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Volume 24 No. 155

Leagues Governing Bodies

     One of the "major confrontations" between owners and players
comes today on Capitol Hill, as the House Judiciary Committee's
Economic and Commercial Law Subcommittee holds hearings on
baseball's antitrust exemption (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST,
9/22).  Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-CO) expects "a lot of passion"
directed at both sides.  One baseball exec:  "It's going to be
ugly" (Steve Fainaru, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/22).  In Hartford, Jack
O'Connell recalls Casey Stengel's "rambling" testimony before the
Senate in 1958:  "Not much laughter is expected today" (HARTFORD
COURANT, 9/22).
     SCHEDULED TO TESTIFY:  Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig,
MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr, Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser, NABPL VP
Stanley Brand (representing the minors), author John Feinstein
and Sports Fans United's Adam Kolton.  Other owners, the Red Sox'
John Harrington and the Rockies' Jerry McMorris are expected to
attend.
     IS THIS THE YEAR?  While Congress has often reviewed the
exemption but taken no action, MLBPA officials "seem to regard
this as the best chance they've ever had to get the exemption
repealed, or at least limited."  But House Judiciary Committee
Chair Jack Brooks (D-TX) doubts Congress will take action this
year:  "It will probably go on into next year.  But it will be
right at the top of the radar screen then" (Mark Maske,
WASHINGTON POST, 9/22).  Rep. Jim Bunning (R-KY), a former player
and co-sponsor of the bill before the House, says chances of a
vote this year are slim:  "On a scale of 1 to 10, it's a 2,
because this is a critical election year and there are so many
other critical issues" (Mike Dodd, USA TODAY, 9/22).  Schroeder
predicts baseball will be "very apt to see action" if next year's
season seems threatened (ESPN, 9/21).  "Public anguish over the
players' strike and the owners' cancellation of the World Series
might help focus Congress' attention" (Thomas Mulligan, L.A.
TIMES, 9/22).
     PRO-EXEMPTION:  Giants owner Peter Magowan said without the
exemption the "Giants would be in Florida right now."  Magowan
added, "Congress doesn't have any business investing itself in
the midst of a labor dispute" ("Sports Center," ESPN, 9/21).
MLB's DC lobbyist Gene Callahan, comparing the movements of
franchises in other sports: "Fan stability is the Number 1 reason
here" ("Morning Edition," NPR, 9/22).  The NABPL's Brand "will
tell the committee that the minors could be devastated if
baseball loses the exemption" (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES,
9/22).

     The ATP Tour FanFest, the miniature tennis theme park
featuring skill contests, video games, exhibits and virtual
reality machines, will make its international debut September 28-
October 3, at Sydney's Darling Harbour -- one of the country's
premiere tourist attractions.  The FanFest tour, sponsored by
IBM, has previously stopped in Indian Wells, Key Biscayne,
Atlanta, Washington, DC, Cincinnati and Long Island.  The goal is
to add to the entertainment and fun of tennis and develop new and
younger fans.  While the FanFest tour is sponsored by IBM, SEGA
is sponsoring one of the tennis video games (THE DAILY).

     In this morning's WASHINGTON POST, David Aldridge writes
that 18 of the league's 28 teams are spending more than the
$34.608M limit on player salaries.  All 18 teams are technically
under the cap, but the teams' total expenditures include monies
such as signing bonuses paid to players this season.  For cap
purposes, however, signing bonuses are prorated over the length
of a player's contract, even if the team has already given the
player his signing bonus in total.  In addition, some incentives
count against next year's cap.  According to these figures, the
NFL cap is not the "hard" cap that it has been called, but is
instead a "much softer cap."  NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw: "The
cap is adjustable.  ... Quit talking about 34 point 6 [million];
this is what they're spending.  We all know what the cap is."
The following are NFL payrolls, according to figures obtained by
the POST (WASHINGTON POST, 9/22):
     TEAM         IN MILLIONS      TEAM       IN MILLIONS
     Redskins       $42.597        Browns       $34.859
     Cardinals      $42.492        49ers        $34.630
     Seahawks       $40.562        Eagles       $34.630
     Patriots       $39.811        Bills        $34.613
     Colts          $38.955        Giants       $34.325
     Lions          $38.415        Bears        $34.150
     Chargers       $38.332        Vikings      $33.928
     Oilers         $38.255        Rams         $33.571
     Saints         $38.248        Bucs         $32.132
     Chiefs         $37.822        Bengals      $31.855
     Raiders        $37.741        Cowboys      $31.344
     Falcons        $36.330        Dolphins     $31.276
     Jets           $35.658        Broncos      $31.196
     Packers        $35.226        Steelers     $30.888
     SALARY CAP CASE STUDY:  One element of Deion Sanders'
contract with the 49ers includes a $5M option year in 1995.  But
49ers President Carmen Policy explained that the $5M option was
put in to make Sanders an unrestricted free agent.  The contract
calls for a payment to Sanders of $3M on February 18, 1995.  If
the 49ers decline payment, then Deion will become a unrestricted
and unconditional free agent.  Policy said that a payment of $3M
to Sanders would be an "impossibility" and said called the deal a
"one-year adventure" (Clark Judge, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/22).
     CLARIFICAITION:  Tuesday's story in THE SPORTS BUSINESS
DAILY on the NBA salary cap should have stated that a judge
allowed the NBA to void Horace Grant's contract by refusing to
issue a summary judgment in the case.  The judge did not rule
that the contract violated the salary cap.

     Richard Ravitch, chief negotiator for the owners, and
representatives of the MLBPA are scheduled to testify before the
House Education and Labor Committee's Subcommittee on Labor-
Management Relations on Thursday.  MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr is not
expected to appear.  Subcommittee Chairman Pat Williams (D-MT)
proposes convening a 3-member arbitration board -- one owner rep,
one MLBPA rep and one member of the American Arbitration
Association -- on February 1 if there is no settlement by then.
Williams:  "Binding arbitration should only be a last resort. ...
But I find myself seething about this strike.  I'm having this
hearing as a fan who happens to be the chairman of this
subcommittee.  I've made up my mind to raise legislative hell to
get this thing settled" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 9/27).
     THE NEW LEAGUE:  Agent Tom Selakovich said details on a new
baseball league "could be forthcoming in 10 days":  "I wouldn't
call it a joke."  Dick Moss, the "main mover" behind the league
as well as a similar plan "stillborn" in 1989, still expects to
make his announcement on October 19.  Agent Scott Boras:  "Dick
has a network left from the 1989 plan and he's said to have
principals willing to invest."  Cubs Player Rep Randy Myers said
there are "10-plus corporations" and "a couple of broadcasting
stations" willing to sign on (Jim Byers, TORONTO STAR, 9/27).
     DON FEHR'S TOUR OF AMERICA:  56 players attended a briefing
by Don Fehr in Chicago yesterday -- the 4th of seven stops.
White Sox slugger Frank Thomas:  "We're digging in" (Jerome
Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/27).
     SCENES FROM AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT:  Orioles Owner Peter
Angelos said his private meeting with Fehr in Little Italy
Saturday was done without the knowledge of MLB officials.  But he
made no apologies:  "It would be helpful if Don Fehr and his
associates had personal contact on a periodic basis with every
owner in the major leagues, both American and National. ... What
I was doing is what all owners should do" (Mark Hyman, Baltimore
SUN, 9/27).

     "With training camp due to begin a week from Friday, the NBA
may be close to joining the pro sports labor battleground."
Yesterday, 76ers owner Harold Katz, who sits on the league's
labor relations committee, addressed the issue of a possible
lockout: "Anything is possible.  I'm hopeful that it just doesn't
come to that, but that's a possibility.  And it's possible that
that won't come to pass, either.  I don't want it to happen under
any circumstances."  Owners and players have not met since the
collective bargaining agreement expired in June.  The players
have been to court twice in three months "trying to challenge the
legality of the draft, the salary cap and restricted free
agency."  Katz said that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's
reasoning is right -- to postpone the season rather than play
without an agreement.  The next date to watch in the NBA is
October 5, when the owners meet in New York (Frank Lawlor,
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/27).  A report in Dallas notes that both
sides consider a lockout in the NBA "unlikely" (DALLAS MORNING
NEWS, 9/27).

     The NFL's "stocking plan" for its two expansion teams is
expected to finalized next Wednesday when league owners convene
outside Dallas for a special meeting.  It had been thought that
the Jaguars and Panthers would not learn the specifics of the
player stocking plan until October.  However, a league official
said yesterday, "It looks as if the plan will be finalized next
week."  The NFL's planned agenda for the two-day meeting is to
address the stocking plan on Wednesday and realignment on
Thursday.  "There is not expected to be a decision on
realignment."  More likely, realignment will be addressed in more
detail when the league holds its fall meetings November 1-2 in
Chicago (Pete Prisco, FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/22).
     STUCK ON STOCKING:  Several key issues of the stocking plan
"have been major sticking points," including when the two
expansion teams would be free to renegotiate the contracts of the
veteran players they select in the allocation draft.  The league
had pushed for a July date, but the teams wanted an earlier date.
It now appears the date will be in April.  Another issue has been
which roster would be used for the allocation draft.  The
expansion teams want to use the opening day rosters, which would
prevent teams from signing players at the end of the season for
the "primary purpose of exposing them to the expansion teams."
The teams may also have one extra draft pick per round allocated
to them in the regular draft in their first three years of
existence (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/22).
     SUPER BOWL, COMING TO A STADIUM NEAR YOU?  The NFL Super
Bowl Policy committee will meet this week with representatives of
Miami and San Francisco, the two finalists for the 1999 Super
Bowl.  A decision could be made at the owners meeting in
November.  The Committee will "also be assessing the field for
2000:  Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Tempe, and the runner up
of '99, with a decision on 2000 coming late next year (Larry
Weisman, USA TODAY, 9/22).

     NFL owners meet tomorrow and Thursday in Dallas to vote on a
stocking plan for the two expansion teams and to continue
discussions on realignment.
     STOCKING PLAN:  The executive committee of the NFL
Management Council is scheduled to meet tonight to finalize its
stocking plan for the Panthers and the Jaguars.  It is expected
that the 28 existing teams will have to expose only 5-7 players
each in the expansion draft.  And, instead of getting "as many as
21 additional draft picks over the next three years, as was
originally considered, Carolina and Jacksonville may get only 10
to 14 extra picks apiece over that span."  Mark Richardson,
Director of Business Operations for the Panthers, "fears the
Panthers will field a poor product not because of any front-
office shortcomings, but 'we're not going to have access to
talented players.'"  The exposed lists will probably consist of
older players with higher salaries, or players with injury
problems (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/27).
     REALIGNMENT:  There probably will be no resolution on
realignment, but it is beginning to look like the Panthers and
Jaguars will be "plugged into the four-team division," with the
Panthers in the NFC West and the Jags in the AFC Central (Gary
Myers, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/27). In Tampa, Pat Yasinskas notes that
because of the Jaguars and the Bucs overlapping TV rights, the
two teams most likely will not be placed in the same conference.
There has been talk that the Bucs and Colts might switch
divisions so that the Dolphins and Bucs could play twice a year.
Bucs VP Rich McKay said last week the team would like to develop
the in-state rivalry but it is not "displeased" with the NFC
Central.  However the NFC Central may be "displeased" with the
Bucs.  Lions VP Chuck Schmidt: "Clearly, we want Carolina
replacing Tampa."  Schmidt noted that the Panthers would bring in
more than double the division's average in visitor's shares.
Schmidt said the NFC Central has the league's lowest average
visitor's share -- $525,000 -- and the Bucs are part of the
reason.  NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello: "Financial
benefits are a consideration that will be a part of the analysis
for realignment" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/27).  USA TODAY's Gordon
Forbes notes that the NFL might wind up with two moves:  Atlanta
and Arizona (9/27).
     CHARITY:  Christmas in April USA, the nation's largest
volunteer home rehabilitation initiative, will honor the NFL on
September 30 at its national conference in San Francisco.  NFL
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue will accept the award on behalf of
the league (THE DAILY).

     Following five hours of negotiations between NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow in
Toronto, prospects of a resolution prior to the start of the
season "appeared dim."  Bettman and Goodenow will resume talks
today, and will probably meet in New York on Thursday to continue
the negotiations.  While Bettman contended that there is no
deadline for a deal to avoid a postponement of the season, he did
concede that an announcement will have to be made "sometime
Friday morning" so that teams will be able to coordinate travel
plans (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 9/27).  The Mighty
Ducks have already cancelled weekend hotel reservations in Dallas
(L.A. TIMES, 9/27).
     HOLDING THE LINE:  Bettman was not optimistic that a deal
could be struck before Saturday: "The deadline still exists.  We
will not open without an agreement" (Larry Brooks, N.Y. POST,
9/27).  Bettman added: "We're not at an end point yet by any
stretch of the imagination.  We are in better shape than if I
said to you, 'Talks have broken off and I'm heading back to New
York'" (TORONTO STAR, 9/27).
     BLEAK ON BOTH SIDES:  Goodenow:  "It is very clear we have a
wide difference of opinion" (TORONTO SUN, 9/27).  Goodenow added
the union will not sacrifice its position to avoid a "lockout."
Sources close to the negotiations indicated that the season
"could be delayed for months."  One negotiator said that during
talks over the weekend "we seemed to be talking in a more serious
vein, but something seems to have broken down between now and
then" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/27).  There were reports the
players were willing to yield on a rookie salary cap in return
for retaining arbitration rights and a mild tax on payroll and
revenues (N.Y. POST, 9/27).  NHLPA VP Kelly Miller: "The next two
days will show how willing the owners are to make a deal" (Mark
Asher, WASHINGTON POST, 9/27).  The TORONTO STAR obtained a
September 24 letter from Goodenow to the players in which he
alleges that Bettman's negotiating tactics are designed to
"threaten, intimidate and coerce."  From the letter:  "Simply
put, the league is out to pressure you into accepting a series of
takeaways and clawbacks that would otherwise be rejected out of
hand" (TORONTO STAR, 9/27).
     POWER PLAY?  The N.Y. POST reports that Bettman and NHL
teams have "apparently broken their word" to players and are now
imposing September rollbacks retroactive to August.  Agent John
MacLean: "If the owners and league management aren't going to
bargain in good faith, then what's the point?"  MacLean said
Bettman is "damn lucky they're hockey players.  Any other group
would have walked by now" (N.Y. POST, 9/27).  NHLPA VP Ken
Baumgartner: "For us to sign an agreement with the onus on major
rollbacks, which stands today, is not in the best interest of the
players" ("Sports Center," ESPN, 9/26).  Larry Brooks predicts
the NHLPA "will split, sooner or later" (N.Y. POST, 9/27).

     NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
Goodenow met for more than four hours yesterday in New York.  The
next meeting is scheduled for Monday in Toronto, though members
of both negotiating teams will meet in the interim. While
"there's no sense" the two sides are "bridging the enormous gap"
between their positions, a "little something must be happening to
keep the talks alive" (Bob McKenzie, TORONTO STAR, 9/22).  ESPN's
Brett Haber contends that the past two days of negotiations
accomplished little.  The players and owners "find themselves,
largely, in the same place where they found themselves two days
before" ("Sportscenter," 9/22).  CBS' Harry Smith:  "In a show of
unity, NHL players shook hands before their preseason games last
night" ("CBS This Morning," 9/22).
     BETTMAN CATCHING SOME FLAK:  Maple Leafs defenseman and
former player rep Garth Butcher yesterday accused Bettman of
being "far more interested" in busting the union, than of being
concerned with the "well-being of hockey": "It's personal with
him. ... There's right and there is wrong and what he's doing is
not right and is not reasonable.  It's not bargaining, it's
bullying."  Butcher added: "No one person is bigger than the
game, but he's [Bettman] acting like he is" (Steve Simmons,
TORONTO SUN, 9/22).  In Ottawa, Roy MacGregor writes, "It would
not be an exaggeration to describe Bettman's recent activities as
a textbook study in union busting" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/22).
     ANOTHER SOLUTION?  In Toronto, Dave Shoalts writes that
owners could slow "the explosion in player salaries" by "simply
refusing to renegotiate player contracts."  Shoalts points out
that a "good portion" of salary increases come as a result of the
owners' "acquiescence to increasing player demands" to
renegotiate their contracts when they see someone else get a
raise.  Panthers President Bill Torrey: "When you do that (agree
to renegotiate), you're asking for trouble, no question" (Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL, 9/22).

     MLBPA Don Fehr held his second meeting in two days with
union membership, this time in Tampa.  While the intended theme
was another show of union solidarity, the "theatrics" of the
Tigers' Lou Whitaker, who showed up in a stretch limo wearing an
"electric blue" suit, "stole the spotlight."  Whitaker "wasn't
lambasted, but it was clear he projected an image not favored by
union members" (Bill Chastain, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/22).  Whitaker
arrived "looking like he had gotten lost on his way to the MTV
Awards. ... While many others questioned the message Whitaker was
sending, he offered no apologies."  Whitaker:  "Rolls Royces,
limos, big houses ... this is what the game can bring to you"
(Phil Rogers, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/22).  It was another "chorus
of rah-rah solidarity," but Bill Madden writes of the players:
"Better they should start imploring [Fehr] to make a deal. ...
The players have accomplished nothing by walking out with seven
weeks left in the season" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/22).  Fehr said
without progress in the next several weeks, "the odds that we
will not have a normal spring training go up astronomically"
("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/21).      CHARITY SERIES:  Acting MLB
Commissioner Bud Selig said he would take a proposal for a
charity World Series between the Yankees and Expos proposed by
Montreal businessman Hugh Hallward under advisement.  Fehr, on
the proposal: "Unless and until somebody on the other side takes
it seriously, I'm not prepared to."  Expos alternate Player Rep
Darrin Fletcher doubted players would be interested.  Yankee
Player Rep Paul Gibson compared it to a "celebrity softball
event."  Giants owner Peter Magowan said there's not enough time
to gather advertising on TV: "It's not going to happen"
("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/21).  Yankees owner George Steinbrenner
said he's interested:  "We got Yankee Stadium until Oct. 31, and
they tell me the field's never looked better" (Jeff Blair,
MONTREAL GAZETTE, 9/22).
     TV TALK:  Rudy Martzke reports Nike has a plan to televise
five all-star games to be televised during World Series time in
October.  Nike spokesperson Keith Peters:  "There's nothing to
announce, but we are trying to put together something that's fun,
showcases players and benefits youth sports."  Networks involved
with baseball (ABC, NBC, Turner and Prime) "likely would pass on
the idea or haven't been contacted."  Fox, "not wanting to upset
baseball owners in the event it gets a chance to bid on the sport
after 1995, also can't be discounted."  But CBS, with "no
allegiance" to baseball after losing the sport, admitted being
contacted with the idea (USA TODAY, 9/22).  In Chicago, Bob Verdi
writes, "in this moment of 'grave economic problems,' it would
behoove them to go to the ready-and-waiting Fox while the getting
is good."  ABC Sports President Dennis Swanson, noting that there
is another year left on ABC's and NBC's deal with The Baseball
Network:  "We have a contract."  Adds Verdi, "Yeah, and we used
to have a World Series, too" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/22).
     PLAYER MOVES:  The Yankees' Paul O'Neill said he would
consider playing in Japan if the '95 season looks to be in
jeopardy (Joel Sherman, N.Y. POST, 9/22).  The Marlins' Jeff
Conine got approval from the union to go to the Marlins'
instructional league.  His expenses will be picked up by the team
(Pedro Gomez, MIAMI HERALD, 9/21).