SBD/Issue 124/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

SI.com's Tom Bowles wrote NASCAR is "between the proverbial rock and hard place, trying to desperately shed the label of being the 'Boy Who Cried Wolf'" after only placing Carl Edwards on a three-race probation after intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski in last Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500. Bowles: "At the beginning of the season, NASCAR made it clear drivers would be allowed to self-police on the racetrack. So if it suspends Edwards here, how does that make the organization look? You can't cherry pick tracks where drivers can retaliate. ... The bottom line is whether this behavior will be allowed, and for now NASCAR's decided to stick to its guns for once" (SI.com, 3/10).

SAME AS IT EVER WAS: The AP's Barry Wilner wrote the "absence of a salary cap has caused little change in how NFL teams approach the early stages of free agency." There still has been a "spending spree," highlighted by the $42M guaranteed the Bears gave DE Julius Peppers, but there have been "no astonishing eye-openers" outside of that. The "baseball-style bidding wars and stratospheric salaries some predicted simply haven't occurred." NFL player agent Peter Schaffer: "I see two things at work here. Instead of signing bonuses, teams are giving a roster bonus and when they kick in those bonuses under a salary cap, there will be no proration and their cap number won't be threatened. And I see teams preparing for a cap in the next CBA" (AP, 3/10).

BAD EXAMPLES: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and Jets CB Antonio Cromartie have been in the news in recent days for off-the-field issues, and in Jacksonville, Gene Frenette writes when NFL players "sully the league's reputation with bad decisions, and the amount of negative publicity it attracts, there's a tendency to think pro football is littered with punks who couldn't care less about how their behavior impacts everything around them." Frenette: "Maybe, if the Roethlisbergers and Cromarties gave real thought to the consequences of their choices, fans would come to realize the NFL has a lot more players willing to do the right thing than disregarding the privilege of their existence" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 3/11).

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