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Volume 24 No. 112

Leagues Governing Bodies

          NFL owners meet in Washington, DC, today and Wednesday
     for their fall meetings.  USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes writes
     that among the issues being discussed will be the St. Louis
     Convention and Visitors Commission's (CVC) $130M antitrust
     suit against the league.  Although the Rams "are not a
     coplaintiff in the suit," they are entitled to $14M of any
     settlement or 50% of any damages awarded.  NFL
     VP/Communications Joe Browne: "A large number of owners are
     upset at the notion that the Rams may benefit even more than
     they already have from their move to St. Louis."  49ers
     President Carmen Policy: "We feel betrayed and embarrassed. 
     We're the ones who voted to permit the move" (USA TODAY,
     10/14).  In St. Louis, Bill McClellan wrote on the first
     week of the trial: "The first quarter score is in, and the
     NFL is ahead.  Maybe way ahead" (POST-DISPATCH, 10/13). 
          TV TALK: Broncos Owner and NFL Broadcasting Committee
     Chair Pat Bowlen is interviewed by Richard Sandomir of the
     N.Y. TIMES on the NFL's next TV deal.  Bowlen: "The ratings
     don't matter.  I really think they don't impact us at all." 
     Bowlen added that Fox must pay "more than a token increase"
     above its $395M-a-year NFC package and hinted that Fox may
     want more than the NFC package: "They'd like to add, take
     your pick, cable or another broadcast package.  They could
     take a swipe at the whole thing on Sunday afternoon.  I
     don't know if that's in our best interest, but there's been
     conversation about it" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/14).  Cowboys Owner
     Jerry Jones is interviewed by USA TODAY's Larry Weisman.  On
     the next TV package, Jones said, "I'm limited in what I can
     say. ... I know it's going to be substantial" (USA TODAY,
     10/14).  In N.Y., Mike Freeman noted that some agents feel
     the league's next TV deal will lead to a "doubling" of the
     salary cap, bringing it to $70M from its current level of
     $41M in four to five years (N.Y. TIMES, 10/12).  The
     HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Stephen Battaglio wrote that "talk
     continues to circulate in sports TV circles about a CBS
     proposal for a new NFL package if it can't get an existing
     one.  One scenario has the network getting Saturday NFL
     games each December -- following the conclusion of the
     college football regular season -- two games on
     Thanksgiving, and occasional Thursday night games that now
     air on cable" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 10/13).
          DECADE: On Sunday, NBC's Will McDonough reported that
     NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFLPA Exec Dir Gene
     Upshaw "have been talking about extending the current" CBA,
     "possibly to the year 2007" ("NFL on NBC," 10/12).

          MLB owners "are leaning strongly toward settling for a
     scaled-down realignment plan" that would move the Brewers or
     Royals to the NL and shift the Tigers from the AL East to
     the AL Central for '98, according to sources of Mark Maske
     of the WASHINGTON POST.  The plan, which would also put the
     expansion D'Backs in the NL West and the Devil Rays in the
     AL East, could be voted on during a conference call set for
     Wednesday.  It "would leave the sport" with a 16-team NL and
     a 14-club AL.  Sources told Maske that the owners plan to
     postpone further realignment at least until after the '98
     season (WASHINGTON POST, 10/14).  But Royals GM Herk
     Robinson doubted the report: "We have said as a club that
     unless there are substantial changes, it would be in our
     best interest to stay where we are" (K.C. STAR, 10/14).
          GET ALONG, GO ALONG: MLB officials "are becoming
     increasingly irritated" with MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr's
     "repeated denunciation" of realignment.  MLB's Labor
     Relations Chair Randy Levine said that the union has been
     kept "apprised" of realignment plans: "Even though this is
     something we don't have to bargain with the union, we have
     kept them informed from Day One."  Levine also said that the
     owners "had the right" to terminate the DH without union
     approval (Bill Madden, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/14).  Fehr:
     "They're entitled to their opinion.  The fact is that the
     self-imposed deadline is near, and we have no new
     information" (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/14).  Fehr
     said that geographical realignment could have a "negative
     effect" on players' earning potential.  Fehr: "Would Nike be
     interested in Ken Griffey if he played exclusively west of
     the Mississippi?" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 10/14). 

          An ABL-record crowd of 12,683 attended Sunday's league
     opener of the Glory-Blizzard at the Hartford Civic Center
     (ABL)....In N.Y., Mike Wise writes that NBPA Exec Dir Billy
     Hunter has invited twenty of the "game's most prominent
     agents" to attend an agents advisory committee meeting on
     October 24 in New York to "discuss strategy" in the event
     that the NBA's CBA is reopened in April (N.Y. TIMES, 10/14).