The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on July 12, 1984 · Page 7
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 7

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Nashville, Tennessee
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Thursday, July 12, 1984
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SECTION F Scoreboard2 Sounds Lose3 Classified9 Thursday, July 12,1984 Leagues Mexf : l i r .t ,4 ' - Schmiffy sPorts . V NSgfl Scope ! F.M.WILLIAMS I i i' Change of Power DESPITE DENIALS by such distinguished leaders as Kentucky president Dr. Otis Singletary, I believe rejection of the NCAA's television plan in Chicago yesterday sounded the death knell for the national governing body. At least, it will never be the same again. Although there is a need for such an organization to -assure some kindjrf integrity in collegeathletics, I will not grieve for the passing of the leadership to someone other than Walter Byers arid his band of public relations experts in Mission, Kansas. I believe I know when the NCAA began its downward glide. It happened in 1965, when Byers attempted a raw power play to gain control of all amateur athletics, and sought to destroy the AAU. Thwarted in that attempt, Byers led the NCAA out of the United States Olympic movement and sought power elsewhere. It took awhile for the sports-loving public to catch on to the selfishness of it, but ever since the NCAA has been ignoring its purpose, which is primarily to assure decency and honesty and integrity in sports progress. In turning elsewhere for power, Byers hit on television and all its excessive fees, totally forgetting the fan, shifting dates and hours of games to suit TV and thereby losing control, overlooking the fact that winning is such a powerful emotion that some people maybe more than some would do anything to win. Then came the exposure of academic atrocities on the West Coast, the enormous number of highly regarded colleges who were caught buying players and com-miting other rules violations. It was the NCAA that eventually caught them, but it came too late to avoid suspicions of even ardent fans, that all was not, well in college sports. There was one other move working against the continuation of the NCAA as the governing body greed. A number of the so-called football powers have been growing increasingly weary of splitting television money with the little people, all of whom are NCAA members, and now they have an excuse to change all that. The NCAA may someday regain its power, but as of now it has none, not even sure it should have it, and without power, it can't govern. I think the time has come to look elsewhere, to start over with new people, and redefine the purpose of a national governing body. I am not legally trained, but it seems to me that the only television plan the courts are going to accept is one that says any school can televise any game at any time it wants. College administrators say that could be a disaster, that over-exposure would cut down on season ticket sales. But the Supreme Court has said that's the way to go, and some poeple are going to try that route. When you look at the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets, and realize that they televise every game they play and that attendance keeps going up, you wonder if the colleges are right. I heard Ted Turner being interviewed during a rainout not long ago. In essence, he said he had gone against the advice of every one of his media advisers when he decided to televise daily. He said that it was his opinion that people would see how much fun was being had at the ball park, and want to join ia It may be true, because the Braves set a record in attendance last year, televising every night, and are ahead of the pace this season. The ball club has been a contender, but even the NCAA didn't try to put many .500 football games on national television. When the court announced it was upholding the decision denying the NCAA exclusive rights to control college football TV, I was in North Carolina amidst a flock of Atlantic Coast Conference fans. The ACC announced it had developed a plan to show 18 football games this year and the general reaction was "good, I'd like to see more ACC games than we could expect from the NCAA." The University of Georgia may televise as many as nine of its games, some as part of a national or conference package, if one is allowed by the courts, but others on local stations. Terry Hanson, who is director of sports for Turner Broadcasting, says such wide exposure on the tube would not cost the Bulldogs at the gate. There is too much loyalty around the state of Georgia for the Bulldogs. . Hanson sees the trend for national games going down financially, but there will be more exposure. That may mean some bankrupt athletic departments. But I'm not sure that won't help. Money corrupts, the old saying goes, and college athletics have been pro- ducing too much money, creating too much incentive for abuse. Pulling back might help save the games that have become such an important part of our society. We'll see. it 'Hnttp?. iBliiiBISHIIliiliill tfr'Ssh V ' : f It (I ft ii ft 1 f V) if i i K ; . ' Photo by Collie Shell Larry Schmittou addresses a news conference as he discusses plans for bringing a Triple A minor league baseball franchise to Herschel Greer Stadium next season. Triple A Purchase Improves Chance By JOHN BIBB Tennessean Sports Editor Larry Schmittou yesterday said bringing a Triple A baseball franchise to Greer Stadium next year "definitely enhances our chances of securing a major league team in Nashville within the next decade." Schmittou's observation came before a full-house crowd at a press conference also attended by fans, advertisers, local businessmen and Nashville Sounds investors. During the press conference, Schmittou, president of the Sounds, disclosed details of the purchase of the Triple A Evansville franchise which he believes "without a shadow of a doubt means we will have an American Association team here next spring. "Furthermore, I am 99.9 certain that we will be affiliated with the Detroit Tigers, a team that very possibly could be the World Series champions in October. I hope the Tigers will be here in an exhibition against the Triple A Sounds next season," he said. Schmittou reiterated that the move up to Triple A is another step in a long-range plan which he hopes will bring major league baseball to Nashville. "The successful operation of a Triple A team, the highest classification in the minor leagues, definitely enhances our chances of securing a big league team in Nashville within the next decade," he said in response to a question. Pointing out that fan support and management in the Double A Southern League since 1978 has established an "outstanding track record for Nashville," Schmittou said he is confident this same performance at the Triple A level "will be worthwhile to us when a legitimate major league opportunity arises." According to Schmittou, the Sounds owners are prepared to make whatever adjustments are needed to accomodate increased fan support at Greer Stadium. This would include additional concession stands, restrooms and stadium suites. "The park right now could be converted to a major league stadium within six months," Schmittou said. The move to the Triple A American Association will put Nashville in a league which includes Louisville, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Iowa, Wichita, Omaha and Denver. Schmittou said he envisions instant rivalries building between the Sounds and both Louisville and Indianapolis. Revealing he has joined several other Nashville Sounds investors in purchasing the assets of the Evansville team, Schmittou also disclosed he plans to make every effort to move the Sounds' existing Southern League team to Evansville. "We will officially close out the purchase of the assets of the Evansville Triplets on or about July 18. These assets include a franchise in the American Association," Schmittou said in detailing the intricacies of the swap. "The Sounds owners have petitioned .the Southern League to allow them to move their franchise to another city, in this case Evansville, thus making it possible to bring the American Association team to Nashville. We would then obtain a franchise for Evansville in either the Southern or the Class A Midwest League," he said. Southern League owners are expected to meet within (Turn to Page 6, Column 1) Big Ten, Pac-1 0, Reject CFA Plan CHICAGO (AP) The Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences indicated yesterday they would not join the College Football Association in a fall television package. The two conferences are opting instead to form a coalition that could rival the 63-member CFA for the biggest share of the television pie. The decision comes one day after the sport's major schools voted the NCAA out of the picture for 1984 by turning down its last-ditch proposal for a TV package based on voluntary cooperation. ' The proposal was to replace two existing NCAA packages sold to CBS, ABC and ESPN for almost $275 million that the Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago were in violation of federal antitrust laws. ' "I don't care what anyone tells you, that vote was not against the NCAA plan, but against the NCAA," Big Ten Commissioner Wayne Duke said yesterday. "It was calculated simply to replace the NCAA with the CFA." Following the NCAA's defeat Tuesday, many of the universities' athletic directors believed the Football Television Planning Committee, a coalition that would have included the 63-member CFA as weir as the Big Ten and Pacific-10 conferences, would emerge as the dominant bargaining agent in college footbalh The CFA already counts most of the traditional conference powers such as Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as independent powers such as Notre Dame and Penn State, among its numbers. Had Big Ten drawing cards like Michigan and Ohio State and Pac-10 attractions like USC and UCLA been added to the CFA deck, that coalition would have claimed virtually all the big-name schools and every important television market But Duke said yesterday after meetings with Pac-10 Executive Director Tom Hansen and the television committees of both conferences that neither league would have any part of a CFA-based coalition plan. Ironically, the CFA proposals seek to include many of the "exclusive" features such as non-competitive time slots. "There were irreconcilable differences of philosophy between us and the CFA, even after giving full consideration to the shared economic benefits," said Duke. "We believe our two conferences in a joint venture gives us enough strength to go ahead. Combined, we already saturate almost 40 of the television market" Hansen left immediately after the meet ing and could not be reached for comment. The CFA, as well as the NCAA and the coalition, had set a deadline today for commitments from any institution that wished to participate. Chuck Neinas, head of the CFA was en route from Chicago to the organization's Denver headquarters and could not be reached for comment But Gene Corrigan, athletic director at Notre Dame and head of the CFA-based coalition's television committee, said in a statement yesterday: "We have always hoped that we could put together a coalition ... If not we will be members of a CFA TV plan and at the same time, we will pursue other opportunities with syndicates and cable television." Duke declined to say whether the non-participation of the Big Ten and Pac-10 would result in defections in the CFA ranks. But he did say the two conferences also were talking with several Eastern and Southern independents to widen their geographic and television marketing base. However, he declined to provide names. But athletic director Doug Single of Northwestern, a Big Ten member, said Syracuse and Pitt were among the schools that might be asked to join a Big Ten-Pac-10 coalition. Both were represented on the NCAA television committee whose proposal was turned back by Division I members. Duke said the conferences' television committees would travel to New York next week to open discussions with network executives. Because CBS had backed the NCAA plan supported by both the Big Ten and Pac-10, that network was thought to have the inside track on any package engineered by the two leagues. CBS already televises basketball games from both leagues. ABC, which had expressed serious reservations about that plan, is believed to have an edge on any CFA proposal. But executives of both networks said money would determine where the packages were sold. "We made no secret that we favored a coalition package from the outset" said ABC spokesman Donn Bernstein. "But I don't believe that whatever philosophical differences prevented them from uniting will carry over when each group sits across the table from us." Concurred CBS' Mark Carlson: "When we sit down eyeball-to-eyeball, the money on the bottom line is going to decide who goes where." Races Charging nfo Second Half By ASSOCIATED PRESS The Chicago White Sox adopted the slogan this season of "Let's Do It Again," a reference to their winning the American League's West Division championship in 1983. And so far, so good. "It's almost a carbon copy up to this point" says Roland Hemond, the White Sox" general manager, pointing to an almost identical record this season as it was at last year's All-Star break. "I hope it's a carbon copy when it's over." At the mid-summer break, the White Sox had a 44-40 record and were leading the AL West by game over both the faltering C-nia Angels and fast-closing Miu Twins. The biggest story in baseball, however, was the explosive getaway of the Detroit Tigers in the AL East and the biggest surprises happened in the National League East where the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs emerged as bona fide contenders after years of desultory play. The San Diego Padres have steadily climbed to the lead In the National (Turn to Page 6, Column 2) AP Loserphoto The relief pitching of former New York Yankee Rich "Goose" Gossage is one of the reasons the San Diego Padres have climbed to the lead in the NL West. State Department: Soviet Union Behind Hate Leaflet Series By JIM ANDERSON WASHINGTON (UPI) The State Department said yesterday the Soviet Union appears to be behind a series of hate leaflets that threaten Third World athletes who compete in the summer Olympics with death. The leaflets, according to State Department spokesman Alan Romberg, have so far been received by the Olympic committees in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Malaysia, and possibly the Peoples Republic of China. ' Romberg said they "bear all the hallmarks of a disinformation campaign" and he noted the thrust of the Smoggy Olympics, 3F message in the leaflets "dovetails neatly with the Soviet justification for their withdrawal" from the summer games in Los Angeles. A spokesman for the Soviet embassy in Washington said, "These allegations are ridiculous, pure nonsense and they speak for themselves." In Moscow, the Soviets pointed to the racist letters as justification for its boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics. The Soviet news agency Tass said (Turn to Page 8, Column 3) -1- T -4

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