SBD/Issue 144/Leagues & Governing Bodies

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  • Top NFL Draft Prospects Feel Effects Of NFL Conduct Policy

    Character Issues Surrounding Thomas
    Could Prove To Be Very Costly

    At least eight of the top 100 NFL Draft prospects in USA Today Sports Weekly’s NFL Draft Guide “have been arrested or involved in an incident during college that is drawing NFL teams’ attention,” according to a front-page Cover Story by Tom Weir of USA TODAY. Univ. of Florida DT Marcus Thomas, who was kicked off the team after testing positive for marijuana twice, and his agent, Richard Burnoski, are “offering NFL teams a forfeiture clause that would refund his signing bonus if he failed a drug test anytime after signing his contract.” Burnoski said that results of Thomas’ recent drug tests have been sent to NFL teams, “but it hasn’t swayed some.” Burnoski: “It couldn’t be a worse year to have a character issue. ... Marcus has already lost millions of dollars.” Pro Football Weekly reported Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson, Clemson DE Gaines Adams and Louisville DT Amobi Okoye -– all expected to be top ten picks –- admitted at the NFL scouting combine they also have smoked marijuana. However, two GMs said that they “viewed the honesty by [the players] as a positive character trait” (USA TODAY, 4/20). Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said that he and his peers “have been feeling additional pressure” since NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated that teams will be “held accountable for players’ misdeeds.” Newsome: “There are some players now we may have to pass on because I don’t want to put [Ravens Owner] Steve Bisciotti in that position or put this organization in that position to be held accountable for a player that I knew had some issues” (WASHINGTON POST, 4/20).’s Len Pasquarelli said teams that “consistently [take] players who end up in trouble — and the team that obviously leaps to mind is the (Bengals) ... are going to be a lot more careful about how they stock their draft boards” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 4/19).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Ravens, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Walt Disney
  • WBC Announces Plans For ’09 Tourney, Distribution Of Funds

    World Baseball Classic Announces
    Details Of ’09 Tournament
    The World Baseball Classic formally announced that it will hold its next tournament in March ’09 with 16 teams. The eight countries that advanced to the second round of the ’06 tournament will receive the initial invites, including Cuba, Dominican Republic, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.S. and Venezuela. The remaining eight teams will be invited in December of this year. The WBC also announced the distribution of over $8M in proceeds from the inaugural tournament to participating countries and the IBAF. The national federations will contribute a minimum of $3.3M to local baseball programs, while the IBAF received almost $1M for global game development initiatives. More than half of the net proceeds went to participating federations, the IBAF and Habitat for Humanity, the WBC’s charitable partner. The remaining proceeds were divided among the tournament’s organizing entities (WBC).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • Talking Tennis: De Villiers Looks To Quell Player Uprising

    De Villiers Meets With Players
    To Discuss ATP Changes

    ATP President Etienne De Villiers this week in Monte Carlo talked with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Moya and Player Council President Ivan Ljubicic in an effort to “check the players’ rebellion” over “plans to change the schedule of tournaments from the 2009 season and onwards,” according to Mark Hodgkinson of the London TELEGRAPH. De Villiers is believed to have told them that “he may look again at some” of the changes, including the downgrading of Masters events in Monte Carlo and Hamburg. de Villiers “had not originally planned to travel to Monte Carlo so early in the week,” but he did so after Federer and Nadal “went public this week with the locker-room grievances.” The players claimed De Villiers “had not listened to their views before drawing” up the schedule changes (TELEGRAPH, 4/19).

    LEAD BY EXAMPLE: Tennis coach Brad Gilbert offers three reasons why pro tennis needs a full-time commissioner. No. 1: “The sport needs one voice. There are too many governing bodies. We’ve got the ATP, WTA, USTA, and ITF, and each entity has its own turf to protect.” No. 2: “It’ll put the fear of God in players.” No. 3: “It’d help the financial well-being of the sport” (TENNIS, 4/ ’07 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, USTA
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