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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     ATP Tour players have created a world-wide program to
increase the appeal of tennis among kids and will subsidize it
with $1.5M from Tour and World Championships prize money.  The
ATP Tour Players' "Kids Fund" program will include a street
festival competition.  In addition to funding the program, the
ATP's Top 50 players each will make at least 10 appearances a
year at activities such as clinics, autograph and photo sessions,
Q-and-A sessions and other promotions.  The Fund is part of the
ATP's "Agenda for Progress" (ATP)
     SLOW DOWN: In an effort to enhance the quality of
competition, the Tour will work with other int'l tennis
federations to develop ball/court standards to regulate the speed
of the indoor game (ATP).

     As the two sides in the labor negotiations broke for the
Thanksgiving holiday, observers and media members noted the
continued progress but were quick to add that there are many
issues yet to be resolved.  ESPN's Steve Levy:  "Hold on to that
optimism."  NHLPA Exec Dir Goodenow:  "There's still a lot of
issues yet to be resolved before there can be an agreement.
That's the best report I can give you."  NHL Commissioner Gary
Bettman:  "It's not just a question of sitting in the room.
There are issues that you have go back and think about, you have
to talk to your constituents -- and I mean this on both sides"
("SportsCenter," 11/22).  The two sides meet again on Friday,
possibly back in Boston.
     CARVING UP THE LUXURY TAX:  "It is becoming apparent from
conversations with team owners that there is anxiety among some
of them that a settlement is needed soon and that some owners
aren't as committed to the luxury tax" as Bettman.  Kings co-
owner Joe Cohen:  "The tax should be the last thing we look at."
Cohen added that if Bettman can accomplish creating a "drag" on
salary escalation through other means, "then a tax can be less
important" (Joe Lapointe, N.Y. TIMES, 11/23).  Bruins President &
GM Harry Sinden said management will not know whether it will
need a tax until the other issues (rookie cap, arbitration, etc.)
are in place:  "When we're finished, we'll add it up and see
where we are" (Stephen Harris, BOSTON HERALD, 11/23).  One source
close to the NHLPA said the players will break off talks if the
tax returns:  "If the league is holding back on the tax proposal
in order to present it later, it is a grave error" (Dave Fuller,
TORONTO SUN, 11/23).  NHL sources reiterated that the tax "will
have to be addressed before a deal is struck" (Kevin Paul Dupont,
BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23).  The season "now appears to depend solely
on finding an alternative to a payroll or luxury tax, or dropping
the idea altogether" (Tim Campbell, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 11/23).
     ARE ANY DEALS DONE?  "It can be safely stated that they
haven't marked off any major issues off the checklist," according
to Bob McKenzie in this morning's TORONTO STAR.  Below is a run-
down of other possible resolutions:
     FREE AGENCY:  In Vancouver, Tony Gallagher reports, "There
would be no Group 1, the players having surrendered that some
time ago.  Group 2 would be liberalized in that it would be less
restrictive in terms of the draft choices going back to the team
losing the player.  Group 3 would be liberalized as well but the
right to match would be retained to protect the losing club."
Furthermore, unrestricted free agency would be granted to all
players 28 or older after eight years of service (Vancouver
PROVINCE, 11/23).  McKenzie reports on Group 2, the two sides
haven't agreed on compensation levels or arbitration.  On Group
3, the players "aren't keen" on the league's insistence on a
"franchise-player" system (TORONTO STAR, 11/23).
     ROOKIE CAP:  Bob McKenzie reports the two sides are
"millions apart" on what the restrictions would be (TORONTO STAR,
11/23).  Tony Gallagher reports the players have "reluctantly
agreed" to a hard cap (VANCOUVER SUN, 11/23).
     THE "REGULAR" SEASON:  The league has targeted April 26 as
the last day of the shortened season, with 54- and 60-game
schedules both under consideration (Bob McKenzie, TORONTO STAR,
11/23).  The questions of whether players will be paid in-full
for a short regular season, or whether the playoffs will be cut
also face both sides.  It is "rather apparent that a shortened
regular season would be a financial blessing to teams so long as
there is a regular playoff.  Perhaps this is what owners mean by
a 'meaningful' regular season" (Roy MacGregor, OTTAWA CITIZEN,
11/23).  The players are also expected to be paid for any
training camp period (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver PROVINCE, 11/23).

     Officials representing the new World Golf Tour and two
officials from Fox met with a key PGA Tour official to discuss
the upstart tour's place in golf.  PGA Tour Commissioner Tim
Finchem did not attend the meeting, and neither did World Tour
organizer Greg Norman.  Edward Moorhouse, Exec VP for Legal and
Int'l Affairs, represented the PGA Tour, and John Montgomery Jr.
and his brother Scott, representing the World Tour.  Norman, was
reached on vacation in Sydney:  "We are willing to make
adjustments and concessions and the U.S. Tour is working along
the same lines.  No one wants a confrontation.  No one wants to
batter their heads against the wall with lawyers for the next
three years."  In a statement released by the PGA Tour, Moorhouse
indicated it was "highly unlikely anything could be accommodated
in short term."  He described yesterday's meeting as "an attempt
to determine what kind of flexibility the promoters had in their
scheduling plans."  Moorhouse will present Finchem and the PGA
Tour's Tournament Policy Board next week with a report on the
meeting.  The board will listen to Finchem's recommendation and
then decide whether to allow PGA Tour pros to participate in the
World Tour (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 11/23).

     With the CFL Baltimore franchise in a position to win the
CFL's Grey Cup, the viability of the CFL in Canada is being
tested.  "For years, Canadians have feared that their nation is
being stolen by their neighbor to the south. ... and Canadians
awoke to the news that an expansion team from Baltimore" may win
the Grey Cup, writes Jim Hunt of the TORONTO SUN.  "Since the
Yanks have taken over much in this country that is worth taking,
why should the CFL not go along with the trend" (TORONTO SUN,
11/22).  In Washington, Anne Swardson writes that "the southern
migration of Canadian football mirrors the gradual transformation
of the [NHL] from a Canadian institution to a predominantly
American phenomenon and raises fears that the one sports Canada
had left to itself is being sucked away" (WASHINGTON POST,
11/22).  The CFL is proposing a rule change that Canadian teams
no longer must employ a minimum of 20 Canadians on their roster
of 37, under the belief that teams "on both sides of the border
should be allowed to hire whoever they wish (Frank Cosentino,
Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/22).  A proposed 3-year agreement
between the CFL and CFLPA would reduce the league's mandatory
Canadian content from 20 players per team to 15 beginning next
season.  The numbers would drop to 12 and 10 in the second and
third years.  There would be five Canadians on the practice
roster at all times, while teams would be allowed to start an
unlimited number of imports.  The CFLPA's collective agreement
with the CFL expires following this season (Kent Spencer,
Vancouver PROVINCE, 11/23).