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Volume 24 No. 160
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          Bernie Kosar has teamed with OH entrepreneur Thomas
     Murdough to try to buy the new Browns franchise, according
     to Becky Yerak of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER.  Kosar and
     Murdough are "trying to put together a group of business
     executives to buy the team."  Currently, the group includes
     only Murdough and Kosar.  Murdough, when asked if he could
     afford the franchise fee: "I'm encouraged by comments from
     Paul Tagliabue that it will be a fair price.  When you start
     getting over $300 million, I question whether that's a fair
     price" (Cleveland PLAIN-DEALER, 3/25).  ESPN's John Clayton
     reported on "a heated debate" among owners regarding the
     Browns' expansion fee.  Clayton said some "hardline owners
     wish to go between $500 million and $1 billion.  But others
     knowledgeable with the process expect it to settle between"
     $300M to $500M ("SportsCenter," 3/24).  Tagliabue said
     ownership could be in place by this summer: "That would be
     ideal" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 3/25).  In Akron, Terry Pluto
     puts Al Lerner and Richard Jacobs as the favorites to land
     the team.  He writes NFL owners "know" and "like" Lerner
     (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 3/25).  In N.Y., George Vecsey calls
     the NFL granting Cleveland an expansion team a "delightful
     case of swift justice" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/25).
          L.A. STORY: Going to 31 teams will lead to a new bye
     week format.  Each week will include one team out of action
     and a team will have a bye in week one and week 17.  In
     L.A., T.J. Simers writes that "club officials are grumbling
     already and the new schedule is a year away from being
     released."  Chargers Owner Alex Spanos: "We have to go to 32
     teams."  Bills Owner Ralph Wilson: "Let's face it, L.A. is
     the prime candidate to become the 32nd team, if it just gets
     a stadium."  Simers: "But if the unbalanced schedule favors
     Los Angeles' chances to force the expansion issue, Raiders
     Owner Al Davis has maintained that nothing will get done in
     Los Angeles without his permission."  Davis: "[W]e do own
     the L.A. opportunity for sure."  Wilson: "The hell he does." 
     Simers: "Houston's chances of winning an expansion franchise
     rest on only one thing: Los Angeles losing that
     opportunity."  But Simers writes that "could happen" since
     public money is unavailable and an "owner conceivably will
     have to put out more than" $200M for a stadium and then come
     up with an expansion fee (L.A. TIMES, 3/25).  Davis told USA
     TODAY's Gordon Forbes that the NFL's Finance Committee
     "forced the Raiders to abandon" the L.A. market and move to
     Oakland in '95.  Davis said that while he was in talks with
     Hollywood Park, the league mandated that the Raiders share
     the facility with a second team.  Davis: "They drove me out. 
     They're going to have to adjudicate that and adjudicate that
     there is an offset."   Davis claims the NFL owes him $25M in
     an "offset" fee to move to Oakland.  Asked who would move
     into the L.A. market, Davis said, "I don't know who it will
     be.  I don't know whether we'll be the team or not" (USA
     TODAY, 3/25).  CNBC's Bill Griffeth reported that Michael
     Ovitz bought a stake in a "supermall" in Columbus, OH, and
     will "be in charge of designing the mall's sports and
     entertainment complex."  Griffeth: "Ovitz may also have
     bigger plans up his sleeve, with a proposal to the NFL to
     build a football coliseum and shopping mall outside of Los
     Angeles at Hollywood Park" ("The Edge," CNBC, 3/24).