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SBD/March 27, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NFL Owners Approve Salary Cap Sanctions Against Cowboys, Redskins At Meetings
Published March 27, 2012
WAS THIS COLLUSION? In Boston, Ron Borges notes although Goodell has been “widely lauded as an iron-fisted leader, he is now at odds with several of his 32 bosses.” The NFL has its own “collectively bargained rules regarding collusion, but under most definitions what the league did in 2010 would be collusive: all the business owners in their industry conspiring and agreeing to limit the earnings of the workers in that industry.” One NFLPA exec “raised the specter of a collusion lawsuit if information of ‘a gentleman’s agreement’ that suppressed salaries during the uncapped year comes to light during the arbitration challenge.” The exec said, “The league’s defense has to be that they colluded. What other defense is there? Since we’re a defendant we’re privy to discovery. If in fact they had unwritten rules when there were no rules we could potentially file a lawsuit.” Borges notes if the owners “were found to have colluded during the uncapped year the penalty could be the most feared one in jurisprudence: treble damages” (BOSTON HERALD, 3/27). Bears Chair George McCaskey said, “It’s very important that everybody plays by the same set of rules. If they tell people what the rules are, they all have to play by them” (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 3/26).
DIVISION IN THE RANKS: In DC, LaVar Arrington wrote the move “almost comes across as a power struggle among owners: The old school owners who did things with a handshake and a cigar versus the new school guys who are branding machines and seem to find their way under the other owners’ skin.” Arrington: “I’d like to know the grounds for the penalties and whether they were legit. If it turns out they weren’t justified, this could open Pandora’s box” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 3/26). In Boston, Greg Bedard writes business “might be booming for the NFL since the lockout,” but there is “an undercurrent of angst in the ranks” (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/27).