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Old 04-10-2011, 10:37 AM   #1
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Default Rooney 'optimistic' for deal

Rooney 'optimistic' for deal

By Scott Brown and Carl Prine
Sunday, April 10, 2011

NFL owners and players have yet to agree on where labor talks will resume, but Steelers president Art Rooney II remains "optimistic" the 2011 season will not be interrupted by the league's first work stoppage since 1987.

"It's only April, so there's certainly time to get it done," Rooney said. "But the other side of the coin is sooner or later we've got to get serious, and I hope it's sooner."

A federal judge in Minnesota conveyed a similar sentiment last week.

Judge Susan Richard Nelson prodded the sides to resume mediation for the first time since collective bargaining agreement talks broke off in March, prompting players to dissolve their union and owners to institute a lockout.

The players' lawyers argued Wednesday that the NFL is an illegal monopoly and pushed for an injunction that would end the lockout. The owners contend the players decertified their union in name only and still are acting as a collective bargaining unit.

Nelson made it clear it is in both sides' best interests to resume negotiating while she writes her order, which could take several weeks.

When asked the significance of Wednesday's hearing, Rooney said, "It's hard to read much into it at this point. We just have to wait and see what the result is. Hopefully it leads us back to the bargaining table. Sooner or later that's what has to happen. There can't be a resolution without that happening."

Management and labor have been deadlocked for two years on a number of issues, most notably how to split revenue from an enterprise that generated more than $9 billion last year.

The latest difference between the players and 32 owners, in a sense, is over home-field advantage.

The players want negotiations to recommence under supervision of the Minnesota court, in which the judge "would have the power to bind the agreement," according to their spokesman, Carl Francis.

The league wants to go back to federal mediators in Washington, D.C., where players left the bargaining table March 11 after claiming the owners weren't seriously negotiating.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league "will follow the direction of the court."

The NFL Draft is the one league event that still will take place, scheduled April 28-30 in New York. Steelers receiver Hines Ward predicted both sides will get serious about reaching a new CBA soon after that.

"I figure after the draft, once we get closer to training camp, something will get done," Ward said last week during a brief visit to Pittsburgh. "It's too early right now. It will get done eventually."

New York labor lawyer Seth Borden said both sides are jockeying for position while the judge deliberates, but he believes a deal will get done.

Borden said neither side will want to be held responsible by fans for lost time during the NFL season, even if it is only a week.

"We're not talking about killing the golden goose, but why even choke it for a while?" Borden said. "There's no chance there's a lost season."

Scott Brown and Carl Prine can be reached at or .

Read more: Rooney 'optimistic' for deal - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1J8C1ePHm
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rooney 'optimistic' for deal

Well hopefully that they can get something done and fast. As the lockout hopefully won't be dragging on where there is no NFL. Just think positive. This judge hopefully can get it done.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rooney 'optimistic' for deal

The union is going to get an injunction, so yeah, I think the season is safe.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rooney 'optimistic' for deal

And this is the first step...

ST. PAUL, Minn. The federal judge handling the players' lawsuit against the NFL has ordered the sides to participate in mediation.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson says Monday that formal mediation will begin Thursday.
Nelson has appointed Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan as mediator. He will meet with representatives of the players Tuesday, then representatives of the NFL on Wednesday.
The sides tried mediation before, but those talks broke off last month, leading to the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.
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