SBD/Issue 24/Leagues & Governing Bodies

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  • Calls For Increased Replay During MLB Playoffs Continue To Grow

    Calls For Expanded Use Of Replay Growing
    As League Championship Series Begin
    No league is "more married to tradition" than MLB, but it is "time for MLB to march fully into the 21st century with expanded video replay in the post-season," according to Bob Smizik of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The league "doesn’t need to go any further" with replay during the regular season than using it for home runs, as it currently does. However, in the playoffs, with the championship on the line and a plethora of camera angles available, MLB has to use replays to preserve the integrity of the game" (POST-GAZETTE.com, 10/15). USA TODAY's Christine Brennan writes as bad as umpire Phil Cuzzi's missed called was during Yankees-Twins ALDS Game Two, when he called a fair ball foul, "it could have been worse." The call "could have happened in Game 7 of the World Series." Without increasing the use of replay, Brennan writes, "Problem is for Major League Baseball, it still might." But MLB Commissioner Bud Selig yesterday said that he "doesn't favor an increase in replays because he doesn't want technology to interrupt the revered pace of the game." Selig: "Once you start opening up Pandora's box, there's no way to stop it. I believe that would be a disservice to the game" (USA TODAY, 10/15). ESPN.com's Rob Neyer wrote, "We're not going to see more video review in the foreseeable future. We're not going to see it because nothing happens in Major League Baseball without the commish's assent, and the commish is finished with this one" (ESPN.com, 10/13). But ESPN's Buster Olney said, "I do think that if there continues to be some missed calls the rest of this postseason, those voices will get louder within Major League Baseball" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 10/14).

    LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS: ESPN's Jim Rome said of Selig, "The next postseason game that you play in under four hours will probably be the first. ... There's no clock in baseball. Nobody cares if the slowest game ever takes another five or seven minutes. But we all care about some ump butchering a call which costs somebody a game. Join the rest of us here in the 21st century, Bud" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 10/14). FANHOUSE.com's Jay Mariotti wrote, "It's not healthy for the sport's future when playoff drama is haunted by perpetual anxiety over the next umpiring blunder. If baseball wants high credibility, not the current crudibility, Selig and his men will act swiftly for a change and recognize their crisis at hand" (FANHOUSE.com, 10/13).

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  • Congressman Protests Against NBA Teams Playing Euro Teams

    International Clubs Soon Might Have
    Trouble Playing Against NBA Teams
    European basketball clubs soon "might have trouble playing against NBA teams in exhibition games," as U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) yesterday in a "terse" letter sent to NBA Commissioner David Stern noted that "several former NBA players have had their contracts breached by European teams," according to Sean Deveney of SPORTINGNEWS.com. King in the letter noted that Greek basketball team Olympiacos is "currently visiting the United States on a two-game goodwill tour, yet has outstanding U.S. federal court judgments for money owed to past players -- a number of whom came from the NBA." King: "For international basketball to succeed, it is imperative that the interests of NBA players both past and present are protected globally." Deveney noted King's complaint with Olympiacos "doesn't involve today's club," as instead it "stretches back to former NBA players who have sued the team in the past." Sources said that two of these players are former NBAers David Rivers and Chris Morris. U.S. courts have "ordered Olympiacos to pay $1.1[M] to Morris and more than $400,000 to his agent, Tom McLaughlin." Olympiacos played the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Monday, a visit that "came amid speculation that the team's uniforms would be seized on behalf of Morris and McLaughlin." Deveney noted Stern has "no jurisdiction over how (or whether) international teams pay their players," but King "does seem to want him to stop allowing NBA teams to play against teams that have stiffed players" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 10/14). King: "I want to see what the response from Stern is. If it's not a good response, I will talk to other members of Congress and see what they think about it. It could certainly lead to Congressional hearings, it could lead to legislation." King added if the NBA is in "any way going to acquiesce in foreign teams violating the contractual rights of American players, including former NBA players, the NBA is clearly falling down in its fiduciary responsibility" (SI.com, 10/14).

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  • Bill France Sr. And Jr. Among NASCAR HOF's First-Ever Inductees

    Richard Petty One Of Five Inaugural
    Inductees Into NASCAR HOF
    NASCAR Founder Bill France Sr., former NASCAR President Bill France Jr., former drivers Junior Johnson, Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty yesterday were inducted as the first members of the NASCAR HOF (Mult., 10/14). ESPN.com's David Newton noted the "biggest debate" during yesterday's two-and-a-half hour "nominee discussion among the 50 voters was whether both Frances should be a part of the first class," as there was "some discussion about whether Bill Jr. should go in before his father." Newton wrote though he felt former driver David Pearson should have made the inaugural class, the selection process "worked as it was supposed to." The discussions "never got heated or ugly," and most voters said that the word "'debate' was too strong to describe even the most intense moments." But former SMI President & CEO Humpy Wheeler yesterday said, "There was a good deal of emotion and some smashing of teeth this morning." Wheeler: "It was a meeting like I've never been in with NASCAR. Everybody was a little uncomfortable at first" (ESPN.com, 10/14). Toyota Racing Development President & GM Lee White said that NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France, ISC Vice Chair & CEO Lesa France Kennedy and ISC Chair Jim France "remained quiet through the discussion about their relatives." Brian France: "There was a lot of discussion about two France family members in the same year so I was surprised but very, very proud" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/15).

    RIGHT TIME? In Charlotte, Scott Fowler wrote Bill France Jr. "made some great contributions to the sport, steering it expertly through a period of explosive growth, and there's no doubt he should be in the Hall of Fame." Fowler: "At some point. Like in Class No.2, in 2011." Fowler wrote the first class "should have contained four drivers, not three" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 10/14). In Daytona Beach, Ken Willis notes the Baseball HOF's first class included all players, and it was "Year 3 before they inducted Albert Spalding, the man regarded as the inventor of the game." Inducting Bill France Jr. "sure seems like a nod toward the front office" and a "bit of posthumous sucking up." Willis: "Oh what the hell, they own the building, after all" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 10/15).

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  • League Notes

    The NFL yesterday at the league's fall owners meeting “postponed a possible vote on a proposal to change the sport’s anti-tampering rules.” The owners tabled the vote until at least next spring, “meaning that no new rules will be in effect for the next round of free agency.” The proposal would allow for a “two-day window before the opening of the free agent market each year in which players eligible for free agency could negotiate with all teams” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/14).

    THROWING THE RED FLAG: In St. Paul, Brian Murphy reports the NFL yesterday "asked the full panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court's ruling" regarding Vikings DTs Kevin and Pat Williams. The NFL, "one month after losing its initial appeal," argued that the decision allowing the Williamses to avoid league suspension "conflicts with the collective bargaining agreement and U.S. labor laws." A hearing on the matter is scheduled later this month (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/15).

    TIME TO TUNE IN: IRL driver Dario Franchitti said of the biggest issue facing the IndyCar series as it begins its offseason is the carriage dispute between DirecTV and Versus. Franchitti: "They have to sort that out. Versus did a great job and they have to sort out the DirecTV thing. They need to get their heads together and figures this out or they need to do something else because we need to get the ability to get back to a lot of households" (SI.com, 10/14).

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