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Volume 24 No. 160

Leagues Governing Bodies

          Albert Belle's agent, Arn Tellem, said the White Sox OF
     will face no sanctions from an investigation into his
     gambling habits, according to Phil Rogers of the CHICAGO
     TRIBUNE.  Tellem: "Nothing is going to happen.  Absolutely
     nothing.  This is a non-issue."  MLBPA Associate General
     Counsel Gene Orza told Tellem that Belle "neither can be
     suspended nor placed on probation for admitting losses" up
     to $40,000 during a deposition. Indians GM John Hart said
     yesterday he was "cautioned" about Belle's gambling last
     March by MLB security.  Tellem would not confirm there was
     an investigation last spring, but said that Belle's recent
     admission "did not come as a surprise" to MLB officials
     (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/14).  MLB said that Belle was not the
     focus of any investigation but that it would look into the
     matter (USA TODAY, 2/14).  MLB Dir of PR Rich Levin: "We
     will look into this situation as we do a lot of things.  But
     no decision has been made" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/14).

          NASCAR members in Daytona Beach held a news conference
     announcing the sport is "backing a drive to increase
     awareness" of leukemia and "encourage people to become part
     of the national bone marrow donor program," according to
     Sandra McKee of the Baltimore SUN.  The move is in support
     of Winston Cup Owner Rick Hendrick, who was diagnosed with
     chronic myelogenous leukemia in November (Baltimore SUN,
     2/14).   The announcement was made by NASCAR President Bill
     France Jr., Winston Cup team owners Joe Gibbs, Felix
     Sabates, Roger Penske and drivers, including Jeff Gordon,
     Terry Labonte and Dale Earnhardt (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/14).
          DAYTONA NOTEBOOK: Bill France, Jr. is profiled by Blake
     Fontenay of the ORLANDO SENTINEL.  France, finishing his
     25th year as NASCAR's President, is credited "with helping
     to transform stock-car racing from a mostly Southern pastime
     to a sport with national appeal" (ORLANDO SENTINEL,
     2/14)....Among Daytona souvenirs, a basic Daytona
     windbreaker runs $59.99, a "lightly lined" Dale Earnhardt
     jacket for $139.99 and a wool-and-leather Jeff Gordon jacket
     for $299.99 (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/14)....The Daytona NEWS-
     JOURNAL examines corporate hospitality at the 500.  DIS has
     38 corporate suites and companies are paying $40,000-120,000
     to rent suites for Speedweeks (Daytona NEWS-JOURNAL, 2/14).

          In Toronto, Gary Picknell notes the NFL is "still
     interested in helping the CFL," and "the possibility remains
     of a marketing and financial link" between the leagues. 
     Picknell notes among ideas "tossed around" have allowing
     U.S. corporate advertising in CFL stadiums, and selling NFL
     merchandise at CFL games (TORONTO SUN, 2/13)....U.S. figure
     skating is profiled in this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL by
     Alexandra Peers, who notes the sport "is sure to be the
     centerpiece of CBS's Olympic coverage and figure skating is
     the darling of nearly two-dozen corporate sponsors pumping
     millions of dollars into both professional and pre-Olympic
     events" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/14)....All-American Football
     League co-Founder John Ritchie said he hopes for a first
     year 5.5-6.0 TV rating for the league, which begins play in
     March '98.  There will be two national and four regional TV
     games each weekend, with a Monday night game a "possibility"
     (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/13)....ESPN's David Aldridge, on the IRS
     investigation of NBA referees: "Expect at least two more
     referees to be indicted as part of the ongoing IRS
     investigation. ... Most of the other referees agreed to pay
     back taxes and penalties on the unreported income they
     received" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 2/13).

          The MLS Players Association filed an anti-trust suit 
     against the league under the names of ten players, one from
     each team, yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston,
     according to Dan Giesin in the S.F. CHRONICLE.  The suit
     challenges what the players "charge are illegal restrictions
     imposed by the league," including a salary cap and MLS'
     single-entity system, which the suit calls a "sham, designed
     to suppress players salaries" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/14). 

          Thirteen members of the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic
     Women's Soccer Team have agreed to play in the National
     Soccer Alliance, the first ever professional women's soccer
     league in the U.S.  Plans for the league will be announced
     Saturday at the SGMA Supershow in Atlanta.  The NSA, which
     will conduct a multi-city "barnstorming tour" this fall, has
     named former WA Governor Booth Gardner as its first
     commissioner (NSA).  MD-based sports attorney Ellen Zavian
     will represent the players for its players association (THE
     DAILY).  Talks have been held with potential sponsors,
     including Nike and Reebok.  The league, which will begin in
     '98, is contemplating eight teams and a top salary of about
     $30,000 (Jerry Langdon, USA TODAY, 2/14).