NFL Changes Owner Committee Heads; Texans' McNair Now Finance Chair
The NFL shook up the ranks of its committees with moves the league said had been anticipated but were put on hold until the labor strife was settled. Perhaps the biggest change is that Texans Owner Robert McNair will take over as Chair of the finance committee from Saints Owner Tom Benson. Benson was viewed as a voice for the middle-market teams while in that position, while McNair is more aligned with larger markets. However, the league expects the divide between large- and small-market teams to narrow during the 10 years of the new CBA deal. Chargers Owner Dean Spanos is taking over from Jaguars Owner Wayne Weaver as Chair of the business venture committee. Weaver will assume McNair's chairmanship of the investment committee. Steelers President Art Rooney II is taking over as Chair of the stadium committee from Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson. Meanwhile, Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt is taking over for 49ers co-Owner John York as head of the int'l committee. Giants co-Owner John Mara is the new head of the labor committee, taking over for Richardson and Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen, though the responsibilities of the committee will obviously be greatly reduced from the past. The league is also creating a new health and medical issues committee to be chaired by York. Other members of that committee will include Mara, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, Packers President Mark Murphy and Falcons President & CEO Rich McKay. Patriots Owner Robert Kraft will remain Chair of the broadcast committee, and McKay head of competition (Daniel Kaplan, SportsBusiness Journal).
TESTS BEGIN MONDAY: On Long Island, Bob Glauber reports NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has “written a letter to two members of Congress outlining the league's plan to begin collecting blood specimens as soon as Monday in order to begin testing all players for HGH.” The letter was sent Wednesday to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and “reiterated a six-point plan that Goodell said both sides had agreed to last Friday.” Goodell in the letter said that the league “would begin collecting blood samples as soon as Monday, but that testing wouldn't begin until details of the program could be worked out with players” (NEWSDAY, 10/21). Goodell also wrote that a “mutually acceptable third party would meet with WADA, the world anti-doping agency, and USADA to review the science underlying the HGH tests” (AP, 10/20).