SBD/Issue 29/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is "going through the analysis" of lengthening the regular season and reducing the number of preseason games. Goodell: "We haven’t come up with any final conclusion, but we think it merits discussion and consideration. ... We have to evaluate how we prepare our players, how they play during the season and how do we make the game as safe as possible for them” ("Mike & Mike in the Morning," ESPN2, 10/24). But "Inside The NFL" co-host Cris Collinsworth said expanding to 18 games was an “awful” idea because “it’s all about money.” Collinsworth: “No one who ever played in a 16-game schedule would ever advocate going to 18 games. You’re going to end up with nothing but back-up players playing in the playoffs." CBS' Bill Cowher, subbing for regular co-host Warren Sapp, said, "The quality of play will go down because you’re going to have less experienced players playing” ("Inside The NFL," Showtime, 10/22).

BACK IN SEPARATE CORNERS: MMAWEEKLY.com's Tom Hamlin reported Affliction has "rejected a bid to partner with" UFC. Sources said that the "basics of a deal had been brokered to allow Affliction back into the organization as a major clothing sponsor," including a possible co-branded apparel line. In return, Affliction would "agree to cease operations as a fight promoter." However, talks began to break down when Affliction ran several ads during CBS' October 4 EliteXC broadcast "trumpeting Fedor Emelianenko's return," which made UFC execs "wary the deal was not being taken seriously" (MMAWEEKLY.com, 10/22).

RESPONSE TO TRAGEDY: In N.Y., Michael Obernauer reports Russia's Continental Hockey League (KHL) "has ratified a series of new medical safety measures" which are "intended to prevent a recurrence of the inadequate medical response" to Rangers prospect and KHL club Avangard Omsk RW Alexei Cherepanov, who died after collapsing during a game earlier this month. The regulations "require two properly staffed ambulances to be on duty at all KHL games, and call on the federal ministry of health to raise the standards governing what equipment is mandatory in ambulances" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/23).

EURO ALLIANCE: FROM THE RINK's James Mirtle reported the leading professional hockey leagues in Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland have established a new organization called "Hockey Europe" to "help negotiate for their rights with the NHL and KHL." Finland's SM-liiga CEO Jukka-Pekka Vourinen will be Hockey Europe's first President & GM, and the organization "has its registered office in Cologne, Germany." Mirtle wrote, "United, these leagues are much stronger than on their own" (FROMTHERINK.com, 10/22).

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