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Volume 24 No. 114

Leagues Governing Bodies

          The Rage's Dawn Staley has switched agents "not long
     before" the August 1 expiration of her ABL contract,
     according to a report in the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER.  Staley
     has left VA-based attorney Kenton Edelin, whose clients
     include the ABL's Jennifer Rizzotti and the WNBA's Rebecca
     Lobo, for CA-based Management Plus Enterprises.  Management
     Plus VP Bruce Binkow said the timing of Staley's move
     "happens to be a coincidence" and denied it had anything to
     do with the fact that the WNBA's Lisa Leslie is one of his
     clients "or that, as a result, Staley might jump to the
     rival league."  Binkow: "Dawn just wants to do what's best
     for Dawn" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/23). 
          DYNAMIC DUO: Lobo and Leslie appeared on ESPN's "Up
     Close" last night, where Lobo called a WNBA players' union
     "something we need."  Lobo: "We don't need it so we can go
     out like the men and demand these million dollar contracts,
     we need it for a pension plan, to certify agents, to get
     health insurance year-round.  We have small goals we're
     trying to get, but I think it would be positive for all of
     us to pool our resources and get something like that going." 
     Leslie, on the WNBA's salaries: "I wouldn't want to make a
     million dollars to play basketball.  I enjoy playing the
     game, and obviously I don't want to play for free anymore,
     but a good six-figure salary is good enough.  To play for a
     million dollars -- I'd be afraid to walk down the street.  I
     don't want to get hurt.  And you have so many expectations
     of us already.  For a million dollars, you'd need to make
     every shot" ("Up Close," ESPN, 7/22).  

          MLS: In Portland, Abby Haight reported that MLS COO
     Mark Abbott, "the point man for league expansion," toured
     Civic Stadium, had lunch with business leaders and met with
     Mayor Vera Katz "in what probably was the first of several
     visits."  Portland business leaders and "soccer enthusiasts"
     are promoting the city for one of two expected MLS expansion
     franchises in 2000 or 2001.  Charlotte, Seattle and
     Cincinnati are also "in the running" (OREGONIAN, 7/22). 
          OTHER NOTES: TX Motor Speedway GM Eddie Gossage, on the
     track getting a second Winston Cup race for '99: "We'd love
     to ... but I don't anticipate it.  I'm just being honest"
     (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/23)....J.I. Albrecht, a former CFL
     GM, says that "blacks are discriminated against" in the CFL,
     and has "made a plea" for the league to provide blacks with
     new, non-playing opportunities in his new book, "A
     Prescription for CFL Survival."  Among other things,
     Albrecht suggests that blacks "be groomed for head-coaching
     and on-field officiating positions" (Marty York, Toronto
     GLOBE & MAIL, 7/23)....Former AFL Commissioner Jim Drucker,
     who is looking to acquire an AFL expansion team for '99,
     said that if more than 7,000 fans attend this Saturday's AFL
     game at Kemper Arena, the city "will be his top choice" as
     the site for a franchise.  Already more than 5,000 tickets
     have been sold.  AFL Commissioner David Baker said that an
     expansion team would cost $7M (K.C. STAR, 7/23).