Fresh from the National Football League comes its survey of 1981 player salaries, showing an average of $90,102 per athlete, plus another $10 grand or so in preseason and postseason pay and performance bonuses.
That's a total of about $157 million. Now, let's--very roughly--calculate what that average player would have gotten under the NFL Players Association plan--impending demand--of 55 percent of gross revenues to the talent. NFLPA says the players--1,562 of them under contract at season's end--got 28 percent of all NFL income. The league says 44 percent. By the owners' figures, then, pro football 1981 grossed $357 million; if the union is correct, $560 million ($20 million per club).
Take 55 percent of $560 million, divide result by 1,562, we get the players envisioning just about doubled pay, to $200,000 a man. Or, if they accept the owners' $357 million figure, just a rather modest boost to $125,000 or so. Right, perfesser?
Meantime, just in regular-season salary, quarterbacks averaged $160,037 apiece for '81, running backs $94,948, defensive linemen $92,996, receivers $85,873, offensive linemen $85,543, linebackers $85,205, defensive backs $79,581 and punters/kickers $65,779. And that overall $90,102 average, says the NFL, is an inflation-beating 14.5 percent gain from 1980.
Baseball's Phillies again: sign reentry draftee Ed Farmer, sometimes spectacular reliever (30 White Sox saves, 1980) for three years--even as Bowie Kuhn scores Marvin Miller for charging owner collusion made free-agent signings lag, and Miller retorts, why aren't any getting more than three years?
Coincidence, no doubt, but two days since Kermit Washington's NBA retirement, Houston retired Rudy Tomjanovich's No. 45. Rudy T, now a Rocket scout: "I haven't touched a ball since I decided to quit. I'm afraid if I did, I might get that fever" . . . In this year's jaw-breaking, NHL has suspended Winnipeg wing Jim Mann 10 games, starting now. Paul Gardner, Pittsburgh victim Jan. 13, mulls suing Mann. Alan Eagleson, as Gardner's attorney: "Paul feels . . . we could pursue it along the same lines as the Washington-Tomjanovich (multimillion-dollar) case" . . .
In Paris, International Auto Sport Federation fined six Formula 1 drivers $10,000 each and 23 others $5,000 for the strike that almost scrubbed the South African Grand Prix; in return, they threaten to stop 'em all. Unconcerned: Mario Andretti, who opted off '82 Grand Prix to drive the entire CART Indy-car program.
William E. Miller II, grandson of Rosecroft's founding father, is taking over as president (chief operating officer) of the Oxon Hill harness track. Predecessor Earle Palmer Brown becomes chairman. Thomas Aldrich from Ohio Standardbred Owners Association comes in as director of administration . . . Maryland thoroughbred racing raises funds Saturday for a Ronald McDonald House near Johns Hopkins child patients. Climax: $150-a-couple dinner-dance, Baltimore's Hyatt Regency, with Jerry Hoffberger offering a free service to his $40,000-stud-fee Run The Gantlet.
A. Since we asked, harness great Niatross has had a son in Lexington, Ky., following a daughter in New Freedom, Pa., just the start of his expected first crop of 150 foals . . . Q. Female high school athlete of year Cheryl Miller, 6-2, had 105 points Tuesday as Riverside (Calif.) Poly won, 179-15. She was 46 of 50 on FGs, missing two dunks, tipping in the other two misses. Girls' scoring record?