SBD/13/Collegiate Sports

BAT POWER: NCAA VOTES TO DELAY ALUMINUM BAT SPECIFICATIONS

          The NCAA's Exec Committee voted yesterday to "delay
     implementation of its new aluminum bat specifications, a
     move that probably will reduce the amount of damages sought
     by bat maker Easton Sports," according to Steve Rock of the
     K.C. STAR.  NCAA officials said Easton's $267M lawsuit
     claiming the bat alteration is an illegal restraint of
     trade, "was not a major deciding factor" in the decision to
     delay specifications "for one baseball season."  Rock writes
     that "one result, though, may be that Easton lops a healthy
     chunk of change off of its lawsuit."  David Ettinger, one of
     Easton's attorneys, said, "Certainly, it's good news to a
     degree for Easton. ... But I think the bulk of our damages
     are still going to be there" (K.C. STAR, 8/13).  Easton
     Chair Jim Easton said he was "encouraged" by the decision to
     delay the enforcement of the new bat performance standard
     from January 1, 1999 to August 1, 1999.  But he added,
     "Until the NCAA provides us with the specific details and a
     timeline on how they intend to test bat performance, we are
     not prepared to discuss the status of our lawsuit" (Easton). 
                                
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Colleges, NCAA

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