National Football League Club owners may find themselves bidding against the television industry for the services of their commissioner, Pete Rozelle.
For the second time in the last few months, reports are circulating in Los Angeles that Rozelle will receive a tempting offer to join a network. He will be 53 on March 1.
Rozelle acknowledged yesterday that he received an indirect inquiry some years back from a network, but said he wasn't interested.
More recently, he said, "Some friends wanted me to be considered and wanted me to consider" a position in the direction of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. Rozelle asked not to be considered.
As to the latest report, about joining a network, the commissioner said, "I have not been approached, directly or indirectly.
"The NFL has treated me fairly over the years. I'm satisfied with my job (as commissioner), for now."
Does he still feel fulfilled in a position he has held since 1960?
"I'm fulfilled. I can't preclude anything
"I'm fulfilled. I can't preclude anything in the future", he said, according for the "for now" qualification.
The commissioner, regarded as the most effective executive in sports, was given a new 10-year contract in January 1977. His base salary is believed to be about $350,000 annually, about the same as Minnesota Viking quarterback Fran Tarkenton but much less that the $733,000 paid O. J. Simpson of the San Francisco 49ers, the NFL's highest-paid player.
Rozelle negotiated the biggest television contract in the history of the industry, a four-year agreement for more than a half-billion dollars that pays each club about $5.8 million per season.
He began his career as a publicity director and was a public relations specialist for the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia.
NBC has been concerned about public relations since contractingto pay $125 million to telecast the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Congress conducted hearings to try to determine if the network would be exploited for propaganda purposes by the Soviet Union.
Roone Alrledge of ABC made the transition from president of sports to president of news after directing the coverage of the 1976 Olympics.