In N.Y., Ken Belson noted any former NFLer that agrees to the proposed concussion settlement "will give up the right to sue the league, so the NFL would also largely inoculate itself from further costly and embarrassing suits." Yet one of the "consequences of this structure is that it creates two tiers of retired players: those who sued the league and must pay their lawyers a percentage of any cash awards, and those who never sued the league but are eligible to receive money without paying legal fees." In effect, the players who "took the initiative to sue and helped push the league to settle will be penalized." It is unclear "how many of the 18,000 former players may receive a cash award" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/12).
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? CBS Sports Network's Bart Scott said of expanding the NFL playoffs, "I think it would dilute the quality of the games. You talk about the last spot, people fighting for the last spot this year, some of those teams were a joke. For a team to be under .500 to make it, to maybe even get an opportunity to host a game, I think is absurd." CBSSN's Adam Schein asked, "How can Roger Goodell talk about player safety and expand the postseason?" However, Ravens DE Chris Canty noted the addition of another playoff team "can generate revenue. The only concern as a player that I would have is the owners sharing that revenue with the players" ("That Other Pregame Show," CBSSN, 1/12).
INCHING ALONG: FOXSPORTS.com's Jon Paul Morosi noted MLB was "poised to make two major changes to the sport: A broad expansion of instant replay and elimination of collisions at home plate." But now it is "uncertain whether either will be implemented" for '14. A "major reason" is that the MLBPA "has yet to give its approval, which is required" under the CBA. MLBPA Exec Dir Tony Clark in an e-mail wrote that the union’s Exec BOD "discussed instant replay expansion and home plate collisions 'at length' during its December meeting" (FOXSPORTS.com, 1/11).
END TIMES? In Illinois, Patricia Babcock McGraw wrote under the header, "Can WNBA Survive Without L.A. Sparks?" WNBA fans have "said goodbye to at least a half-dozen teams that have been forced to close their doors over the league's 17-year history." But this case is "a little different in the sense that it's the Sparks, a marquee franchise, a cornerstone franchise, a founding franchise of the WNBA." If it can happen to "an A-list franchise, what's to stop it from happening to the less prominent or less successful franchises" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 1/11).