National Football League owners are working behind the scenes to strip the San Francisco 49ers of their first-round draft choice as further punishment for paying player bonuses, the Boston Sunday Globe reported.
The move is in response to a belief NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle did not take strong enough action against 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo in levying a $50,000 fine for violating league rules that bar bonuses as an incentive to win a particular game or series of games.
NFL owners reportedly are miffed that Rozelle allowed the players to retain the money and are trying to round up enough votes to mandate tougher sanctions at a March owners' meeting, the newspaper said.
DeBartolo offered the bonus money, which amounted to $10,000 per player, after the 24-day players strike. He promised to match the first-round playoff bonus if the squad made it to postseason play.
The 49ers lost to the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC divisional round . . .
The NFL Players Association lost nearly $1.2 million in a series of investments between 1978 and 1985, the Pittsburgh Press reported.
The losses were disclosed in a financial report that reportedly was misplaced in a cardboard box at union headquarters before being filed with the U.S. Labor Department two months ago, the Press said in a copyright story.
The investment losses, stemming from the NFLPA's operation of summer sports camps through a for-profit subsidiary, were revealed in the union's 1986 financial report submitted to the Department of Labor, the newspaper said. The paper said the report was filed last Nov. 10 -- 18 months late -- after players decided to abandon their strike against NFL owners.