SBD/19/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • DOES NBA LABOR DISPUTE CONTINUE TO BE DOGGED BY "RHETORIC"?

              "Posturing, diplomacy, rhetoric and misconceptions have
         all dotted the line of negotiations between the NBA and the
         Players Association since the league imposed a lockout on
         July 1," according to Mike Kahn of CBS SportsLine.  There is
         "little doubt at the moment" that NBPA Exec Dir Billy
         Hunter's "only task is to keep the players galvanized as
         much as possible, despite saying, 'a hard cap is not
         acceptable and not negotiable.'"  Kahn: "There is more to it
         than that.  He was hired, said one NBA source, 'to kick [NBA
         Commissioner David Stern's] butt, and unless he continues to
         act that way, he'll be out of a job.'  So Hunter marches
         on."   Stern: "Let's face it, this is different than any
         other negotiation.  They may feel they're giving something
         back, but the players won't really understand this until
         they miss a paycheck.  Then it will be reality to them." 
         Kahn: "Call it idle rhetoric or posturing, there is a bottom
         line here, and Stern, who has been negotiating for the NBA
         for more than 20 years now, knows this time is different. 
         Billy is the Hunter and Stern is the hunted.  Unless the
         present course of action is re-examined by the players, the
         real losers up front will be the fans and the players, with
         the real future of the game itself somewhere in between. 
         The billionaire owners will feel the pain last.  But we'd
         better not say it too loudly, the players might hear it"
         (Mike Kahn, CBS SportsLine, 8/19).
              GOING ONE ON ONE: In the SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, NBA
         Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik and NBPA Counsel Jeffrey
         Kessler are interviewed in a Q&A.  Granik: "I think in
         bargaining everybody is vulnerable.  When we start missing 
         games and we're losing receipts and players are losing
         salaries, ultimately, the economics have an impact." 
         Kessler: "I do not foresee any division arising between the
         players" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/17 issue). 
              THE BIRD CAGE: USA TODAY's Roscoe Nance examines the
         Larry Bird Exception, which is "a sacred cow" for the
         players.  But Nance writes, "in reality, only a handful of
         players are beneficiaries of the Bird Exception each year." 
         Of the NBA's 325 free agents the previous two seasons,
         "only" 33 have used the Bird rights to re-sign with their
         teams.  Nance: "The popular notion is the Bird Exception
         only benefits the superstar players.  That's not totally
         accurate.  But it does appear to benefit superstar players
         to a greater degree" (Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY, 8/19).
              CHARITY OF NIGHT: The NBA and NBPA agreed to cooperate
         on the N.Y. All-Star Basketball Classic, the "seventh of
         eight league-sanctioned charity games to be played during
         the lockout."  The game will be held September 9 at MSG and
         benefit Wheelchair Charities (N.Y. TIMES, 8/19). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Madison Square Garden, NBA, SportsLine.com
  • IS MLB FAILING TO CASH IN ON PERCEIVED BOON SEASON?

              So far this season, "it's hard to see how" the chase
         for MLB's single-season HR record "has given baseball a big
         bang," according to USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand in a Sports
         cover story.  While MLB attendance is up 10% overall, it is
         up "only" 1% excluding the two expansion clubs.  Hiestand
         adds that attendance "might not be up at all" without the
         Beanie Baby giveaways.  In addition, MLB's national ratings
         are "virtually unchanged" from '97.  But Logo Athletic VP
         Eddie White says that Logo's MLB sales are up 12% and adds,
         "This may be the first year since the 1994 strike that we
         see an increase in (baseball sales)."  In Logo clothing
         identified with specific players, Ken Griffey Jr. "accounts
         for half of all sales," with Mark McGwire second at 21% and
         Sammy Sosa in a single-digit eighth place.  Pro Player says
         that Griffey has been that company's top-seller for three
         years.  This season, Griffey products have produced retail
         sales of "about" $500,000, with McGwire second at $400,000. 
         But Griffey products last year generated sales of $750,000
         (USA TODAY, 8/19).  In Chicago, Bernie Lincicome writes that
         MLB "is blessed" to have the HR record chase.  Lincicome:
         "In a baseball season without compelling pennant races, or
         any pennant races at all to speak of, there is a daily
         reason to check in on the game" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/19).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • LEAGUE NOTES

              GOLF: GOLFWEEK's "Forecaddie" reports that LPGA
         Commissioner Jim Ritts "would like to see the women's tour
         conduct five to six stand-alone 'senior' tournaments next
         season.  And word is Eli Lilly & Co., which currently
         sponsors the Lilly Legends Series for LPGA Tour players 40-
         and-over ... is thinking about conducting one or two LPGA
         legends tournaments in '99" (GOLFWEEK, 8/15 issue)....The
         U.S. Justice Department filed a brief with a federal appeals
         court Tuesday supporting Casey Martin.  In its brief, the
         Department said that the PGA Tour is covered under the ADA
         and "must abide by it" (USA TODAY, 8/19).
              OTHER NOTES: In S.F., Glenn Dickey calls the NFL
         exhibition season "the biggest boondoggle in sports" and
         recommends that the league schedule games "in smaller, non-
         NFL cities, where fans would be thrilled to see any NFL
         action because they can't see the teams in person during the
         season" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/19)....In L.A., Dana Haddad
         profiled pro beach volleyball, and noted that the AVP has
         reduced its prize money from $4M to $1.3M this year.  AVP
         Interim CEO Harry Usher: "I don't think we'll get back to
         the $4 million-prize money in the very near future.  I don't
         think it should ever get back to $4 million. ... I think the
         prize money has been paid when it should not have been paid. 
         This operation has never had money" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 8/18).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, LPGA, NFL, PGA Tour
  • THE ROTHENBERG FILES: LEGACY KICKED AROUND AS TERM ENDS

              The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) will choose President
         Alan Rothenberg's successor on Saturday, and the "new boss
         will be just as obscure as his predecessor eight years ago,"
         according to Steve Davis of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  Either
         Bob Contiguglia or Larry Monaco will be named President
         during meetings this weekend in Maui.  Contiguglia "is a
         practicing kidney specialist in Denver" who spent six years
         as U.S. Youth Soccer Association Chair.  He lost the '84
         U.S. Soccer presidential race.  Monaco has been a U.S.
         Soccer Exec VP for four years, and spent 19 years as a staff
         attorney for the U.S. House of Representatives.  Davis
         writes, "The candidates' platforms look similar.  Both
         promise to provide more local-level support for the sport's"
         participants (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/19).  Rothenberg's
         legacy as USSF President is examined by Rodney Sieh of the
         K.C. STAR, who writes, "Soccer in America has come a long
         way in eight years. ... [It] has enjoyed unprecedented
         growth during Rothenberg's reign, thanks to a multimillion
         surplus from the 1994 World Cup and subsequent sponsorship
         agreements" (Rodney Sieh, K.C. STAR, 8/19).
              NEW COO: The USSF named Tom King its COO.  King had
         been GM of the USSF's National Teams Program (USSF).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
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