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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     The United Football Association, started by former Army
assistant coach Bob Darling, has awarded 17 franchises including
Harrisburg, Norfolk, Akron, Indianapolis, Madison, Miami,
Tampa/St. Pete, Laramie, WY, Lincoln, NE, and Spokane.  The
season would run from mid-May through July, and tickets will cost
$15-35.  Darling says the league is negotiating with prospective
corporate sponsors and has discussed a TV contract.  Franchises
will be league-owned and Darling expects the UFA's chances to be
better than the WFL and USFL.  Darling: "We got rid of the
millionaires"  (Mike Bullock, Harrisburg PATRIOT NEWS, 9/18).

     MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr makes the first of his seven stops
around the country today at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.  Fehr's
goal "is to not only update the players, but also get a handle on
their feelings."  Braves Player Rep Tom Glavine and players from
other clubs who live in the area will attend.  After Atlanta,
Fehr heads to Tampa on Wednesday and New York on Friday.  Next
week, he will be in Chicago, L.A., Phoenix and Grapevine, TX
(I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/20).  Fehr, Acting
Commissioner Bud Selig and others will appear before House
hearings on baseball's antitrust exemption on Thursday.
     WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO DO?  AD AGE's Jeff Jensen examines the
options for advertisers forced to reallocate funds originally
targeted for baseball:  "Some time is left in NFL broadcasts on
Fox and NBC but at more than $200,000 per spot.  College football
on ABC and cable sports networks, as well as [NHL] broadcasts on
ESPN and Fox, stand to benefit."  While execs at The Baseball
Network will have to release about $95M of the $130M in sales
reached for the '94 season, they claim they're seeing "brighter
prospects" for '95.  One TBN exec said, as of now, '95 sales are
30% ahead of where they were going into '94.  Others hard hit:
Dorna USA will have to return 30% of '94 revenue from rotating
signs; and Anheuser-Busch, which had allocated an estimated $30M
for the post-season.  Anheuser-Busch Senior VP/Corporate Media &
Sports Marketing Tony Ponturo:  "We lost a showcase marketing
vehicle that averages a 20 rating in prime time for at least four
nights in the fall" (AD AGE, 9/19 issue).
     WINNERS                       LOSERS
Ken Burns' "Baseball"         The Baseball Network
Fox's rookie NFL season       Griffey, Thomas, Williams
Football                      Anheuser-Busch, Texaco
                              USA Today Baseball Weekly
     KENNEDY ON BOARD:  In a candidates forum in Boston, Sen. Ted
Kennedy (D-MA) "indicated he was prepared to support eliminating
the anti-trust exemption ... even though he voted earlier this
year to retain it."  Kennedy: "I'm more inclined to do it after
the way (the owners) behaved this year than I was before" (BOSTON
HERALD, 9/17).
     CREDIBILITY GAP:  Braves pitcher Greg Maddux:  "I heard that
by canceling the season, the owners can also get out of their
deal with that new Baseball Network, the one that wasn't for a
lot of money.  And then they can open up the bidding to the Fox
network that's buying up football and hockey.  How's that if it's
true.  And it's always us who are greedy" (Beb Verdi, CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 9/20).
     LOOKING BACK:  Astros Owner Drayton McLane, asked whether he
would still buy a sports franchise knowing what he knows now:
"Absolutely not, or I wouldn't be standing here.  I'd be selling
groceries somewhere. ... I've never been around so much conflict
as I've seen in the two years I've been in baseball. ...But now
that I'm in, I'm going to stay."  McLane maintains his "hard-
line" position:  "We're going to work hard to reach an agreement,
but if not, we'll implement our plan.  We're going to have
baseball next spring, if you see nothing more than [GM] Bob
Watson and [manager] Terry Collins and me running around in
shorts, we're going to play baseball (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/18).
     MORE STAFF LAYOFFS:  The Mets fired 28 of remaining 79 full-
time administrators, totaling 66 employees laid off since the
strike began.  The Astros have laid off 19 and the Padres have
let 25 go ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/19).  Mets' layoffs included
Asst Media Relations Dir Craig Sanders and Traveling Secretary
Bob O'Hara (N.Y. TIMES, 9/20).

     The NBA this week will finalize a league-wide salary cap for
the coming season.  The "ceiling could hit" between $15.8M-16.2M,
an increase from last year's $15.175M.  NBA teams hope to use the
increase to sign 1st round picks.  76ers owner Harold Katz said
he needs an estimated $1M more in space under the cap to sign his
first round picks, Sharone Wright and B.J. Tyler, and said the
"sum would probably be made up by 'restructuring' contracts of
signed veterans (Frank Lawlor, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/20).  The
signing of Wright may have an impact on other rookie deals.  The
Bullets and Timberwolves both have had trouble signing 1st round
picks Juwan Howard and Donyell Marshall.  The Wolves have
apparently "invited trade feelers" on Marshall.  Bullets GM John
Nash: "We hear the cap is going to be less than $16M and that is
going to cause problems for some teams" (Richard Justice,
     GRANT WORKS WITH MAGIC:  Horace Grant signed an NBA-
approved 5-year deal with the Magic.  The contract, which has a
two-year, early-release option, comes a week after a federal
judge ruled that Grant's first contract violated the NBA salary
cap (mult., 9/20).

     The key in today's round of NHL collective bargaining will
be "how long the owners and union stay at the table and whether
they're still talking" by tomorrow.  If nothing positive emerges
today, there is "little hope" of avoiding a labor dispute (Hornby
& Morrison, TORONTO SUN, 9/20).  A source close to the
negotiations told the WINNIPEG FREE PRESS that a lockout will
occur later this week: "If there isn't an agreement this week,
there won't be a season, unless of course the owners ultimately
decide to try replacement players."  The source "made it clear"
that a lockout would be lengthy: "For the first time in history,
the owners are in complete agreement."  The source added: "The
players had better come up with something quick because at this
stage, they aren't in any position to flex their muscles"
     HOW ABOUT THAT ROOKIE CAP?  The FREE PRESS source indicated
that the owners "might be willing to discuss" a rookie salary cap
(WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 9/19).  But NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow met
yesterday with Kings and Might Ducks players in an attempt to
convince them that a rookie cap is "unacceptable."  Goodenow: "I
think the notion of a rookie salary cap is not, contrary to some
reports, something the players are going to accept."  Goodenow
was responding to weekend reports that some players -- most
notably Patrick Roy of the Canadiens and Kelly Buchberger of the
Oilers -- would be willing to compromise on a rookie cap.  Roy:
"The way I see it, that might save the small-market teams"

     The NFL's management council approved Deion Sanders'
contract with the 49ers, "thereby silencing critics of the
signing."  The announcement came after 49ers President Carmen
Policy, "infuriated by reports of at least two clubs -- believed
to be Dallas and Atlanta -- questioning the legitimacy of the
move, contacted NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Monday morning
and asked the league to move expeditiously in reviewing the
contract" (Clark Judge, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/20).  At
halftime on "Monday Night Football," Sanders responded to the
rumor that Nike is "paying part of his contract" with the 49ers:
"I really can't wait to see the check.  I really don't understand
how people can make accusations like that" (ABC, 9/19).