SBD/Issue 232/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NFL Owners Discuss CBA Negotiations During One-Day Meeting

Goodell Says NFL's Intention Is To 
Reach New Labor Agreement
NFL owners yesterday during a one-day meeting at a Chicago O'Hare Airport hotel "discussed the ongoing labor negotiations with the union," and Colts Owner Jim Irsay said the conversation consisted of "updates on where everything is from a business model standpoint [and] projections on '09," according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who attended the meeting, said, "Our intention is to get a labor agreement. All of our focus is how do we get a labor agreement" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/19). But YAHOO SPORTS' Jason Cole cited a high-ranking NFLPA source as saying of talks with the owners, "Every time we say, 'OK, you don't like this system, what do you want?' we don't get a straight answer." Another source involved in the process said, "The negotiations mean nothing right now. It's a PR show by the owners to make it look like they're trying and that somehow the players are the problem. ... If you know the whole story, the owners aren't doing anything for awhile." NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy: "We think the talks have been constructive and have every reason to believe the union shares that view" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/19).

CONDUCT UNBECOMING: San Diego Union-Tribune writer Brent Schrotenboer Tuesday noted NFL players have been arrested more than 400 times since '00, but he said the arrests have not "impacted business at all." Fox Business' Stuart Varney: "Here's what I hear from a lot of people: It doesn't matter what you've done off the field, if you win on the field you're okay." Meanwhile, Goodell said the NFL's personal conduct policy has "impacted the rate of arrests." Goodell: "Before that policy was instituted, we had 79 arrests in the previous year. Year-over-year since then it's gone down 20%. The crackdown has made a difference" (Fox Business, 8/18).

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