SBD/Issue 47/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

Belgium and the Netherlands yesterday officially announced their interest in making a combined bid to host the 2018 soccer World Cup (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/14).

NFL: With the NFL yesterday reinstating RB Ricky Williams, who had been suspended since April '06 for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, in S.F., Gwen Knapp writes the tests for marijuana and cocaine are “social pacifiers, nothing more. They don’t clean up the game. They spit-shine its image.” So “why does the NFL poke around an employee’s body fluids for this stuff?” In other matters, Commissioner Roger Goodell “reacts to criminal activity after the police have filed a report. He doesn’t dig up the dirt himself. But for recreational drug use, the league has the equivalent of a blanket search warrant,” which “foolishly, the union signed.” If the NFL “prides itself on curing Williams, or at least not enabling him, it should have a policy on painkiller addictions like the one [Packers QB] Brett Favre revealed in 1996” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/15).

NHL: SI.com’s Michael Farber noted last Monday NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman visited the NHLPA offices in Toronto at the invitation of new NHLPA Exec Dir Paul Kelly. Bettman said that it was the “first time he’s been to the offices.” Bettman: “I’d never been invited before” (SI.com, 11/14).

GOLF: A source said that the LPGA Tour is close to "finalizing a deal" that will create a celebrity pro-am event at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club in Aventura, Florida in '08. The tournament will be played April 24-27 and will feature a $2M purse. A title sponsor is expected to be announced at the end of this month (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/15)....The '08 Nationwide Tour Championship will offer the first $1M prize in Tour history, and a record first place prize of $180,000. The '08 event will move to TPC Craig Ranch in Dallas. Last year's total purse for the event was $775,000 (THE DAILY).

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