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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     "If anyone was anticipating an uprising against NHL players
boss Bob Goodenow, it simply wasn't in the cards," writes Damien
Cox in this morning's TORONTO STAR.  A group of about 35 player
agents that met with Goodenow yesterday "basically reaffirmed
their support" (TORONTO STAR, 10/28).  "Any hopes the owners
might be able to drive a wedge between the agents and the union
were dashed when Goodenow revealed the league cancelled its
insurance policies on the players on Oct. 15 -- and didn't tell
anyone. ... While the NHLPA has since agreed to pay the insurance
premiums, the players were without medical, dental and life
insurance for nearly two weeks" (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN,
10/28).  This is a "blow" for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman,
writes David Shoalts.  "Now, not only is Bettman facing a smart,
stubborn union leader, he is facing one with the unwavering
support of all elements of his constituency" (Toronto GLOBE &
MAIL, 10/28).  But, in her report on the Goodenow/agents summit,
ESPN's Linda Cohn noted: "There is a sign union solidarity might
be showing signs of weakening, at least among its younger
players" ("SportsCenter," 10/27).
     CHECK THE RECORDS:  According to a CANADIAN PRESS report,
Goodenow also requested that the league's 26 owners release their
financial records.  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "agreed to do
so if the players agreed to return to work under the terms of the
NHL's last collective bargaining proposal while an audit was done
by a firm chosen by the NHLPA" (Nancy Marrapese, BOSTON GLOBE,
10/28).
     STARS ON TOUR:  Bettman said he can't stop a proposed tour
of Europe by a team of NHL stars led by Wayne Gretzky.  But he
did say:  "I hope they don't reverse the strides we have made to
improve our relationship with international hockey."  Notified of
Gretzky's plans, IIHF General Secretary Jan-Ake Edvinssson said
they would need consent from local federations and the NHL before
any games could be scheduled (George Gross, TORONTO SUN, 10/28).
ESPN hockey analyst Mike Milbury called the proposed exhibitions
"a real bad idea":  "That takes care of the stars, but what about
the other 650 guys who are out walking the dog or doing the
dishes?  What does it do for them?" (Nancy Marrapese, BOSTON
GLOBE, 10/28).  The first of four scheduled NHL players' charity
games will be Sunday night in Sarnia, ONT, between a team of
NHLers and the junior Sarnia Sting (Mult., 10/28).     GRETZKY
SPEAKS:  Wayne Gretzky: "We want to play hockey, too.  Kirk
Muller wants to play hockey, I talked to him yesterday.  Doug
Gilmour wants to play hockey.  I want to play hockey.  Messier,
he is out in L.A. saying he wants to play hockey.  But, we are
not going to do anything to step on Bob's toes. ... It is going
exactly the way we were all told and we are just basically
standing back and we have our trust in the Association"
("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/27).     NO COMPARISON, SAYS NHL:  The
NHL released a statement in response to requests for comment on
the NBA's decision to start its season under a no-strike/no-
lockout agreement with its players' union.  From the NHL:  "The
NBA arrangement preserves a status quo for that League that is
competitively and economically sound.  The NBA has had in place
for more than 10 years a system designed to preserve the
competitive balance and economic viability of its clubs and the
financial well-being of its players.  It makes good sense for the
NBA to continue under a system like that. ... The NBA has assured
itself what we accomplished a year ago -- playing one season
without a CBA" (NHL).  NHL Senior VP & Dir of Hockey Ops Brian
Burke, on the NBA:  "Let's see where they are a year from now."
Burke also noted the NBA's salary cap, adding that he "hasn't
heard the NHL players say they'll play with a cap this season
while negotiations continue" (KNIGHT-RIDDER/SAN JOSE MERCURY
NEWS, 10/28).
     ON LAYOFFS & NO PAYOFFS:  The Canucks gave layoff notices to
their ticket manager and special events manager, but teams
officials said to avoid further layoffs, Canucks employees may be
shifted to work for the expansion NBA Grizzlies (VANCOUVER SUN,
10/28)....Maple Leaf Gardens Chair Steve Stavro announced there
will be no Leafs layoffs until January at the earliest (TORONTO
STAR, 10/28).  But MLG also announced that, because of the
lockout, it would not pay its customary quarterly dividend for
the first quarter of FY '95.  MLG announced its revenue is down
$2.8M from a comparable period in '94 (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
10/28).

     Unlike MLB and the NHL, the NBA "displayed its viable
working relationship/partnership with the players yesterday by
reaching a temporary agreement to avoid a work stoppage."  Both
sides agreed to play the season under a no-lockout/no-strike
pledge while negotiating a new CBA (Roger Brown, FT. WORTH STAR-
TELEGRAM, 10/28).  NBA Commissioner David Stern: "The 1994-95
season through and including our finals will be played in their
entirety."  NBPA Exec Dir Charles Grantham: "Our players are very
concerned about the integrity of the game and a full and complete
championship season" (Mult., 10/28). "In a far cry from the
animosity that has pockmarked the hockey and baseball
negotiations, both men took turns acting like best friends, then
worthy adversaries" (Flip Bondy, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/28).
Hornets Player Rep Kenny Gatison: "It's just a truce.  The issues
aren't dead.  This is just a breather" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER,
10/28).
     THE SPIN:  Peter Vecsey writes, "Naturally, we knew all
along basketball wouldn't triplicate the mistake committed by
baseball and compounded by hockey. ... It was only a matter of
time running out before they came to their dollar and senses"
(BOSTON HERALD, 10/28).  In New York, Ian O'Connor writes, "This
was Stern's day, though, the day he went back to being the best
in the world at running a game" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/28).  ESPN's
Bob Ley: "The initiative for the truce came from the consummate
dealmaker, David Stern" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/27).  Acting
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig: "The bottom line is the two sports
that are playing both have salary caps" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/28).
     PLAYERS WANT TO PLAY?  In L.A., Mark Heisler notes that
"reports surfaced that several young stars," including Shaquille
O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning, "had passed word they didn't want to
go on strike."  Leonard Armato, the agent for O'Neal and Hakeem
Olajuwon, "said he didn't see the need for a strike."  Pacer
center LaSalle Thompson: "Sam Mitchell and I were joking, that
[if] the owners locked us out, we'd sue them to let us come back
to work" (L.A. TIMES, 10/28).  For the players, "giving up the
right to strike was not conceding as much as the owners did by
taking the no-lockout pledge" (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE,
10/28).
     PARTS OF THE DEAL:  Included was the inclusion of a "window
of opportunity" for players under contract.  Players now have
until November 8 to renegotiate or extend their deals.  After
that date, no action can be taken for the rest of the season.
Unsigned draft picks and free agents will have unlimited time to
come to terms.  Grantham did concede that he would have liked a
longer "window of opportunity" (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE,
10/28).  Also, "as part of the peace accord," players Howard
Eisley and David Wood allowed their suit against the league
charging it maintains an "artificially" low cap to be postponed
until next summer.  Eisley agent Frank Catapano: "It's a good
thing we filed the suit.  I think it really bothered the NBA.  I
didn't think it would be that big a deal when we filed it, but
the league must have been afraid they'd lose it, because they
didn't want to go to court" (Steve Bulpett, BOSTON HERALD,
10/28).   BACK TO THE TABLE:  While yesterday's news assured the
NBA of a full season, "it did not signify a closing of the gap
between the two groups who are admittedly nowhere near an
agreement" (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/28). The salary
cap "may create an insurmountable barrier" (Murray Chass, N.Y.
TIMES, 10/28).  CNN's Mark Lorenz:  "The two sides are still far
apart on a new labor contract, but decided to put good faith
above any bad feelings that might exist" ("Sports Tonight," CNN,
10/27).  The union have said it wants to abolish the cap, but
several veteran players are open to a rookie cap.  The owners not
only want to keep the cap, but want to close the loopholes to
make it a "hard" cap.  The two sides are expected to re-divide
the licensing pie.  As of now, the players get $500,000 a year
out from merchandising of the $2.5B in expected '94 sales
(Mult.).
     THINKING AHEAD:  "While basketball fans are cheering the
decision by the league and its players to sidestep the labor muck
that has mired baseball and hockey, this could mean there will
still be no labor agreement in place by this time next year.  And
that raises the spectre of labor strife short-circuiting the
inaugural season of Canada's [two expansion franchises]" (Craig
Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 10/28).

     1999 SUPER BOWL:  NFL owners attending the next week's fall
meetings in Chicago will determine whether Candlestick Park or
Joe Robbie Stadium will be the host stadium for the 1999 Super
Bowl.  David McIntosh, Chair of the South Florida Super Bowl 1999
Host Committee, said that the vote "will be close": "But we have
a great bid.  We've got better weather, a better stadium, a
better bid all around" (Armando Salguero, MIAMI HERALD, 10/28).
     ROONEY FIGHTS FOR REALIGNMENT:  Steelers Owner Dan Rooney
said he will make a "last ditch" attempt to sell the owners on a
realignment plan when the group meets in Chicago on Tuesday:
"This is our last chance to do it.  If we don;t do it now, we're
not going to realign for a long time" (Ira Miller, SAN FRANCISCO
CHRONICLE, 10/28).  League sources said yesterday it seems
unlikely the 28 owners will agree on any realignment (Leonard
Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 10/28).
     NEW DRUG POLICY:  The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed on a new
drug policy that emphasizes treatment and rehabilitation rather
than detection and discipline.  The policy, which also stresses
confidentiality for players in treatment, will be formally
announced some time before league owners gather in Chicago next
Tuesday for their annual meeting.  The policy does not address
the issue of steroid use (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST,
10/28).

     VA Governor George Allen has joined the efforts of two
Northern VA groups trying to lure a baseball expansion franchise
to the area.  If a team is granted, Allen adminstration officials
said that the state will create a VA Baseball Stadium Authority
that could issue tax-exempt bonds to cover stadium, parking and
transportation costs.  Allen is also considering personally
delivering Northern VA's plan to MLB officials in Chicago next
week.  In an interview, Allen said state aid ultimately "has to
have a payoff" in economic benefit to the area.  Five sites are
under consideration for a proposed stadium, most located near
Dulles Airport in the DC suburban area.  Fairfax County officials
are in Richmond today to "work out financial details" with Allen
administration officials.  The "key question" in raising bonds is
the source of repayment.  Parking fees and ticket taxes are
possible revenue sources, but "general" taxpayer money could be
included.  Fairfax County Board Chair Thomas Davis, who is in a
tight race for a Congressional seat, said he intends to form a
task force next week to study possible stadium sites (Peter
Baker, WASHINGTON POST, 10/28).