14- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday,_September 13, 1994
Federal judge upholds NBA player contracts; Grant, Magic S
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A fed- signed new deals, using contract five-year, $15 million contract with league's senior vice president for le- with it step by step," Williams said.;
eral judge Monday upheld the con-
tracts of NBA players A.C. Green,
Chris Dudley and Toni Kukoc, re-
buffing the league's claim that the
deals circumvented the salary cap.
The decision by U.S. District Judge
Dickinson Debevoise left free agent
Horace Grant in limbo less than four
weeks before training camp. He wants
his $22 million contract with Orlando
The judge said he was unable to
determine whether that deal was in-
tended to get around the cap. Grant's
attorneys said they will seek a hearing
as soon as possible.
Green of the Phoenix Suns, Kukoc
of the Chicago Bulls and Dudley of
the Portland Trial Blazers recently
clauses that allowed them to become
free agents after one year. Because
they re-signed with their old teams,
the new contracts weren't subject to
salary cap limitations.
The NBA invalidated all three
contracts, saying the players initially
signed for less than their market value
and that the one-year opt-out clauses
were attempts to get around the cap.
Debevoise decided the players'
deals were valid based on his ruling
last year when Dudley signed a seven-
year, $10.5 million deal. The league
challenged that contract and lost.
Green and the Suns filed suit last
month after the NBA voided the 6-foot-
9 forward's five-year, $26 million deal
signed on July 26. Green, who signed a
Phoenix before the 1993-94 season,
used an opt-out clause that made him a
free agent after the end of last season.
Dudley, whose new deal pays him
$24 million over six years, and the
Chicago Bulls, who signed Kukoc for
an average of $4.1 million over six
years, filed similar complaints against
The NBA considered the judge's
latest ruling an impediment to new
contracts containing opt-out clauses.
Grant's deal with the Orlando Magic
would allow him to become a free
agent after earning just $2.1 million
"We just have to show in each
case the contract is a circumvention
of the cap," said Jeffrey Mishkin, the
gal and business affairs. "All new
contracts can now be challenged. We
think this is a very important victory
for the NBA."
Bruce Meyer, who represents
Green, Grant and Dudley, said he will
show the Grant contract represents
the former Chicago Bull's market
value and doesn't circumvent the sal-
"We're confident we're going to
win eventually," Meyer said. "We'll
have the hearing and we'll win."
Orlando Magic general managerPat
Williams said he remains confident the
team can find a way to sign Grant, a 6-
foot-1O forward who helped lead the
Chicago Bulls to three NBA titles.
"We have to move on and deal
"Grant wants to be here. We'll have
to talk to his people and see what the
next move is.
Other options for fitting Grant into
the Magic's $2.1 million salary slot
include a one-year contract or a con-
tract with a two-year opt-out clause,
said John Gabriel, the team's vice
president for basketball operations.
Grant's attorneys will argue that
the NBA has approved three new con-
tracts with opt-out clauses - Chuck
Person's and Sean Elliott's with the
San Antonio Spurs and Dominique
Wilkins' with the Boston Celtics.
Attorneys for the league and play-
ers presented their arguments Mon-
day in a 90-minute hearing attended
by both NBA commissioner David
Stern and Green.
NBA attorney Howard Ganz said
the proliferation of contracts with one-
yearopt-outclauses since Dudley's deal
undercut the intent of the salary cap.
"This has become a standard oper-
ating procedure on behalf of teams
signing free agents who are looking
to change teams," Ganz said. "The
teams that are here today decided
they didn't wish to make the hard,
difficult decisions to make room avail-
able under the cap. These teams did
not have room to sign the players they
Phoenix Suns attorney William
Maledon argued that the NBA origi-
nally approved Green's contract con-
tainingan opt-outclause, then changed
"The Suns relied on what the NBA
said," he said. "To now allow the
NBA to prevail would be highly ineq-
By NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
For The Daily
The Michigan men's soccer team
(1-1-2) has been working on their
new battle plan. Spring Arbor Col-
lege had better be prepared when they
visit Mitchell Field tonight at 6 p.m.
The new formation is nearly ready.
In an attempt to create more of-
fense, the Wolverines are experiment-
ing with anew three-four-three lineup.
The three-four-three places three for-
wards up front, supported by four
midfielders and three defensemen.
This differs from the popular four-
four-two, which only uses only two
The rationale behind the change is
simple: Michigan coach Steve Burns,
who learned the system while playing
for the Detroit Wheels last year, feels
that his array of talent is best utilized
in an offensive-type attack.
"As coach I have to assess how
our players will perform and whatt
will work best," Burns said. "With
this arrangement, we take more risks
offensively, and I have a talented ar-
senal of offensive players."
Fresh off of an 8-0 thrashing of St.
Clair (Ont.) College over the week-
end, the Wolverines are feeling confi-
dent about their new look.
"It was really good for us to do so
well last game,"junior midfielder Ian
Kurth said. "We put the ball in the net
and we had not been doing that on a
The rout of St. Clair was the first
indication of any sustained offense
for the team thus far. Through the first
three games, they had not scored more
than two goals in a match, despite
using the three-four-three. The sys-
tem has led to a lack of cohesion on
the field, but that is changing.
"We're playing with a new align-
ment that no one has really played
with before," Kurth said. "We're still
adjusting and working on it in prac-
tice. Our success against (St. Clair)
was partly due to our improvement in
All of that offensive strategy
should come in handy tonight against
Spring Arbor, who Burns expects will
play a defensive game.
"They will play a four-four-two
and will try to stop us from getting
going," Burns said. "But I don't think
that they have the personnel to do
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Spring Arbor will have to contend
with Wolverine co-captains Herschel
Wancjer and Dave Nordwall. Burns
describes Wancjer as "a scrappy
player who knows how to put the ball
in the net," and Nordwall as "a hard-
working player with a lot of heart, and
a lot of talent."
The Wolverines regard Spring
Arbor as one of their lesser oppo-
nents. Therefore the new corps of
young players, which Burns regards
as "one of the strongest he has seen is
a long time," will see action this
Yeteven with its talent and cur-
rent improvement, Michigan cannot
underestimate Spring Arbor. An
NAIA varsity squad, Spring Arbor
has been formidable in the past -
they were a national power in the late