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Volume 24 No. 117

Sports Industrialists

     DON SHULA would neither confirm nor deny a report by ESPN
Sunday that he would be offered a job after this season by the
NFL as president of league operations overlooking the competition
committee and officiating.  Shula: "I've made it my practice not
to respond to any rumors or speculation by members of the media."
Shula signed a 3-year contract extension earlier this year that
gives him minority ownership in the Dolphins and a promise of the
position as the team's VP of Football Operations (MIAMI HERALD,
10/18). ....In St. Louis, Jim Thomas profiles super agent LEIGH
STEINBERG: "Steinberg's recent pet project has become franchise
preservation."  In baseball, he helped keep the Giants in the Bay
Area, and now in football, he is leading the Save the Rams group
in Anaheim (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/18)....The U.S. Figure
Skating Association promoted MATT PENSINER to Corporate Programs
and Events Manager and appointed HEATHER LINHART as
Communications Coordinator (USFSA)....DEION SANDERS was
interviewed at halftime during last night's game: "I'm not a
fighter.  I am an entertainer" ("Monday Night Football," ABC,
10/17).

     CNBC's Allan Chernoff examined race tracks that are looking
to revive business by bringing full scale casinos inside the
horse tracks.  "They are off and running, running to the card
table that is at Hollywood Park.  The card club is the new draw
for gamblers at the Los Angeles track that was once a mecca for
movie star race fans. ... Gamblers wager about $9.5B a year on
thoroughbred racing, but the total handle has been stuck at that
level for four years running.  Meanwhile, track attendance has
been dropping and the number of races declining, and fewer horses
running.  ... All across America, new gaming opportunities are
drawing better than the track.  Riverboat casinos, casinos at
Indian reservations, lotteries -- it is all competition for
racing."  John Gaines, thoroughbred breeder/owner: "Twenty years
ago we had a 90% share of legalized gambling, and today we have
an 8% share."  CNBC's Chernoff:  "Now after several years of
losing millions, track owners are deciding if you can't beat
them, join them."  In one political TV spot this season, track
owners in Florida have law enforcement officers promoting a
referendum to allow them to build casinos in race courses.  And
in more than a dozen other states, track owners are pushing for
casino gambling at their facilities.  J. Brian McGrath, the new
Commissioner of the Thoroughbred Racing Association wants to
fight back with a cable TV racing channel:  "With that mechanism
we can educate and attract new fans and ultimately build on track
attendance" ("Market Wrap," CNBC, 10/17).
     WOMEN IN SPORTS:  ESPN's Robin Roberts reported from the
Women's Sports Foundation 20th Anniversary Celebration. Olympic
speed skater Bonnie Blair and softball pitcher Lisa Fernandez
were named Sportswomen of the Year.  Roberts: "It's hard to
believe that 20 years ago Billie Jean King started this
foundation with a $5,000 grant.  This year the Women's Sports
Foundation will give out over $800,000 to girls sports programs
across the country" ("Sports Center," ESPN, 10/17).  ESPN's Cover
Story was on Billie Jean King's defeat of Bobby Riggs in the
"Battle of the Sexes."  King:   "I thought it was a matter of
life or death.  That is how I felt" ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
10/17).