Sports Owners' Stand on Player Mobility Puts Ball in Courts; The Failure of the NFL Walkout Makes it Clear that Football Players Will Not Get Free Agency By Striking. Now They and Professional Basketball Players Must Turn to Litigation.Legal Times (1987)
Last month, the Minnesota Twins became the 10th team to win the World Series in the past 10 years. Despite the baseball owners' ominous forecasts regarding the evolution of free agency, no well-heeled franchise has mustered back-to-back championships, much less a league-wracking dynasty. In a sport with the most liberal and most frequently exercised free-agency scheme, this latest development is but one more rejoinder to the fatuous and tiresome refrain that free agency and league parity cannot peacefully coexist. With the conclusion of the 1987 campaign, arbitrator Tom Roberts' collusion decision again occupies baseball's center stage. Arbitrator Roberts has suggested that representatives of management and the players' association reconvene to punctuate his verdict with a voluntarily adjusted damage award. Successful negotiation of a suitable remedy would obviate the need for further disposition by the arbitrator. In any event, whether the ultimate outcome be the product of an amicable resolution or an award by arbitral fiat, the players already have begun to declare free agency on a large scale. Apparently, they have approached the marketplace with a renewed confidence that their overtures will not be summarily rejected as a result of a preordained, leaguewide owner boycott. While Major League Baseball moves forward, awaiting only the damage award in the Roberts case and Arbitrator George Nicolau's decision on alleged 1986 collusion, players of the National Football League and of the National Basketball Association have just begun to fight.
- sports law
Publication DateNovember 23, 1987
Citation InformationMichael J. Cozzillio. "Sports Owners' Stand on Player Mobility Puts Ball in Courts; The Failure of the NFL Walkout Makes it Clear that Football Players Will Not Get Free Agency By Striking. Now They and Professional Basketball Players Must Turn to Litigation." Legal Times Vol. 10 (1987) p. 23
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_cozzillio/10/