Proposed legislation that would require professional sports teams to use TV money for new stadiums was panned Tuesday by Paul Tagliabue, NFL commissioner, and Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Assn., who for once were on the same page.
The measure, proposed by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) would require major league baseball and the NFL to put 10% of TV revenues into a construction trust fund that would pay up to 50% of the costs of building and renovating stadiums.
Specter said the bill was needed to stop what he called the "legalized extortion" of teams threatening to relocate if local communities balk at paying for new stadiums. Under terms of the bill, leagues that failed to set up the trust fund could lose their exemptions from antitrust laws.
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tagliabue said the bill was "unnecessary and would have negative, unintended effects."
He said it would increase disparities between small- and large-market teams, ignore local decision-making and threaten the league's collective bargaining agreement with the players.
Upshaw agreed that Specter's bill could create serious problems by affecting hundreds of millions of dollars in TV revenue that go into determining NFL player salary caps.
He said it was an "unprecedented intrusion by Congress" into collective bargaining and antitrust agreements between the players and NFL management.
But Specter argued that if the league wants antitrust protections, it should pay for its own stadiums. He said this was a major issue in Pennsylvania, where taxpayers are paying for two-thirds of the $1-billion cost of four new sports stadiums in the state.
The Malibu district attorney's office said no charges will be filed against Damon Katz, a Pepperdine baseball player arrested April 22 on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after an altercation outside a Malibu restaurant.
Martin Herscovitz, a deputy district attorney, said the case was rejected because the alleged victim is out of state and refused to talk to the Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy investigating the case.
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who played in Turkey this season after an eight-year NBA career, is retiring from basketball because he no longer has a passion for the game. Rauf, who refused in 1996 to stand for the national anthem while with the Denver Nuggets, said he didn't even complete his season in Turkey.
Turkey upset the Toni Kukoc-led Croatia, 70-63, at the European Championships in France. Kukoc, who plays for the Chicago Bulls, had 17 points, but only one other Croatian player scored in double figures.
Arvydas Sabonis, the Portland Trail Blazer center, scored 20 points to lead Lithuania over Germany, 84-74, and guard Dejan Bodiroga had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists as defending champion Yugoslavia cruised past Macedonia, 83-68. Vlade Divac, the Sacramento King center, had 11 points for Yugoslavia.
Junior Pan-Am Games
Because of Cuban-American opposition, Miami has decided not to serve as the host city of the Junior Pan American Games scheduled July 9-11. Tampa picked up the games, and will have less than three weeks to prepare for them.
The games, to be held at the University of South Florida, are expected to attract at least 350 young athletes from 35 countries to the area. Another international youth competition, the Sunshine State Games, expected to draw 1,000 young athletes, is already scheduled for July 8-10 at the school.
Cuban-Americans in the Miami area were upset that Cuban athletes were invited to participate.
Payne Stewart's dramatic victory and a host of big names in contention helped NBC get a 6.8 national rating and a 19 share for the final round of the U.S. Open, a 13% increase over last year. NBC's two-day average was a 5.8/17, a 7% increase over last year and the second highest in 12 years.
Former Dallas Cowboy offensive tackle Mark Tuinei died of a lethal combination of heroin and a form of the drug ecstasy, according to autopsy results released in McKinney, Texas. In its final autopsy report, the Collin County Medical Examiner's office ruled Tuinei's death was an accident.
R.C. Slocum, Texas A&M's winningest football coach, received a new contract worth $7 million over the next seven years.
Two horses were fatally injured and a third burned when a fire broke out in a barn housing 40 thoroughbred race horses at Belmont Park.
A body recovered from the shore of Long Lake was believed to be a college decathlete missing since a raft capsized in the Spokane (Wash.) River last week. Positive identification was not immediately made, but the Spokane County Sheriff's Office notified the parents of Dusty Lane that the body appeared to be their son.