SBD/19/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • COLLECTIVE BARGAINING DISAGREEMENT: CAMP, SIGNINGS DELAYED

              The NBA has "postponed" the opening of training camps
         and the free agent signing period because the new CBA "has
         yet to be finished and signed," according to Lacy Banks of
         the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.  The "biggest disagreement" concerns
         the new salary-cap exception, allowing teams over the cap to
         sign an additional free agent.  The union wants the
         exception to be used for six-year contracts and the league
         wants it "limited" to three-year deals.  NBA Senior
         VP/Communications Brian McIntyre: "Camps definitely won't
         open (today)."  A league source said that there are "so many
         unresolved issues, camps might not open until Friday"
         (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/19). In N.Y., Mike Wise writes that
         another "minor issue" to be resolved involves salary cap
         circumvention, "to insure teams and agents do not conspire
         to go around the agreement's terms in their negotiations." 
         League and union execs are "concerned that the lockout would
         not be lifted until late this week" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19). 
         Wise wrote on Sunday that other issues include the "haggling
         over" the definition of BRI, sharing of TV revenue, and
         "several conduct issues" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/18).  NBPA Outside
         Counsel Jeffrey Kessler: "We've drafted and reviewed over
         400 pages, including the anti-drug agreement and other
         agreements.  Just because of the time involved, getting
         through all the language, it is virtually impossible it
         could get signed today" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/19).  
              LICENSE TO MARKET: BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports
         that NBA CMO Rick Welts said that the NBA and union
         "extended" the agreement granting the league licensing
         rights to the names and faces of its players for "two years
         beyond the new six-year collective bargaining agreement." 
         Since the league can extend the CBA to a seventh year, the
         new group licensing deal is good "for either eight or nine
         more years."  The NBA's "guarantee" of $25M annually to
         players as payment for their licensing rights continues, but
         a union source said that the number will drop to $20M this
         season, due to the lockout (BRANDWEEK, 1/18 issue).
              SEASON OF FORGIVENESS: The NBA reinstated seven refs
         who had been suspended by the league after being "charged
         and found guilty" of committing tax fraud.  In Chicago, Lacy
         Banks called the move, which will "help upgrade the quality
         of play," "welcome and timely" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/17). 
         NBA Commissioner David Stern, from a statement: "This is a
         time for healing.  Each of the referees has accepted his
         punishment and expressed genuine remorse for his actions"
         (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/16).  In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence
         wrote that Stern "can talk about forgiveness, but the league
         had no choice but to reinstate" the referees because it "was
         going to have a problem filling its 58-man roster."  A
         league source said that the NBA will reinstate other refs
         who are "still in the IRS's pipeline," but they will first
         have to "sit out six months" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/17).
              NOTES: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand profiles Weil,
         Gothshal & Manges' attorney Jim Quinn, who played a key role
         in the final CBA deal (USA TODAY, 1/19)....76ers President
         Pat Croce, after 76ers G Allen Iverson was served court
         papers for failing to make lease payments on three Mercedes:
         "Maybe now that Michael Jordan's retired, [David Falk] will
         pay more attention to Allen" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/18).
    
    

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  • LEAGUE NOTES

              The NFL has hired Muhleman Marketing's Max Muhleman to
         "assess" whether the L.A. market "can bear the prices two
         competing ... groups plan to charge" for seats if awarded
         the 32nd franchise.  Muhleman was hired in late December
         (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/18 issue)....IHL President Doug
         Moss said that Victoria, British Columbia, "is set" for an
         expansion team "in the next couple of years," and the Las
         Vegas Thunder will be "moving out" of the Thomas & Mack
         Center to another in the city.  Moss: "We have had offers to
         play in arenas connected to different casinos, but we don't
         know if we want to go that route" (CINCINNATI POST, 1/18).
         ...Of the 39 LPGA events returning from '98, the HealthSouth
         Inaugural's $550,000 purse, down from $600,000, is the only 
         one to decrease.  LPGA Commissioner Jim Ritts: "In the
         latter quarters of last year, the health industry ... was
         faced with a great deal of tumult."  As a result, Ritts said
         that the LPGA allowed HealthSouth to reduce the purse and
         agreed to help them sell-off some of their advertiser
         inventories in the telecast (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/16)....The
         CPBL Board of Directors includes former NBA MVP Spencer
         Haywood, U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek (D-FL) and the N.Y. Post's
         Peter Vecsey.  CPBL President Paul McMann: "We're not going
         the way of the ABL.  What differentiates us from the ABL is
         we know what we have to do.  The ABL didn't.  Our league
         won't survive on ticket sales alone" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/17).
    
    

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  • NO WAY, O'S SAY? MLB DELEGATION TO RETURN WITHOUT AGREEMENT

              Orioles Owner Peter Angelos and the MLB delegation that
         is visiting Cuba "likely will return home today without a
         final agreement to stage the potentially historic" home-and-
         home exhibition series, according to Peter Schmuck of the
         Baltimore SUN.  There will be "at least one more meeting"
         with Cuban officials today before the delegation returns to
         Baltimore today (Baltimore SUN, 1/19).  Among those joining
         Angelos in Cuba was MLB Exec VP/Operations Sandy Alderson,
         Orioles LF B.J. Surhoff, MLB counsel Bill Schweitzer, MLBPA
         rep Tony Bernazard (Baltimore SUN, 1/16).  A "major hurdle"
         in the negotiations "may be the distribution of revenue"
         generated from the series (Baltimore SUN, 1/18).
              NOTE: On ESPN.com, Tracy Ringolsby wrote that MLB's
         "Blue Ribbon [Economic] Committee" assigned by Commissioner
         Bud Selig "has some major flaws" and is "anything but a
         bipartisan contingent."  Four of the "so-called independent"
         members have "ownership ties."  George Mitchell was a
         commissioner candidate; Paul Volcker was an ownership
         appointee to a '90 study panel; Richard Levin was a "close
         friend" of the late Bart Giamatti; and George Will is on the
         Board of Dirs for the Orioles & Padres (ESPN.com, 1/18).   
    
    

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