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Volume 24 No. 112

Sports Industrialists

          HBO's "Real Sports" examined the tax evasion case
     against PETER GRAF, father of STEFFI GRAF, as his trial in
     Germany winds down.  HBO's Jim Lampley noted that during its
     investigation of Grafs' finances in '94, German tax
     prosecutors compiled a list of Steffi's income from
     tournaments over the years, which included appearance fees
     of more than $1M.  Lampley added that "several" of these
     tournaments were officially sanctioned by the WTA Tour. 
          BOOK OF RULES:  WTA Tour regulations "specifically
     forbid such guaranteed payments."  According to those rules,
     a player receiving an appearance fee could be subjected to
     "hefty fines" and a suspension of up to three months.  Corel
     WTA Tour CEO ANNE PERSON WORCESTER sent HBO a letter reading
     in part: "The Corel WTA Tour continues to utilize both its
     internal and external resources to monitor the Peter Graf
     tax evasion trial ... and determine the validity of the
     allegations regarding appearance fees allegedly paid to
     players.  To date, the tour has still not been able to
     obtain, or has [not] been presented with any substantiated
     evidence, of appearance money being paid to any tour
     player."  Chief trial prosecutor HUBERT JOBSKI said during
     the investigation of Graf's finances, it "surfaced ... that
     certain organizations have paid appearance fees.  They were
     officially declared as appearance fees."  But, according to
     Lampley, no one from the WTA has contacted Jobski regarding
     that information.  Tennis Week Publisher GENE SCOTT: "It is
     absolute nonsense to think that [Graf] would have been paid
     those amounts of money were it not as an incentive to show
     up in the tournament.  ... Without admitting that there is a
     problem, how can they [WTA Tour] come up with a solution?"
          PLENTY MORE READING:  KLAUS BRINKBAUMER, a writer for
     the German magazine Der Spiegel, co-wrote a book outlining
     "how the Grafs' allegedly bilked the German Government out
     of millions."  Brinkbaumer, on the WTA's reluctancy to
     investigate: "Everybody in women's tennis wants to keep
     Steffi Graf on the tour.  So there is nobody in the world of
     women's tennis who wants to go after this, or who wants to
     find out what's going on."   After the segment, Lampley told
     Bryant Gumbel that if the WTA Tour knew about the fee, "they
     probably preferred to believe that the money was being paid
     to Steffi as promotional money for services related to the
     tournaments, and if they knew more than that then it was
     probably in their best interest to look the other way." 
     Lampley added, "This is a very difficult time for the WTA
     Tour.  They are just finishing their first year of their new
     sponsorship deal with Corel.  In that first year, it is
     known that Corel is not happy that Graf played [Monica]
     Seles one time, and ...it never happened in a WTA Tour
     event.  [GABRIELA] SABATINI and [KIMIKO] DATE, two top-ten
     players, have just retired.  Seles is heading for probable
     shoulder surgery.  So to lose Steffi Graf for a long period
     of time to suspension would be a critically damaging blow to
     the WTA Tour" ("Real Sports," HBO, 1/13).
          WTA: PERSON WORCESTER, in response to the report: "We
     are actively monitoring the Peter Graf tax evasion trial and
     have attempted to obtain documents.  But the German system
     doesn't allow disclosure of documents.  Our course of action
     will be decided after the trial" (USA TODAY, 1/13).

          ESPN International has named BEN NICHOLAS Dir of Sales,
     Europe (ESPN International)....CBS Sports named DANA
     MCCLINTOCK Dir, Olympic Communications (CBS Sports)....The
     International Motor Sports Association has promoted H. DOUG
     ROBINSON to VP/Race Operations (IMSA)...The Dodgers have
     hired STEVE GARVEY and RON CEY to their community and
     marketing departments (Atlanta Constitution, 1/14).

          THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY is looking for an Assistant
     Editor.  Qualified candidates must possess superior writing,
     editing and grammatical skills and an exceptional
     understanding of the sports industry. Interested?  Fax cover
     letter/resume to Abraham Madkour at (203) 857-5590.

          WAYNE HUIZENGA's Republic Industries Inc., said it has
     a deal with General Motors allowing it to acquire GM car and
     truck franchises throughout the U.S. (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
     1/14)....JOHN MCENROE and his band, the Johnny Smyth band,
     hope to release their first album this summer on the
     independent label 21 West Entertainment (TIME, 1/20)....19
     year-old Olympic skating champion OKSANA BAIUL "was driving
     under the influence of alcohol" when she suffered a
     concussion from an accident in CT (HARTFORD COURANT, 1/14). 

          A "struggle for control of TIGER WOODS' charitable
     endeavors" has ended with EARL WOODS, Tiger's father,
     "firing" JOHN MERCHANT as Tiger's primary legal advisor,
     according to Adam Barr of GOLFWEEK.  Earl Woods said the
     reason for the split was Merchant's role as Exec Dir of the
     National Minority Golf Foundation: "We felt it was in our
     best interests to have John pursue full time the NMGF,
     because he was getting stretched pretty thin.  He was a
     full-time employee of ours, and yet, he was trying to get
     the NMGF started."  Barr notes that members of the Woods
     family want to "channel" their charitable efforts into the
     newly formed Tiger Woods Foundation, and according to Barr,
     Merchant's relationship with the Woods' was dissolved "after
     a tense" December 10 business meeting where "tempers flared
     when Merchant expressed his opinion that Tiger and Nike Inc.
     ... were planning their own charitable agenda without
     involving Merchant and the National Minority Golf
     Foundation."  Barr notes that Merchant said he has decided
     to resign his NMGF post (GOLFWEEK, 1/11 issue).
          TIGER NEWS & NOTES: Woods will play in the AT&T Pebble
     Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament later this month, and
     "Tin Cup" star KEVIN COSTNER will be his amateur partner,
     tournament Exec Dir Lou Russo confirmed yesterday (S.F.
     CHRONICLE, 1/14)....Amidst reports that Woods rebuffed a
     request from BOB HOPE to play in the Bob Hope Classic, Bob
     Hope Classic President Ernie Dunlevie said yesterday that
     Woods "absolutely did not blow us off.  Bob did call Tiger. 
     Tiger was very nice.  Our tournament does not fit into his
     schedule."  But IMG spokesperson Bev Norwood said that Woods
     never spoke to Hope (WASHINGTON POST, 1/14).