more than $10 million a year.  Nobody restricts
         how much money they can make. ... When they say, 'Take it or
         leave it,' we obviously left it ... and there may have to be
         some bloodletting" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/30).  Granik said the
         possibility of bringing in a mediator is an option.  The two
         sides are "not expected to meet" until after the union meets
         in Hawaii from July 6-12 (N.Y. TIMES, 6/30).  ESPN's David
         Aldridge reported it "will be a couple of months before any
         serious negotiating gets done" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/29). 
              TV MONEY: NBA owners will receive their TV rights fee
         from Turner and NBC even if the regular-season games are
         canceled.  The payments must be returned in the fourth and
         final season of the TV deal, "depending on the number of
         telecasts missed."  Stern: "That money has to be repaid to
         the networks, so it's not like extra money given to teams. 
         It was arranged so our teams would be in a position to
         survive the season without dire economic consequences in the
         short term" (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 6/30).  In Denver,
         Mike Monroe puts the rights fee for each team at $23M
         (DENVER POST, 6/30).  NBPA counsel Jeffrey Kessler said,
         "What's really driving this [the lockout and CBA reopening]
         is that (the owners would) like to keep more of the TV deal
         than they kept under the old deal" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/30). 
         In N.Y., former NBPA President Buck Williams tells Kevin
         Kernan that he believes CBS and Fox are contemplating a new
         league: "There's not a better time" (N.Y. POST, 6/30).
              HOW IT PLAYED: The lockout was the subject of front-
         page stories in USA Today, the N.Y. Post and the Houston
         Chronicle.  ESPN's "SportsCenter" led its early and late
         editions last night with the owners' declaration. 

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NBC, Viacom, Walt Disney

              NBA Commissioner David Stern "remains a power, perhaps
         the last powerful commissioner," according to Mark Heisler
         of the L.A. TIMES, who writes that a lockout "will be a test
         for him."  Heisler: "Sources suggest that he's still riding
         tall in the saddle, his owners falling in line behind him,
         even if some don't like the idea" (L.A. TIMES, 6/30).  Suns
         President Jerry Colangelo: "I would say that the owners are
         prepared to do what's necessary to correct the system
         because the system doesn't work" (AZ REPUBLIC, 6/30).
              DO OWNERS HAVE THE EDGE: In Denver, Mike Littwin calls
         the lockout "a huge gamble" for Stern.  Littwin: "Who will
         blink? ... [H]ow many paychecks do the other
         multimillionaires want to miss?  And although the owners
         don't want to lose any games, how important exactly are NBA
         games in November?  I give the owners the slight edge. ...
         The NBA union is untested" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/30).  In
         Philadelphia, Rich Hofman writes that the NBA "has all the
         leverage" and that the players "will be lucky to get out of
         this thing with their union intact" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY
         NEWS, 6/30).  In Toronto, Craig Daniels writes that the
         union "will fight to the bitter end.  Or until their
         membership starts missing [paychecks]" (TORONTO SUN, 6/30).
         NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter: "These guys will not submit,
         surrender or cave in as they did, under past history, if
         they faced losing a paycheck" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/30).  On
         CBS SportsLine, Andy Jasner calls the players "flat-out
         greedy" (CBS SportsLine, 6/30).  But in Philadelphia, Mike
         Bruton: "If the NBA owners hadn't blinked three years ago
         under the steely stare of a players' union mutiny, we
         wouldn't be on the verge of a work stoppage for the coming
         season" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 6/30).  In N.Y., Ian O'Connor
         predicts an agreement in late October as the "best-case
         scenario," and calls the NBA's statement of unprofitablity a
         "hard-to-believe claim" (DAILY NEWS, 6/30).       
              COULD PLAYERS BREAK? ESPN's David Aldridge reported
         that while the players have saved some money from their
         licensing pool, he believes it will be "very difficult ...
         for players to withstand a very long and prolongated
         lockout."  Aldridge: "I'm sure that as we go into August and
         maybe September and there hasn't been a deal done yet, the
         pressure is going to really start to mount inside, from a
         players' standpoint, to try and make a deal that works"
         (ESPN, 6/30).  But agent Bill Strickland said, "I get a
         strong sense that the players have an absolute resolve about
         not acting hastily this time" (STAR-LEDGER, 6/30).  Agent
         Arn Tellem said that most players "understand a lot is at
         stake and that they have to show solidarity, from stars to
         role players to guys at the end of the bench" (AP, 6/30). 
         Hunter: "They [the NBA] may have miscalculated this time. 
         If they realize the players are in for the long haul, then
         they may become softer in their demands" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/30). 
         Agent Marc Fleisher said he "wouldn't be surprised" if the
         lockout went until October.  Agent Joel Bell: "I expect this
         to last for at least the summer" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 6/30). 
              TOUGH TALK: In NJ, Dave D'Alessandro writes the "gloves
         have come off, the rhetoric is about to begin" (Newark STAR-
         LEDGER, 6/30).  Hunter: "[T]he league is profitable, the
         commissioner and the deputy commissioner are the highest
         paid in professional sports, the number of league employees
         is growing and the average salary of coaches is higher than
         that of the players.  So why are things so bad?" (S.F.
         CHRONICLE, 6/30).  Stern: "What we're hearing is, 'Whatever
         we have, we have, and anything else is the owners' problem.' 
         Well, that can't be" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/30).  In N.Y.,
         Kevin Kernan writes that fans "don't care" about basketball
         in the summer, but the "problem is, they may not care come
         November" (N.Y. POST, 6/30).   A N.Y. TIMES editorial states
         "this could be a confrontation in which no one blinks until
         a large part of the season -- or even all of it -- has been
         canceled" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/30). 

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Phoenix Suns, Walt Disney

              NASCAR President Bill France, Jr. was interviewed by
         Tom Groeschen of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER.  France, on which
         U.S. markets remain open for NASCAR: "The Northwest is an
         area we're really not in, as far as Winston Cup racing.  We
         are up there, with our truck series, but the weather up
         there ... it rains a lot."  France, on how the Indy Car
         split has affected NASCAR's popularity: "We were running
         pretty good before they split.  I don't attribute our
         success and popularity to their split.  We've probably moved
         a little faster because of it, but we were well on our way,
         on our own" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/29).
              RACING NOTES: IMS President Tony George continues to
         seek an Formula One race for the Speedway. F-1 has not raced
         in the U.S. since '91, and George is competing with bids
         from San Francisco, Las Vegas and Atlanta.  Sanctioning fees
         are estimated at $10M-$15M, which includes travel expenses
         for participants (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 6/28)....New
         Hampshire Int'l Speedway owner Bob Bahre said that he has
         not had any talks with IRL officials about extending the
         facility's contract to host the New England 200.  Bahre has
         lost money for three years "because of low attendance," and
         Sunday's crowd was estimated at 20,000.  Bahre estimated
         that he stood to lose "about" $700,000 (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/29).

    Print | Tags: Formula One, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NASCAR
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