NFLPA LEADERS DELIVER THEIR "STATE OF THE UNION"
NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw, Asst Exec Dir Doug Allen, andGeneral Counsel Richard Bertelson held a news conference toreview the past year and look ahead to '95 from the vantage pointof the league's players' union. Topics discussed were the firstyear of the salary cap, a survey of NFL players on the league'splaying surfaces, and the union's new for-profit marketing arm,Players Inc. PLAYERS INC.: Allen: "We're the first sports union thathas created a for-profit marketing subsidiary, and it's the onlymarketing company that is dedicated to marketing all of theplayers in a professional sport. ... The way the law works, asports union can license player rights for passive royalties, butthe players enthusiastically supported doing much, much more thanthat." THE CAP: Upshaw outlined the effect of the salary capsaying that the CBA ensures "labor peace" through 2000. Upshawreleased figures that showed 18 teams spending over the cap of$34.6M and that the players' share of Direct Gross Revenues($1.706B total) was $1.092B, or $39.002M per team. That was an8% improvement over '93. Upshaw: "Our players are living on 64%of revenues, and that stays in the locker room. ... The system isworking." LEGAL ISSUES: Bertelson outlined the state of legal actionover the CBA. Several players who are challenging the CBA arenow deciding whether to appeal an 8th Circuit decision supportingthe cap to the Supreme Court. If they decide not to appeal,$150M in damages awarded to the players will be freed. On theruling by the 2nd Circuit Tuesday, Bertelson: "The NBA's players,unfortunately, are faced with the same dilemma that we were facedwith in 1989 -- Do you continue the union in existence, whichonly, under this ruling, would protect the owners not theplayers? Or do you decide you don't want to have collectivebargaining rights, and pursue your individual rights?" SURVEY: Not surprisingly, the players overwhelmingly prefernatural grass. 85% like grass, 7% turf. 70% say the playingsurface plays a role in their free agency decisions.