NFL Managers Attend Seminar On Negotiations
General managers of 26 National Football League (NFL) teams attended a seminar conducted at Harvard this week by Business School professors on the strategies and techniques of contract negotiations.
The increasing number of professional football players represented by agents with negotiating skill triggered the need for this unusual seminar, Rusty Martin, administrative coordinator of the NFL Management Council said yesterday. Martin added that the seminar instructed managers not to "depress future salaries," but to "recognize bargaining strategies and techniques being used against them."
The seminar may be used as a "foundation" for the NFL to stem conditions which have led other sports to "price themselves out of the market," Jack Donlan, executive director of the NFL Management Council, said.
"I would be surprised if the general managers didn't have positive reactions--knowing they were coming here to skew the union. I'd expect them to leave gleeful, smiling and jumping," Donald Brodie, assistant executive director of NFL players associations said.
Brodie said he was surprised by the use of "Harvard professors to determine ways to avoid the reach of anti-trust labor laws and to do injury to collective bargaining."
Donlan said the seminar did not violate anti-trust laws because the instruction did not include specific information on player salaries.
The three day seminar, headed by Donald D. Wyckoff, professor of Transportation, used the case study method by taking business experiences and refining them to football situations, Donlan said.
Don Kolsterman, general manager of the Los Angeles Rams, said yesterday the seminar had been "very helpful," but declined further comment.
Alan Webb, general manager of the Cleveland Browns, said that he had gained some "knowledge," and Ron Wolf, general manager of the Oakland Raiders, said, "I'm glad I came." Both declined further comment.