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SBD/Issue 241/Leagues & Governing BodiesPrint All
Kelly Will Wait Until Later This Week
To Give His Interpretation Of His Ouster
LOOKING AHEAD: Maple Leafs D and Exec Board member Garnet Exelby yesterday said that the NHLPA will have "much more resolve and unity" when the current CBA expires. The current deal expires after the '10-11 season, with the union holding an option to extend it for one more year, and Exelby said, "I don't think anyone is planning for a work stoppage. But we definitely intend to hold together and stay strong." He added, "The last time we gave up a lot. I think it's a fair statement that ownership got what it wanted in the last agreement. We definitely have a problem with the escrow issue." In Toronto, Mike Zeisberger notes some believe that Kelly's "warm relationship with the league was one of the many factors that led to his dismissal." Exelby: "We need a strong leader. We need to find someone who understands we are in charge, someone who understands decisions go through us" (TORONTO SUN, 9/2). But former NHLPA Dir of Business Relations Vincent Damphousse yesterday said that the union's next leader "must be free to work and make decisions without the fear of being fired at any moment." Damphousse: "For the new guy coming in, the players need to let him work. There was maybe too much leeway before and now it's like the guy is in handcuffs. He's got to be able to work with confidence." Kelly's successor will be the union's fourth Exec Dir in five years, in addition to Bob Goodenow, who left in '05, and his replacement Ted Saskin. Damphousse: "A lot of players and even people within the office want someone who is like Bob a bit -- more of a iron fist and being confrontational with the league. I feel it's much better to work with the league" (CP, 9/1).
CRUEL, CRUEL SUMMER: In Montreal, Pat Hickey writes the NHL "desperately needs to create a buzz on the ice, because it's coming out of a summer-long public-relations disaster." In addition to Kelly's dismissal, the NHL "continues to wrestle with the future" of the Coyotes, while the "latest hot spot is Tampa Bay," where Lightning co-Owners Len Barrie and Oren Koules are feuding. In addition, the league's TV deal with Versus "continues to bite the NHL" as DirecTV this week "pulled the plug on Versus in a dispute over carriage fees" (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/2).
Goren Expects NFL To
Tweak Blackout Rules
PART OF CHALLENGE LEAGUE FACES: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday indicated that the problems faced by the Jaguars, who may have all of their home games blacked out this season, "highlight the challenges the entire league faces." Goodell: “I think it reflects two things, what you're seeing in Jacksonville. One is the quality of preseason games. ... Additionally, they are one of the markets where we're seeing some challenges for ticket sales coming into the 2009 season. And we'll have other markets where we'll have those challenges. It's all part of the challenges we're seeing in the economy and what our fans are going through" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/2). ESPN’s Mike Greenberg said of fans in Jacksonville: “To tell those fans, ‘You know what? Because you can’t afford to buy tickets to those games, we’re not going to put them on television,’ I think there will be people who will resent that” (“Mike & Mike in the Morning,” ESPN2, 9/2).
LEAGUE SHOULD MAKE EXCEPTION: ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said of the blackout policy, “There's an exception to all rules, and this year ought to be that year.” Wilbon: “All these leagues say we want to work with our customers. We want to work with our fans. We want to work with the community. Lift the blackout. That's how you can work with the community" (“PTI,” ESPN, 9/1). Greenberg said, “Here’s a little unsolicited advice. … In a down economy, don’t punish fans because they can’t afford to buy tickets to a game.” ESPN’s Mike Golic: “It would behoove the NFL to find a way to not have games be blacked out” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN2, 9/2). FanHouse.com’s Jay Mariotti: “The NFL is making a mistake in not waiving its blackout rule for the upcoming season. … All you're doing by blacking-out games is cheating fans in those towns. The NFL is still rolling in money" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 9/1). ESPN’s Michelle Beadle: “It would be a nice move on the NFL's part. Say what you want about the economy, but a lot of people are affected. It is expensive to go to an NFL game.” But ESPN’s Colin Cowherd said, “Using the economy is a lame excuse. … The economy's not great in Buffalo. They sell out their games in a huge stadium. It's not great in Pittsburgh. They sell out their games” (“SportsNation,” ESPN2, 9/1).
NOT EXPECTED TO HURT RATINGS: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reports CBS and Fox both said that they "did not expect the blackouts to significantly affect ratings or cause them to provide givebacks to advertisers." Goren in an e-mail said, "Very simply, it's about the overall ratings. A few blackouts may not have any real effect on our full-season ratings." CBS Sports Senior VP/Communications LeslieAnne Wade said blackouts will not occur "in every market, so we don't expect blackouts to affect the rating we're selling for national advertising" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/2).
McNair (c) Firmly Denies Having
Meetings With Players About NFLPA
Suit Says Vincent Illegally
Released Player Information
REASONS FOR OUSTER: In N.Y., Judy Battista reports Moran brought the suit because she "claims she was harassed by union officials and was wrongfully removed from her job" with the NFLPA "when her role as a confidential informant" in the DOL's investigation of the NFLPA came to light. However, a person with knowledge of the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that Moran was "put on administrative leave only after she made it clear to the union that she intended to sue over the suspected harassment" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/2). YAHOO SPORTS' Jason Cole cited two sources as stating that Moran was "recently placed on 'administrative leave' with the intention of the union firing her." The NFLPA's thinking was that Moran was a "divisive person in the building and was a source for numerous stories which shed a bad light" on Vincent. An NFLPA source: "We all know there were a lot of people working behind the scenes to undermine Troy, and she was one of them" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/1).
The Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic this afternoon will announce a one-year extension with the LPGA to continue holding its event in Toledo through the '10 season. The event will be staged June 28-July 4 in its traditional spot the week before the U.S. Women’s Open, but the purse will drop from $1.4M this year to $1M next year. The tournament will not air on television under the one-year extension, making it the only domestic LPGA event without television coverage in '10. The event had aired three-round coverage on ESPN2. This becomes the 16th confirmed event on the '10 schedule, though that total should swell to 18 in the next month as extensions are completed with the P&G Northwest Arkansas Championship and the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal). In Toledo, Dave Hackenberg reports it is expected that Owens Corning "will remain the title sponsor and that the event will again be held at Highland Meadows" in Sylvania, Ohio. The tournament was "one of seven U.S.-based tour stops operating without contracts beyond 2009." Hackenberg notes former LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, prior to her resignation in July, "seemed intent on making greater financial demands on tournament sponsors during a difficult economic climate." But the LPGA "apparently has softened its stance" under Acting Commissioner Marty Evans. The Wegmans LPGA event "broke off negotiations with the LPGA during its event in late June," but last month both sides announced a new three-year deal "with options for additional one-year extensions." The Farr Classic began negotiations with the LPGA "less than one month ago" (TOLEDO BLADE, 9/2).
SOUTHERN EXPANSION? The LPGA is in discussions to bring an event to the Charlotte area, and in Charlotte, Ron Green Jr. wrote local organizers are "bullish about their ability to make this happen though they admit there are still sponsorship issues to finalize." The event "would have to get most of the top players, something that didn't always happen for the Fieldcrest Cannon Classic at the Peninsula Club in the '90s." Getting Michelle Wie is the "ticket but she's still planning on attending college in the fall which could knock her out of playing" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 9/1).
Joey Saputo One Of Eight Team
Owners That Formed TOA In '08
STARS STILL SHINING: In Cleveland, Bill Lubinger reports the USL Cleveland City Stars faced a deadline yesterday to commit for next season but that "came and went with no action" primarily because last week's sale of the league "bought them time." City Stars Exec Dir Aaron Tredway: "Most teams have been waiting to see what was happening with the league." The Cleveland Soccer Foundation "continues to seek a buyer" for the club, which has been "struggling financially off and on the field." The owners "haven't set a specific asking price, but seek at least $400,000" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/2).