Portions of a paragraph in a story involving alleged Super Bowl ticket scalping in the National Football league were inadvertently deleted from yesterday's editions. The correct paragraph should have read: The 54-year-old Rozelle, who has been NFL commissioner since 1960, voiced concern that (Al) Davis was threatening the league's very foundation. In his eagerness to take advantage of the rich incentives offered him by the Los Angeles Coliseum, said Rozelle, Davis is challenging the league's solidarity, which has enriched the owners. "He appears at this point to want to bring everything down," said Rozelle about Davis' challenge to the NFL's sacrosanct constitution. "He'd like it both ways. He wants a stable league, but anarchy for himself."
National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle denied today recent news reports that he was told last January about alleged scalping of tickets to the 1980 Super Bowl but did nothing about it.
Rozelle said in an interview in his office that the first he heard of the allegations of ticket scalping involving Los Angeles Ram owner Georgia Rosenbloom Frontiere was when NFL attorneys told him about it in October. rFrontiere has denied that she sold Super Bowl tickets at prices above their face value.
The scalping charge grew out of a contentious lawsuit filed against the NFL by Al Davis, general manager of the Oakland Raiders, who is trying to move his club to Los Angeles. When other NFL club owners voted down Davis' request to move, he went to court to challenge the league's right to block his plans.
During the interview at the NFL's Park Avenue office, Rozelle charged that Davis and his attorneys were leaking "distortions" of depositions taken in the case as a pretrial tactic. Some accounts suggested that Rozelle himself may have profited from scalping, an allegation that Rozelle labels ludicrous.
The 54-year-old Rozelle, who has been NFL commissioner since 1960, voiced concern that Davis was threatening the league's very foundation. In his eagerness to take advantage of the rich incentives offered him by the Los $99[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] everything down," said Rozelle about Davis' challenge to the NFL's sacrosanct constitution. "He'd like it both ways. He wants a stable league, but anarchy for himself."
Davis' attorney, Joseph L. Alioto Sr., said in a phone interview yesterday that "the only leaks of Al Davis' deposition was done by the commissioner himself and attorneys for the Rams." Davis could not be reached for comment.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that former Ram official Harold Guiver was warned to "keep his mouth shut" about alleged scalping of Super Bowl tickets. Sources familiar with Guiver's testimony also claim that Guiver told Rozelle in January about a confrontation he had with Jack M. Catain Jr., but that Rozelle ignored it.
Catain is a Los Angeles businessman who has been investigated for allegedly laundering organized crime money. Rozelle, who said he had never heard of Catain before Guiver mentioned his name, said the league began asking law enforcement authorities for information about him.
During the interview today, Rozelle reconstructed the events that have been leaked to the press. His version was considerably different from published accounts. Rozelle said that last January, when he was in Los Angeles for the Super Bowl between the Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers, he got a call from Guiver.
On Jan, 22, two days after the Super Bowl, Guiver came to Rozelle's hotel to meet with the commissioner and the league's general counsel, Jay Moyer, who was also present at today's interview. According to them, Guiver said Catain had warned him to stop "bad mouthing" the Rams.
Guiver told Rozelle and Moyer that he thought Ram General Manager Don Klosterman had told Catain to threaten him, the two NFL officials said today. Rozelle, who says he has known Klosterman and his family for 35 years, found the story incredible, he said. He called Klosterman in Guiver's presence and told the Rams' executive about the allegation.
Klosterman, according to Rozelle, said he had never heard of Catain. At Rozelle's suggestion, Klosterman arranged to meet with Guiver on Jan. 28 to attempt to straighten out their differences. According to Rozelle, Klosterman was shocked that morning when Guiver showed up with a man he introduced as Jack Catain, the very person who supposedly was threatening him.
Rozelle says that after the Klosterman-Guiver meeting, he heard nothing more about the alleged threats until NFL lawyers reviewed Guiver's deposition.