SBD/Issue 2/Leagues & Governing Bodies

More Names Surface In Search For Upshaw's Successor At NFLPA

New names have "begun to surface as potential successors" to late NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw, including former NFLers Dave Duerson, Jamir Miller and Mike Kenn -- "all of whom were active in the union" -- and attorneys David Cornwell and Fred Nance, according to Liz Mullen of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. It is unclear what potential candidates "had been contacted" by the NFLPA, but Nance, who was a finalist for the NFL Commissioner position that ultimately went to Roger Goodell, said, "I will confirm I did get a couple of calls with people associated with the players union on the subject." Cornwell said his "present intention ... is to continue to work on behalf of NFL players." Mullen reports many players "think Upshaw's successor should be a former player, as Upshaw was." Miller, who served as an NFLPA player rep for the Browns, sent an e-mail to current player reps indicating that he was "officially campaigning for the job." Miller: "I am running." Sources said that former NFLPA Presidents Trace Armstrong and Troy Vincent, as well as former exec committee member Robert Smith, "continue to be considered leading player candidates." Meanwhile, NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler, NFL Exec VP/Football Operations Ray Anderson, former NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir Doug Allen, who now serves as Screen Actors Guild Exec Dir, and MLBPA Associate Counsel Mike Weiner have all "said that they will not pursue the job" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/15 issue). Vincent said that he "would not comment on whether he will seek Upshaw's position until the players 'believe I am a viable candidate'" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/15 issue).

Miller Only Candidate Openly
Campaigning For Position
LINEBACKER BLITZ: In a special to THE DAILY, Mullen reports Miller has unveiled a political platform which includes the union opening an entertainment office in L.A. as part of his bid to succeed Upshaw. Miller said that out of the proposed new L.A. office, “The NFLPA will seek to create its own programming for TV, film, the web, or any other appropriate medium, working with established entertainment entities.” Miller also proposed a mentor program and new financial and health plans for the union. A number of players and others in sports are believed to be seeking the position that Upshaw held for 25 years before his unexpected death August 29, but Miller seems to be the only one who is actively and openly campaigning for the position. Miller, founder of Phoenix-based Hosanna Foods, sent out an e-mail to some members of the NFLPA’s exec committee in July, prior to Upshaw’s death, stating his interest in succeeding Upshaw and bringing change to the union. Miller is being advised by Len Sherman, an author and documentary filmmaker, who is also the literary agent to former White House anti-terrorism czar Richard Clark. Sherman said Miller is different from other candidates in that he declared his candidacy before Upshaw’s death, and he is the only one to propose a number of new policies for the NFLPA (THE DAILY).

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