Union Accuses Owners of Collusion
INDIANAPOLIS--The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the league's team owners accusing them of improper collusion for reducing each franchise's debt ceiling by 20 percent.
The case is to be heard by Stephen Burbank, the University of Pennsylvania law professor who serves as the NFL's special master, putting him in charge of resolving disputes between the league and players' union arising from their collective bargaining agreement.
The union contends the league is attempting to reduce the teams' spending on player salaries in what could be a season without a salary cap in 2010 if the owners exercise a reopener clause in the current labor deal.
"It's no coincidence that this measure has a deadline which comes just before the 2010 league year, when there would be no cap," union chief Gene Upshaw said in a written statement. "It makes no sense to reduce the debt limit at a time when league revenues are increasing from approximately $7 billion to $9 billion, and we can only conclude that the owners did this to hurt the players. Our CBA prohibits such conduct, and we expect that the special master will agree once he sees the evidence."
By Mark Maske |
February 21, 2008; 5:02 PM ET
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