SBD/January 13, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

League Notes

Drivers like Kyle Busch can drive in all series, but may only chase on championship

In San Diego, Bill Center writes NASCAR's mandate allowing drivers to compete for a title in only one series is a "good first step," but is "not enough." NASCAR is "hesitant to ban Sprint Cup drivers" from participating in the Nationwide Series altogether. But Cup drivers should not "be allowed to dominate the series below their talents while developing drivers scramble to find their niche." NASCAR should "limit every Sprint Cup driver to, say, 20 to 25 starts a season on the Nationwide Series," and at the same time "guarantee that dedicated Nationwide Series drivers have a certain number of spots on every grid" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/13).

HOT OR COLD? The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Joseph Schwerdt wrote the NHL's new All-Star Game format is a "good change," because "at least some people are talking about" the league. But the L.A. Times' Helene Elliott contends the new format, under which fans select only some of the All-Stars and designated captains pick the teams, "creates no emotional ties for fans and just seems like a thrown-together solution until someone can think of something better." The Baltimore Sun's Chris Korman added, "The NHL is still -- and probably always will be -- in the position of marketing itself whenever possible." The new concept "offers intrigue for diehard fans, who will be anxious to see how the respective captains go about building a team" (LATIMES.com, 1/12).

PICK YOUR BATTLE: In Montreal, Randy Phillips writes European golfers are "between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the PGA Tour, thanks in large part" to Commissioner Tim Finchem. While Finchem said that he "supports a strong European Tour, he won't let them play more than 10 or 12 tournaments" on the PGA Tour "if they are not members." The PGA Tour does offer "considerably more prize money per event, but the European Tour to a degree makes up for that by extending promotional or appearance fees." Phillips: "It's something the PGA Tour should consider reinstituting in an effort to allow its tournaments the ability to attract not only the biggest names from Europe on a more regular basis, but even toward drawing on its own marquee lineup of players" (Montreal GAZETTE, 1/13).

A LITTLE TOO SOON: In Orlando, Jeff Shain writes the LPGA's decision to host an event with the purse going entirely to charity "is a groundbreaking idea," but given the "economic hole from which the tour's trying to emerge, it may be a concept ahead of its time." Golfer Cristie Kerr said, "It's a hard economic backdrop. It's a reality that the bottom half doesn't make as much (as before)." Shain suggests the Founders Cup event "might be better on a gradual charity path" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/13).

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