NEW YORK — WNBA President Val Ackerman sounded optimistic Thursday that the negotiations between the league and the players' union on a contract for next season won't dissolve into the kind of acrimonious, dragged-out affairs that have harmed other sports.
"I have been in contact recently with Pam Wheeler, director of operations for the WNBA Players Assn., and we have been talking about a framework for bargaining as well as a timetable for that," Ackerman said.
"As always, we remain committed to a bargaining process and a dialogue that will be open in all respects. We're very hopeful that will lead to a successful agreement prior to the start of next season."
The contract between the players and the league expires on Sept. 15, and Ackerman said there is no start date for formal negotiations. But she felt there would be "plenty of time" to get an agreement in place before the 2003 season begins in May.
Ackerman said it "looks pretty secure" for San Antonio to have a WNBA franchise next season.
She said no decision had been reached on the fate of Charlotte, which may be forced to relocate because the NBA Hornets left for New Orleans.
"We continue to think that Charlotte has great promise in the women's basketball market," Ackerman said.