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Volume 25 No. 63

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Jane Goodell's addition comes following a sweep of text messages, emails and telephone records
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's wife, Jane, has been "added to the list of deposition requests" in Colin Kaepernick's grievance against the league, according to sources cited by Charles Robinson of YAHOO SPORTS. The addition comes following a "sweep of text messages, emails and telephone records by Kaepernick’s legal team over the last two months." Roger Goodell and several league execs were "among those asked to turn records over, as well as a handful of NFL team personnel and coaches." Aside from Goodell and his wife, sources said that "at least nine others have now been requested for depositions going forward." Among them are three NFL owners; the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, Patriots’ Robert Kraft and Texans’ Bob McNair; two head coaches: the Ravens’ John Harbaugh and Seahawks’ Pete Carroll; two GMs: Ravens’ Ozzie Newsome and Seahawks’ John Schneider; and two NFL execs: Exec VP/Football Operations Troy Vincent and Senior VP/Player Engagement Arthur McAfee (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/13).

ADD TO THE LIST: CBSSPORTS.com's Jason La Canfora cited a source as saying that Papa John's Founder & Chair John Schnatter, who stepped down from his CEO role in December, has been informed that Kaepernick's legal team "seeks to depose him as part of the quarterback's collusion case against the NFL." Schnatter earned criticism within his company and outside of it for "remarks he made on an earning's call during the season, blaming the NFL's declining ratings and citing players kneeling during the national anthem for his declining sales." ‎Specifically, Kaepernick's legal team "aims to interview Schnatter" about any role Jones may have "played in those comments." Schnatter was "quickly out as CEO in the aftermath of his comments" (CBSSPORTS.com, 2/13).

The NHLPA board of player representatives held a conference call Monday night in which they discussed, but declined to vote on, a request to install a board of individuals to conduct a review of the union's practices, sources said. The NHLPA declined comment. As many as 60 NHL players were on the call, which was held in response to an email sent to players on Friday asking that a board be appointed to review the union's internal operations, sources said. The players discussed the request to vote on the matter, but elected not to vote on it, sources said. The email listed names of people who would be on the review board, to be chaired by Herb Pinder, a former NHL player agent. But Pinder in an email last night said, "Whatever NHL players may or may not be up to is private to them. No involvement by me." Asked if he authorized players to use his name to chair the committee, Pinder did not answer, but said, "The players appear to be discussing private matters, and that privacy is something to be respected, certainly by me." Two agents who reportedly have been raising questions about the NHLPA are Ritch Winter and Anton Thun. "I am not authorized by my clients to speak to any media about this," Winter said yesterday. Agent Kurt Overhardt also declined comment, saying in an email, "As the players said, this is a private matter." Thun also declined comment, but said, "I deny sending it," when asked about an email sent to NHL players which instigated Monday's conference call. The email was sent to players from an anonymous email address, sources said. One source said by declining to vote on a resolution to appoint a review board, the effort has been "shot down." But other sources were not sure that the matter has been resolved.

The Oak View Group and the prospective ownership group led by financier David Bonderman and filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer submitted an expansion application for Seattle to the NHL yesterday. The application, which had been expected in recent weeks, included a $10M deposit and allows the group to take the next steps towards being granted an NHL team, such as running a local ticket drive. There is no immediate timeline for the league to review the application and begin discussions at the executive board level. It is expected that if granted a team, Seattle would begin play no earlier than the ‘20-21 season. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently said the league is not currently considering any other expansion applicant outside of Seattle (Ian Thomas, Staff Writer). The expected expansion fee is $650M. Of the $10M filing fee, $2M is "nonrefundable" (USATODAY.com, 2/13). The ticket drive "should begin in the next few weeks and will determine whether the league accepts Seattle's bid" (ESPN.com, 2/13).