SBD/5/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • LEAGUE NOTES

              FOOTBALL: USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes writes on the
         franchise fee for the Browns and wonders, "Is [Cowboys
         Owner] Jerry Jones playing mind games with the bidders by
         predicting a $700M bid?"  Jones: "I don't think I'm being
         overly optimistic.  Remember, I'm the guy who said the NFL
         was in the position of having television revenues double"
         (USA TODAY, 6/5)...The Marquee Group's Mike Trager, on the
         NBC/Turner proposed football league: "We did the research on
         the All-American League, which is similar to NBC's and
         Turner's model.  Our research found a demand for another pro
         football league in the spring-summer" (USA TODAY, 6/5). 
              SEEKING SPONSORS: Women's Sports Foundation Exec Dir
         Donna Lopiano and Silver Bullets manager Phil Niekro will
         travel to Hartford in the next few weeks for "discussions
         with potential sponsors" for the team (HART. COURANT, 6/5). 
    
    

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  • LOCKOUT APPEARS MORE LIKELY AS NBA DISCUSSES GLOOMY SCENARIO

              While the NBA and NBPA "continue to talk," discussions
         in recent weeks "indicate a lockout by the owners is on the
         horizon," according to David Moore of the DALLAS MORNING
         NEWS.  NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik: "I have to
         acknowledge that we're getting closer (to a lockout) since
         time is going by.  I'd feel better if we were meeting a
         little more often and making more progress.  But we're not
         totally discouraged yet" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/5).  
              MEET THE PRESS: Granik and NBA Commissioner David Stern
         met the media in Salt Lake City to discuss the state of the
         league.  Stern, on the possibility of a work stoppage:
         "We've been through work stoppages before, and while it's
         true we haven't lost regular-season games, we know the magic
         words of strike and lockout" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/5). 
         Stern: "We're not trying to run away from the payments, but
         we need to slow the growth.  The notion that you simply
         decide to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year is not
         a principle that I'm familiar with, in terms of any business
         around the world."  Stern, on the previous CBA: "Have we
         made mistakes at the bargaining table in the past?  The
         answer is yes.  But the system is not working now."  At the
         press conference, Stern pulled out a 1982 clip from Sports
         Illustrated -- "not because it is the most reliable
         publication but because it takes itself the most seriously" 
          -- that questioned who would take the mantle in the post-
         Magic Johnson and Larry Bird era (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER,
         6/5).  Stern: "Guess what?  Somebody did replace them, and a
         whole group of players did" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/5).  
              FROM THE PLAYERS: Jazz F Antoine Carr, on a work
         stoppage: "It's the stupidest thing we could ever do on
         either side. ... We could end up with 3,000 or 4,000 people
         in the stands like the old time" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/5). 
         Jazz F Chris Morris: "There's going to be one ... (and) it's
         going to hurt a lot of people" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 6/5). 
              REAX: In Chicago, Sam Smith: "It's clear the two sides
         are growing close to a serious dispute.  Top team officials
         say the league has been notifying them in recent days to
         prepare for a long dispute that possibly interrupts next
         season" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/5).  In Orange County, Mark
         Whicker writes that Stern "seems almost resigned to a
         lockout" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/5).  In S.F., David
         Steele reports that the situation Stern painted yesterday
         "could not have been more bleak.  Nor could he have
         presented the chances of avoiding an owners' lockout as
         being more remote" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/5). In Philadelphia,
         Mike Bruton writes the "foreboding storm clouds of labor
         unrest are gathering."  He says that both sides "should cut
         the posturing and find some imagination to deal with this
         complex situation" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/5).  In
         Milwaukee, D. Orlando Ledbetter writes that the "league has
         never lost a game to a strike and it knows now is not the
         time to set any ugly precedents" (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/5).
    
    

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  • STERN AND JORDAN IN THE MIDDLE OF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SNIT

              NBA Commissioner David Stern "stopped short of calling
         them unpatriotic, but he did question the wisdom of players
         who are considering boycotting this summer's world
         championships in Athens," according to Mike Wise of the N.Y.
         TIMES.  Stern: "If the individual players decide to trash
         their country, that's going to be their decision."  Stern's
         comments earned a response from Michael Jordan, who said he
         would support a boycott of the games in the case of a
         lockout in "a heartbeat."  Jordan: "If you're going to try
         to handcuff one side, we have to retaliate."  NBA Deputy
         Commissioner and USA Basketball President Russ Granik
         "warned that such a boycott could influence" the U.S.'
         chances of automatically qualifying for the 2000 Olympics. 
         He said the team may be forced to play in a qualifying
         tournament which would take place during the '99-2000 NBA
         season.  But NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter said he was looking
         into whether the U.S. team could receive a bye since it won
         the '96 gold medal.  Hunter said "he was mindful of the
         players possibly being betrayed as unpatriotic if they
         boycotted the games."  Wise: "Because players signed
         contracts with USA Basketball, Stern is mostly wringing his
         hands when it comes to the league's involvement."  But
         Hunter said, "We could argue we think USA Basketball is the
         alter ego" of the NBA (N.Y. TIMES, 6/5).  In Miami, Steve
         Wyche adds that Stern "tried to distance the NBA from USA
         Basketball" and "seemed to be putting pressure on the
         players" who have already committed to the event.  He also
         said that if the players do boycott, "many of their
         individual sponsors ... may not be pleased" (MIAMI HERALD,
         6/5).  Stern: "What USA Basketball is going to do is not my
         problem, nor my owners' problem" (USA TODAY, 6/5).  
              WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE? In Houston, Eddie Sefko
         notes a source saying that USA Basketball will send letters
         to players in "about" 10 days asking them of their
         intentions.  If the NBA players do not participate, USA
         Basketball "will scramble to find an alternate team"
         (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/5).  In Toronto, Craig Daniels writes
         the World Championships have "become a hostage to the
         looming collective bargaining war" (TORONTO SUN, 6/5).
              NOT THE BATTLE YOU WANT? In Minneapolis, Steve
         Aschburner writes that Jordan and Stern, the "two most
         powerful men in the NBA ... squared off" over the World
         Championships issue (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/5).  In
         L.A., Mark Heisler writes that Stern "found himself in a
         spat with his star of stars" (L.A. TIMES, 6/5).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
  • TWO NEW INDOOR SOCCER LEAGUES AIM TO GAIN MARKETS/EXPOSURE

              The fledgling Premiere Soccer Alliance (PSA) has added
         the former CISL Sacramento franchise, the Knights, for the
         '98 season, joining teams in Dallas, Portland and Arizona. 
         The Knights are owned by NBA Kings Owner Jim Thomas and are
         a part of his Capital Sports group.  The four teams, playing
         at the Rose Garden, Arco Arena, Reunion Arena and Veteran's
         Memorial Coliseum, will play an exhibition-type schedule in
         '98, in addition to games against All-Star teams from
         Argentina, Italy, Mexico and Brazil.  PSA President Gordon
         Jago told THE DAILY that the PSA expects to field an eight-
         to 10-team league to begin play in August '99.  He hopes to
         add three more former CISL teams to the PSA in '99, with an
         eventual goal of a 16-team league.  Jago is touting the
         PSA's business plan which does not require a franchise fee
         or a league assessment in '99.  The league will not have a
         Commissioner, and instead, each franchise owner will have
         one vote, with majority rule (THE DAILY).
              GOOOOAALLLS: Within the next week, Jago said the PSA
         hopes to announce a CEO and a partnership with an agency to
         handle all league-wide marketing and media deals.  In
         addition, the PSA is looking to land a national league-wide
         sponsor by the fall.  Jago said the PSA "is not really
         interested" in a national TV deal, but would like to develop
         a national 30-minute weekly highlight show.  Jago: "From a
         sponsorship viewpoint, it's a better bet than one or two
         games and out. ... It's something we could sell far better
         than a two-hour game."  Individual teams will be permitted
         to create their own local TV deals (THE DAILY).
              COMPETITION GOOD FOR YOU? Jago said that the PSA "will
         continue talks" about forming a partnership with the NPSL,
         the 13-team league that plays from October to March.  While
         Jago has "heard rumors" about the possibility of a re-formed
         CISL beginning play in '99, he said the PSA is moving ahead
         with its plan: "I believe there has to be one league, I
         don't think there's enough [resources] for two leagues."  In
         addition, PSA Dir of Communications Andy McNamara told THE
         DAILY that CISL player contracts will "become null and void
         after June."  McNamara said that while the PSA has had no
         contact with the CISL, they hope to reach an "out-of-court
         settlement" regarding the use of former CISL team names and
         logos.  McNamara, on the possibility of the two leagues
         joining forces: "A lot of things would have to change, but
         we'd never shut the door completely" (THE DAILY). 
              C-YA LATER? Former CISL Commissioner Ron Weinstein told
         THE DAILY that his suspended league is in the process of
         reforming and "most likely" will begin play next summer.  He
         said the league will be a solely-funded, independent
         operation consisting of NBA/NHL team owners or those who own
         or operate their own facilities.  He said talks are ongoing
         about securing a "major" cable TV deal (THE DAILY). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NHL, NPSL, Sacramento Kings
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