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Volume 24 No. 117

Leagues Governing Bodies

          Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner continues to
     criticize next year's schedule that would have his team play
     two, three-game series against the Mets: "If [MLB
     Commissioner Bud] Selig isn't careful, he will disintegrate
     the traditional rivalries of baseball" (N.Y. POST,
     7/17)....Selig said he "supports" the idea of "someday"
     putting an MLB team in Mexico.  Selig: "I like the idea. 
     There's no question we have to take this game international
     in a myriad of ways.  Does that mean putting a team in
     Mexico?  Ultimately" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/16).
          CART NUMBERS: In Toronto, Gayle Macdonald examines
     sponsor support of CART's Molson Indy, which will be held
     this weekend and is expected to draw 170,000 fans.  Although
     more than two-thirds of the spectators at the Molson Indy
     site are male, the "female participation rate is slowly
     growing."  Of the men, 51% are in the 26-to-44 age group,
     and more than 35% of attendees make over C$75,000 a year. 
     Macdonald: "All this spells major purchasing power, which
     has brought a new breed of sponsor" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/17).

          About 1,400 Alan Eagleson-era NHL players will divide
     up a $1M fund taken from the former NHLPA founder, according
     to Brad Honywill of the TORONTO SUN.  A trustee overseeing
     the distribution of $1M that Eagleson had to pay in
     restitution after a plea-bargaining agreement in a fraud
     case has announced that all players who were members of the
     NHLPA from '76-91 are "entitled to share equally in the
     recovered money."  Split among 1,400 eligible players, the
     restitution "shrinks" to about $700 each (TORONTO SUN,
     7/17).  The maximum a player could receive is $1,400 and the
     minimum is $100 (Randy Starkman, TORONTO STAR, 7/17). 

          The U.S. World Championship basketball team arrived in
     Monte Carlo "virtually unnoticed Wednesday afternoon,"
     according to Eddie Sefko of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE, who wrote
     that "with only [CBA], college and European-refugee players
     on hand, the U.S. entourage was greeted Wednesday by exactly
     one French sportscaster and one writer based in Nice,
     France."  Sefko: "That, of course, doubled the American
     media horde following the U.S. squad" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
     7/16).  In Houston, Dale Robertson writes that the World
     Championships "should have nothing to do with the labor
     unrest in the NBA."  But "some bucks might have accidentally
     trickled back through the international monetary system into
     the owners' pockets, and the players weren't going to stand
     for that" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/17).  But NBPA VP Charles
     Smith is quoted in the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS as saying
     that NBA players wanted to play in Greece.  He dismissed NBA
     Commissioner David Stern's comments that players "trashed"
     their country: "He wanted (fans) to take the 'rah, rah'
     position. ... [T]he players wanted to play.  But then we
     were locked out.  How can your employer prevent you from
     earning your pay, and then ask you to go make money for the
     organization?" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/17).  
          WHERE'S THE RAGIN' CAJUN? CBS analyst Billy Packer
     tells USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke that the NBA "is like the
     Clinton PR team.  The release said USA Basketball told NBC
     and Turner they can't carry the World Championships.  But
     who canceled the TV coverage is basically David Stern." 
     Martzke also quotes ESPN VP/Programming Dick Glover as
     saying that ESPN has "no intention" of televising games of
     NBA players during the lockout (USA TODAY, 7/17). 
          SIX LOCKOUT TALES: In SI, MacMullan & Taylor write that
     "there are far more than two angles from which to view the
     lockout."  In their piece, "Lockout Limbo," MacMullan &
     Taylor examine the lockout's impact in separate profiles of
     six people: a rookie (the 76ers' Nazr Mohammed), an
     established player (the T-Wolves' Tom Gugliotta), a
     journeyman (free agent Chuckie Brown), a GM (the Suns' Bryan
     Colangelo), an agent (Arn Tellem) and a fan (Bulls season-
     ticket holder Leslie Wright) (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 7/20).
          HELLO?? Midway through "Business Center," CNBC's Maria
     Bartiromo noted Michael Jordan's comments that he wouldn't
     play for any coach but Phil Jackson and described it as
     "breaking news."  Bartiromo: "Breaking news now.  While
     basketball superstar Michael Jordan is not saying for sure
     that he's retiring, he is saying today that we won't play
     for any other coach than Phil Jackson" (CNBC, 7/16).  Jordan
     said he won't make an official announcement about his status
     until after the lockout, but as far as a possible retirement
     he said, "I'm pretty sure that's my decision" (Mult., 7/17).

          The NFL "plans to talk" to Reggie White about a full-
     page ad in USA TODAY in which he spoke out against
     homosexuality while wearing his uniform, according to USA
     TODAY's Steve Hershey.  NFL VP/Communications Greg Aiello:
     "No permission was asked for or given to use the Green Bay
     uniform.  We feel that it is inappropriate for a player to
     appear in the NFL uniform in this type of ad."  The ad was
     paid for by a coalition of 15 Christian groups.  A Packers
     spokesperson said neither White nor any group asked the
     team's permission to use the uniform (USA TODAY, 7/17).
          FREE AGENT LEDGER: During the NFL's unrestricted free
     agency period, 113 veteran free agents re-signed with the
     old teams, while 113 signed with new teams.  The Falcons and
     the Panthers signed the most unrestricted free agents from
     other teams with eight each.  There were a total of 305
     unrestricted free agents this year (NFL).