SBD/Issue 124/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Latest Sexual Assault Allegation Is The Second
In Eight Months Against Roethlisberger

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported the allegations of sexual assault around Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger are “being taken very seriously” within the Steelers organization. La Canfora: “The Rooneys are dismayed, they're a little bit hurt that this took place. Regardless of culpability, there're people in that building who feel like if there's another incident along these lines … in the future it could be the end of his career in Pittsburgh." There is a "level of embarrassment" among the franchise, as this is the second allegation of sexual assault involving Roethlisberger in the last eight months ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 3/10).

SLOW TO COME ONBOARD: In Milwaukee, Don Walker noted Bucks fans have been "slow to embrace one of the hottest teams" in the NBA. The Bucks sold tickets to Tuesday night's game against the Celtics at less than half the face value price, but there were "plenty of empty seats in the upper bowl" at the 18,717-seat Bradley Center and the game drew a crowd of just 14,316. Bucks VP/Business Operations John Steinmiller said that the team's "sales force is working to bring fans in to the Bradley Center for the rest of the season." The Bucks rank 23rd in the NBA in attendance, and Steinmiller said that they have "gone to the Internet to stay in touch with fans and keep them updated on upcoming promotions" (JSONLINE.com, 3/10).

NOT IN THE STARS: ESPN DALLAS' Calvin Watkins noted the Cowboys "haven't signed or invited any players" to visit this offseason, indicating that team Owner Jerry Jones might be "showing restraint because he has one of the highest payrolls in the NFL." The team already has $124.3M committed to players for next season, tops in the league, and Jones said, "The real world is the Dallas Cowboys have a budget. I'm not known for following budgets, but we do have a budget because I have to look at all kinds of consequences over the next several years. I have to look at that" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 3/10).

FOR ONE DAY ONLY: The Red Sox yesterday signed Nomar Garciaparra to a one-day contract so he could retire as a member of the team, and in Boston, gossip columnists Fee & Raposa report the deal "had to be delayed" because Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino "wasn't totally on board with the plan." The retirement announcement was "supposed to come at the very beginning of Spring Training." But a source said, "Larry didn't want to do it. He had to be convinced, and eventually John Henry just told him to man up." Red Sox VP/Public Affairs Susan Goodenow insisted that there is "no truth" to the report (BOSTON HERALD, 3/11).

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