SBD/February 5, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

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  • Aldridge Offers Candidates To Replace NBPA's Hunter; Fisher "Not The Answer"

    Fisher (r) reportedly has no interest in taking over for the suspended Hunter

    The NBPA “needs a fresh start at its most important position,” someone who "isn't affiliated with the old regime” of suspended Exec Dir Billy Hunter, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com. Three names that "would make sense" are NFL Coaches Association Exec Dir David Cornwell, former NFLPA General Counsel Richard Berthelsen and Wizards Player Programs Dir Ed Tapscott. Cornwell has 25 years of experience "on all sides of the sports law landscape," and "unsuccessfully ran" for NFLPA Exec Dir in '09, losing to DeMaurice Smith. Berthelsen as NFL General Counsel was the “indispensable man through four decades of negotiations" between NFLers and the league. No one has “been involved in sports labor longer” than Berthelsen, who “helped negotiate four new CBAs and five extensions.” No one had “a better working relationship with the major players.” Meanwhile, Tapscott has been “on every side of the labor-business battle over the last three decades.” He also is a “former player agent" and an attorney. There “isn't anyone who is a quicker study and more able to break down complex issues than Tapscott" (NBA.com, 2/4).

    NOTHING TO FEHR BUT FEHR ITSELF: CBSSPORTS.com's Ken Berger reported "several influential agents already are privately discussing" NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr as "a possible successor" to Hunter. Fehr is the "early preferred pick among multiple agents with enough clout to sway a significant portion of union membership." Fehr "declined to comment when reached through the NHLPA Monday because Hunter remains in place as executive director" (CBSSPORTS.com, 2/4).

    THE FISHER KING? NBA.com's Aldridge noted NBPA President Derek Fisher has “temporarily moved” to N.Y. to “work on the various issues" that arose due to the investigations into Hunter's practices. Fisher reportedly has “no interest" in taking over Hunter's position, which is "a good thing." Aldridge: “For Fisher, whom I respect greatly, is not the answer, either.” While there are “some arguments to having an executive run the union who isn't beholden to the NBA schedule, players want someone representing them who is in their shoes.” The NBPA “needs fresh air,” and last year's CBA negotiations harmed Fisher’s reputation with "a good number of players" (NBA.com, 2/4).

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