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Sunday, July 30, 2006
Two Lawyers Among Five NFL Commish Finalists

It looks like Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, who is otherwise occupied, will not be the next NFL Commissioner, contrary to earlier speculation. Nor did Forida Governor / First Brother Jeb Bush make the cut. Instead, the NFL announced today the following five finalists, including two lawyers:
ROGER S. GOODELL, 47, New York, N.Y. Executive Vice President and COO, NFL
GREGG H. LEVY, 53, Washington, D.C. Partner, Covington & Burling law firm
FREDERICK R. NANCE, 52, Cleveland, Ohio. Partner, Squire Sanders & Dempsey law firm
ROBERT L. REYNOLDS, 54, Concord, Mass. Vice Chairman and COO, Fidelity Investments
MAYO A. SHATTUCK III, 51, Baltimore, Md. Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Constellation Energy
The owners will apparently make a final decision from among these candidates between August 7 and 9. While handicapping the decisions of NFL owners is always a risky measure, the smart money would seem to be on non-lawyer Goodell. While current commissioner Paul Tagliabue held the same job as Covington partner Gregg Levy when he was appointed back in '89 (that is, principal outside counsel for the NFL), Tagliabue's appointment came at a different time for the NFL. The league had recently emerged from a major intra-league antitrust case (USFL v. NFL), which Tagliabue successfully defended (in the sense that the jury's verdict was a rather meager $1). The '80s were also a divisive time for labor relations in the NFL. A tough litigator like Tagliabue was the obvious choice at that time. But in today's era of labor peace and market dominance, a tough litigator may be make less sense than a business insider with a public relations background. Mr. Nance, Lebron James' lawyer, might trouble some owners because of his player-side experience (although the line between Lebron and the NBA as a league has certainly faded, and Mr. Nance does have some experience representing the Cleveland Browns). Shattuck and Reynolds, while certainly savvy boardroom leaders, would appear to lack the sports industry experience that usually inspires confidence.


Interesting that the final five include one man who helped move the Browns out of town (Mayo), and one who fought the move (Nance).

Anonymous john -- 7/31/2006 3:55 PM  

bla bla bla ko

Anonymous Anonymous -- 7/31/2006 6:15 PM  

i don't care at all

Anonymous Anonymous -- 7/31/2006 6:15 PM  

very interesting. Tagliabue did so much for the league so I just hope that whoever comes in can live up.
check out more sports news here.

Blogger Situ -- 7/31/2006 9:12 PM  

Just what the world needs-more lawyers in charge of organizations other than law firms. Whenever lawyers rise above their natural level of competence and ethics (heh), the institutions they manage must suffer. Take the last few Presidents who've been attorneys....

Blogger John Salmon -- 8/02/2006 11:47 PM  

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