Bisciotti's bid expected to be approved

NFL owners appear OK with him becoming Ravens' minority owner

March 23, 2000|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

The NFL owners are expected to approve Stephen Bisciotti's bid to become the minority owner of the Ravens on Monday at their annual March meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., league spokesman Joe Browne said yesterday in a conference call.

Outlining the agenda for the meetings, Browne said the league's finance committee is expected to vote Sunday to recommend that the owners approve Bisciotti's purchase of 49 percent of the team from Art Modell for $275 million. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has put the matter on the agenda for a vote of the entire ownership Monday.

Bisciotti will have the option in four years to buy the remaining 51 percent for $325 million to become sole owner of the team.

Instant replay and player problems off the field are expected to be two major items on the agenda.

The league's competition committee has voted 6-1 to recommend that instant replay be brought back next year, but the vote is expected to be very close.

In an attempt to win votes, the league is making a change in the interpretation of the rule defining what a catch is. According to the new interpretation, the controversial Bert Emanuel catch that was overturned by replay in the Rams-Bucs NFC title game would now be a legal catch.

Tagliabue is going to have a session in which each team is represented by its owner and head coach to discuss player conduct off the field. Two players, Rae Carruth of the Panthers and Ray Lewis of the Ravens, are currently under indictment for murder.

Three head coaches, Brian Billick of the Ravens, Mike Holmgren of the Seahawks and Tony Dungy of the Bucs, will lead the discussion, and each will bring an assistant coach. Billick will have his defensive coordinator, Marvin Lewis, on hand for the meeting.

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