Members of the NBPA begin voting today on whether or not to
decertify the union. Ballots can be cast at NLRB regional
offices around the country today and next Wednesday, September 7
AT QUESTION: The exact question players will face is: "Do
you wish to be represented by the National Basketball Players'
Association for the purpose of collective bargaining?'" (TORONTO
SUN, 8/30). A "yes" vote keeps the union intact; a "no" vote
decertifies the union.
WORDS FROM THE TOP: NBA Commissioner David Stern: "We
think the facts have finally gotten to the players. We expect a
good turnout and a resoundingly positive vote for the union, the
deal and the season" (David Moore, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/30).
NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine: "Now all we can do is wait for the
votes to be cast and tallied. We've toured 17 cities in 12 days
and talked with 99 players. As such, we've done our best to get
our message across" (John Jackson, CHICAGO SUN TIMES, 8/30).
Michael Jordan: "Because of the danger of not having a season,
should we accept any deal that's proposed? I don't think that's
fair for the players. We're using decertification to get the
best fair deal. We're not striking here. We want to play"
(Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY, 8/30).
ANOTHER TWIST: Kings' guard Mitch Richmond has filed an
unfair labor charge against Stern, alleging his statements
threatening a cancellation of the season if the NBPA decertifies
violate labor law. Richmond attorney David Odom, on Stern:
"He's scaring the guys into voting against decertification, and
that's illegal." NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik: "There
have been no unfair labor practices committed by the NBA. It is
simply a fact that the only way to assure the 1995-96 season will
begin on time is a 'yes' vote in (today's) election" (Mark Asher,
WASHINGTON POST, 8/30).
GETTING CARDED: The POST's Asher also reports that NLRB New
York Regional Director Daniel Silverman said players might be
able to use their trading cards as identification for balloting.
Silverman: "It has a signature on it and it has a picture on it.
A reasonable argument could be made that it is sufficient
identification and we likely would accept it" (WASHINGTON POST,
HOW'S IT PLAYING? Here is a round-up of many of the
headlines players are reading in their hometowns this morning as
they head to vote: Baltimore SUN: "NBA players begin
decertification vote: effect is to approve or veto contract";
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: "NBA Players to decide future of union";
CHICAGO SUN TIMES: "Both sides campaigning hard before NBA labor
vote"; CHICAGO TRIBUNE: "NBA, union aim to get out vote on NBA
labor situation"; DALLAS MORNING NEWS: "NBA players set to vote
on decertification issue"; FT. WORTH STAR TELEGRAM: "NBA could
be on its way to a certified mess"; HOUSTON CHRONICLE: "SIgns
grow that union will survive: informal poll gives hope NBA to
begin on time"; L.A. TIMES: "NBA Lockout: They'll approve
collective bargaining agreement or decertify players'
association"; Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE: "NBA players to vote to
side with Stern or Jordan"; N.Y. TIMES: "It seems anyone's call
as polls open today"; PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: "A day of decision
in NBA"; SACRAMENTO BEE: "NBA's players head for the polls";
SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: "It's Stern vs. Jordan as NBA voting opens";
TORONTO SUN: "Polls open today for NBA players"; WASHINGTON
POST: "Players vote on NBA union today"; WASH. TIMES: "Players
to decide union's fate with trips to the ballot BOX."
The PGA Tour Tournament Policy Board voted yesterday to
expand the number of tournaments available to "nonmembers" from
five to seven, Because the Players Championship, the NEC World
Series of Golf and the three U.S. majors do not count against the
limit, the change will allow international players who are
members of another circuit access to a total of 12 Tour events.
The Board also has made it "easier" for graduates of the
Qualifying School to get into tournaments, by reducing the number
of spots reserved for PGA of America members, amending the
medical exemption category and reserving the top 125 exempt list
to Tour members only. These changes "should allow" all Q School
grads the chance to compete in 26 or 27 events (N.Y. TIMES,
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones expressed his views on the NFL's
marketing and sponsorship system in a guest column in this
morning's DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Jones opens, "The face of
professional sports is constantly changing. My personal
philosophy regarding change -- and progress -- is that innovation
is not a spectator sport. You better be one of the group that is
spearheading change and pushing the envelope." Jones continues
by addressing his team's "recent moves in the areas of marketing
and sponsorships." Jones: "Anything done by the Cowboys in the
area of team marketing is done in a progressive spirit, with the
intention of benefiting the entire National Football League."
Jones adds that the "primary flaw" in current revenue sharing of
NFL Properties "is that it eliminates the incentive for teams to
go out and aggressively create marketing opportunities that are
unique to their team and community." Jones: "Quite frankly, we
can all do better at the local level." Jones writes that
individual franchises "are much better suited to create their own
unique marketing strategies than a central sales force that is
located in New York City." EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW YOU
LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN: Jones writes that he believes revenue
sharing "is critical to the overall balance and success of a
league. I also believe the time has come to modify some of the
procedures we have in place for creating and distributing
revenue." Jones notes that he is against changing the system in
which television and gate money are split, and adds that the
ticket revenue sharing system "has worked on the incentive plan,"
encouraging local teams to hustle "to put people in the seats" by
rewarding them with 2/3 of ticket revenue. Jones: "I believe
that each team could easily improve upon the 5 percent that is
currently generated by NFL properties." BALANCE WILL REMAIN
STABLE: Jones believes an incentive-based system "is not going
to upset any perceived balance of power, it's only going to open
untapped outlets of opportunity." Jones says "safeguards" could
be established to help teams with "geographic or economic
disadvantages in this new way of marketing." Jones: "The league
is only as strong as our weakest team" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS,