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U of Denver S&E Law Journal: Examining MLBPA History to determine Fehr's motivation..

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Old
11-14-2012, 10:52 AM
  #1
Wretched Oil
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I've just started reading this, and am not sure it belongs here, but here's piece written for the Denver Law journal about Fehr and his role with the NHLPA.

Law Journal

It's interesting

University of Denver Sports and Entertainment Law Journal:

Quote:
TRYING HIS LUCK AT PUCK: EXAMINING THE MLBPA’S HISTORY TO DETERMINE DON FEHR’S MOTIVATION FOR AGREEING TO LEAD THE NHLPA AND PREDICTING HOW HE WILL FARE
By: Jordan I. Kobritz and Jeffrey F. Levine1

On June 22, 2009, after twenty-six years at the helm of what has been described as the world’s most powerful union for athletes,2 seminal leader Donald Fehr announced his resignation as the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (the “MLBPA”).3 During Fehr’s time with the MLBPA, he earned both admiration and resentment for his views and actions on baseball’s labor relations. Fehr’s tenure as the MLBPA’s head decision-maker was filled with conflict and constant labor strife; thus, it was unsurprising that Fehr explained his decision to resign by simply quipping that he desired to “take it easy.”4 With a severance
package of $11 million, he certainly could have chosen to enjoy his retirement and stay out of the sports labor relations limelight.5 However, Fehr’s retirement was short lived.

Instead of enjoying retirement, Fehr found a new labor relations challenge, this one in professional hockey. Within months, Fehr was asked to assist the rudderless National Hockey League Players Association (the “NHLPA”) in revamping its constitution and finding a new Executive Director.6 The NHLPA, a union with a long history of leadership mistrust and membership infighting, desperately needed Fehr’s experience, steady hand, and guidance.

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Old
11-14-2012, 04:39 PM
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Interesting read, his conclusion about a mutually agreed CBA before a strike/lockout was off though.

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11-14-2012, 06:28 PM
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Stewie Griffin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wretched Oil View Post
I've just started reading this, and am not sure it belongs here, but here's piece written for the Denver Law journal about Fehr and his role with the NHLPA.

Law Journal

It's interesting

University of Denver Sports and Entertainment Law Journal:
Finally read it.

It's not just interesting. It's scary. I no longer expect a resolution to this lockout. I expect the 2012/13 season to be cancelled, as Fehr sits and waits for the NHL to continue negotiating against itself. (Seriously, the NHL went from 43% with redefined HRR to 50% without the PA presenting a "real" proposal.) When the NHL's offer finally stops getting better, he'll start negotiating in earnest. (IMO he's kept up appearances of "good faith" negotiating so far.)

In my opinion (after reading this paper) is I don't think Fehr will give up something as substantial as a 12% reduction in player's salary (share from 57% to 50%) without getting something significant in return. He probably has a bigger end-game in mind here, and likely hasn't shown his cards yet. I don't think he's going after the salary cap either. My wild guess is he's going for better pensions, earned sooner, that will benefit all players forever and ever (or until the next work stoppage). Or a share of franchise expansion / relocation fees for the players.

Or maybe he's just a guy who gets off on this kind of thing and is just in it for the lolz. What do I know. :shrug:

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11-14-2012, 06:33 PM
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He just doesn't care...the players are foolish to keep this guy...he has 0 interest in the game, or his players...the koolaid is tasty though...

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11-14-2012, 06:39 PM
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mackaveli
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Does Fehr even care about hockey in general? People knock Bettman for not being a hockey guy but I've never seen this comment thrown at Fehr.

I saw some clips of Fehr at the HHOF and he looked totally lost and disinterested in being there.

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11-14-2012, 06:42 PM
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Fehr's job is to protect the interests of his constituency. If they accept the cap, the cap will remain.

If they want to protect their UFA status and ability to negotiate contracts without additional caps on term or dollar (in addition to the overall cap and individual cap), then that's what he's going to try to protect.

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11-14-2012, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Fehr's job is to protect the interests of his constituency. If they accept the cap, the cap will remain.

If they want to protect their UFA status and ability to negotiate contracts without additional caps on term or dollar (in addition to the overall cap and individual cap), then that's what he's going to try to protect.

Didn't you know Fehr has brain washed the PA. Pretty soon they'll all be living in Fehrtown in a jungle somewhere drinking the Koolaid

Really Fehr is a lot smarter than people give him credit here. He knows the cap is here, there is that ultra slim margin he could undo it but it's a risk he and the players cant risk.

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11-14-2012, 08:27 PM
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Good read but the authors' faith in Fehr was misplaced.

The only thing we can say for certain is that Fehr does not care about getting the players to play yet. If anything Fehr, according to where I feel this paper was going, is more interested in ingraining an adverserial culture into the NHLPA and is doing a great job of it.

Much to the chagrin of everyone who cares about the NHL and making sure the League gets better.

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11-14-2012, 09:31 PM
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the players were best served by Graham Kelly but the players wanted a war more than practical resolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Fehr's job is to protect the interests of his constituency. If they accept the cap, the cap will remain.

If they want to protect their UFA status and ability to negotiate contracts without additional caps on term or dollar (in addition to the overall cap and individual cap), then that's what he's going to try to protect.
Im hoping Fehr mentions taking the cap off the table. it will save the stall time to the NHL filing the paperwork to remove the PA, re-structure the league, and move on without a union as the first centrally controlled and centrally contracting major league sports teams.

It will also be faster to exponential increases in franchise values.

I got a bottle set aside to toast the NHL when they announce they re-brand and dissolve contrtacts and move forward with no guaranteed contracts. Dont like the NHL? play in siberia lol.

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11-14-2012, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motown Beatdown View Post
Didn't you know Fehr has brain washed the PA. Pretty soon they'll all be living in Fehrtown in a jungle somewhere drinking the Koolaid

Really Fehr is a lot smarter than people give him credit here. He knows the cap is here, there is that ultra slim margin he could undo it but it's a risk he and the players cant risk.
I agree. The cap isn't going anywhere until the owners realize it masks some of the revenue problems they don't really wish to tackle. In some ways, I can't say I blame the owners with the higher revenues. Actually, I'm all in on that one-- I know why they can't touch it. It's money they'll never see again.

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11-14-2012, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mackaveli View Post
Does Fehr even care about hockey in general? People knock Bettman for not being a hockey guy but I've never seen this comment thrown at Fehr.
Nobody cares. Owners, Bettman, Fehr. Its all about $$$ and thats how its always has been.

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11-14-2012, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilinblood View Post
the players were best served by Graham Kelly but the players wanted a war more than practical resolution.



Im hoping Fehr mentions taking the cap off the table. it will save the stall time to the NHL filing the paperwork to remove the PA, re-structure the league, and move on without a union as the first centrally controlled and centrally contracting major league sports teams.

It will also be faster to exponential increases in franchise values.

I got a bottle set aside to toast the NHL when they announce they re-brand and dissolve contrtacts and move forward with no guaranteed contracts. Dont like the NHL? play in siberia lol.
You will never get the teams to agree to relative share valuations on a central entity plus they would be baiting the NLRB into a massive labor intervention.

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11-15-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilinblood View Post
the players were best served by Graham Kelly but the players wanted a war more than practical resolution.



Im hoping Fehr mentions taking the cap off the table. it will save the stall time to the NHL filing the paperwork to remove the PA, re-structure the league, and move on without a union as the first centrally controlled and centrally contracting major league sports teams.

It will also be faster to exponential increases in franchise values.

I got a bottle set aside to toast the NHL when they announce they re-brand and dissolve contrtacts and move forward with no guaranteed contracts. Dont like the NHL? play in siberia lol.
I am so curious about the concept Oilinblood. Care to elaborate? And explain how to keep the NLRB out of it?

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Old
11-15-2012, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilinblood View Post
the players were best served by Graham Kelly but the players wanted a war more than practical resolution.



Im hoping Fehr mentions taking the cap off the table. it will save the stall time to the NHL filing the paperwork to remove the PA, re-structure the league, and move on without a union as the first centrally controlled and centrally contracting major league sports teams.

It will also be faster to exponential increases in franchise values.

I got a bottle set aside to toast the NHL when they announce they re-brand and dissolve contrtacts and move forward with no guaranteed contracts. Dont like the NHL? play in siberia lol.
Having a union protects the sports leagues from tons of potential litigation. They might want the unions to behave better, but make no mistake the leagues also want a union. It keeps them from antitrust monopoly status.

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11-15-2012, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Fehr's job is to protect the interests of his constituency. If they accept the cap, the cap will remain.

If they want to protect their UFA status and ability to negotiate contracts without additional caps on term or dollar (in addition to the overall cap and individual cap), then that's what he's going to try to protect.
He also advises and steers their positions. He cannot do it without getting them to go along, but Fehr is a very persuasive guy.

Kind of like how he spent months railing against low projections on the NHL's potential growth models. Then when the make whole went off those numbers suddenly that wasn't good enough either. What happened to the 7% or higher numbers he was certain to throw around. I know he said it was about more than that but that is just an example of how he can spin things to the players. Now if Parros got on the call and said Fehr has lost it, he has a problem. But the distrust in Bettman allows him a lot of wiggle room in my opinion. They want to believe anything that comes out of Fehr's mouth, especially over Bettman and really that is earned whether you are in the pro player, pro owner, or just flat out angry in the middle crowd.

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11-15-2012, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RedWings19405 View Post
Having a union protects the sports leagues from tons of potential litigation. They might want the unions to behave better, but make no mistake the leagues also want a union. It keeps them from antitrust monopoly status.
I know the MLS has a single-entity structure.

Is anyone familiar with how they enacted this particular setup, and were there any legal issues that needed to be cleared up in order to implement it?

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11-15-2012, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mackaveli View Post
Does Fehr even care about hockey in general? People knock Bettman for not being a hockey guy but I've never seen this comment thrown at Fehr.

I saw some clips of Fehr at the HHOF and he looked totally lost and disinterested in being there.
Fehr's a labour lawyer. Bettman's the chief executive of a pro-sports league. Obviously Bettman's not being a hockey guy is a bigger deal.

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11-15-2012, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PenguinPower420 View Post
Fehr's a labour lawyer. Bettman's the chief executive of a pro-sports league. Obviously Bettman's not being a hockey guy is a bigger deal.
Huh? Isn't Fehr the leader of a pro-sports union?

Who do you think is commissioner of the NBA? Wilt Chamberlain?

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11-15-2012, 07:03 PM
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Huh? Isn't Fehr the leader of a pro-sports union?

Who do you think is commissioner of the NBA? Wilt Chamberlain?

Bettman handles NHL affairs beyond the collective bargaining agreements.

Fehr's only job is to negotiate a CBA for a players' union and, if he sticks around, to make sure the NHL is administering according to terms. The players don't need a PA for any other reason.

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11-15-2012, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
I know the MLS has a single-entity structure.

Is anyone familiar with how they enacted this particular setup, and were there any legal issues that needed to be cleared up in order to implement it?
MLS was set up with that structure from the start.

The most comprehensive description/discussion of that structure is in the Background Facts section of Judge Boudin's ruling in Fraser v. MLS - whicj upheld MLS's Single Entity defense against anti trust challenge:

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1441684.html

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11-16-2012, 12:43 PM
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In reality, Don Fehr will have greater control over the affairs of the NHLPA than he ever had over the MLBPA. That control gives him the opportunity and the ability to achieve great things for hockey players, something that has never been accomplished in the history of NHL labor relations.On the other hand, Fehr also, once again, risks being publically viewed as the bad guy if the sport fails to reach an agreement that works for both sides
Hmm..

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11-16-2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Fehr's job is to protect the interests of his constituency. If they accept the cap, the cap will remain.

If they want to protect their UFA status and ability to negotiate contracts without additional caps on term or dollar (in addition to the overall cap and individual cap), then that's what he's going to try to protect.
If they want no cap, be prepared to not play.

At best they would lose guaranteed contracts.

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11-16-2012, 01:55 PM
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Fehr's a labour lawyer. Bettman's the chief executive of a pro-sports league. Obviously Bettman's not being a hockey guy is a bigger deal.
Well that explains everything.

Fehr is a lawyer and no offense to anyone on this forum who is a lawyer or has a relation with one, but 99% of them will drag the smallest case into one of the BIGGEST case ever. That's their job. The bigger the pie, the more $$$ they get.

I'm not sure how many of you have actually gone to lawyers but ugh... When you can go from Point A to Point B, lawyers will somehow find a way to go from A - C - D - Z - Y - and finally B. In the end they will tell you, "Oh I spent about 120 hours on this case so that will be $xxxxx amount of money. Thanks!"

So Fehr doesn't really give a damn either. Heck, he wants this to drag longer.

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11-16-2012, 10:41 PM
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If they want no cap, be prepared to not play.

At best they would lose guaranteed contracts.

I think I've told you about ten times now that I'm not a fan of guaranteed contracts per se. This is another situation though where incentive pay would help teams control that, but of course, with a capped system, it gets too complex.

Caps just make it so unnecessarily complicated.

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11-16-2012, 11:21 PM
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Marvin Miller, Fehr's predecessor at the MLBPA, found him too moderate:

"Miller never hesitated to criticize the union’s stance on issues or suggest that he would not have agreed to positions taken by Fehr. Examples include revenue sharing and the Competitive Balance Tax, both of which the union agreed to during Fehr’s reign. Miller opined that those items were an end-around on the issue of a salary cap, which, under his leadership, the union had always adamantly opposed. Miller
argued that those items effectively act as a drag on player salaries, especially when teams do not spend their revenue sharing receipts on Major League payroll." (p. 50-51)


The time to prepare the negotiations and to fix the PA in disarray influenced the decision to exercise the option on the last year of the last CBA:

"Although players had expressed a number of concerns with the existing CBA, especially the provision that required them to escrow a portion of their paychecks in the event league revenues fell short of estimations,... Fehr convinced the players to roll the existing CBA over for an additional year while he helped the union get its house in order...

Fehr wanted to familiarize himself with the nuances of the sport, the mindset of the players, their concerns about the existing CBA, and to prepare a strategy for negotiating with the owners. Thus, Fehr’s approach seemed to say that it was better to live with the concerns of the existing CBA then to immediately enter into negotiations on a new agreement unprepared" (p. 62)


Last edited by Erik Estrada: 11-16-2012 at 11:52 PM.
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