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Volume 24 No. 114
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          NBA: NBA Commissioner David Stern said that the league
     and the NBPA plan to conduct weekly meetings aimed at
     negotiating a new CBA agreement.  Stern was "optimistic" an
     accord could be reached before the June 30 deadline.  Deputy
     Commissioner Russ Granik, who is leading the talks, was
     "less upbeat."  Granik: "Nobody negotiates a [CBA] agreement
     in a month.  We're having some meaningful discussions, but
     whether we're really making any progress, I don't know yet"
     (USA TODAY, 4/23)....In Charlotte, Bonnell & Laye report
     that six of the 16 NBA playoff teams, "including hotbeds
     Seattle and Phoenix," have yet to sell out their first round
     playoff home dates (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/23).
          NOTES: SI's Tim Crothers reports that some MLB owners
     "are renewing efforts to expand the June free-agent draft to
     include players from all over the world."  Crothers writes
     that Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said that the
     "impetus" for MLB's movement toward a worldwide draft is the
     "fear that a few wealthy franchises can outbid the rest of
     the sport" for elite foreign prospects (SI, 4/27 issue)....
     ...Casey Martin and the PGA "have agreed on rules of the
     road" for when Martin uses a cart during competition. 
     Martin signed the 11-point stipulation April 17, and the PGA
     Tour "is expected to sign ... soon" (USA TODAY, 4/23).