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Union hires bank to help with league financial data

WASHINGTON — The players association has retained an investment bank to help it decide whether the league's offer to reveal more financial information will be enough to satisfy the union's call for full disclosure in talks for a new collective bargaining agreement.

Zeroing in on the crux of the labor dispute — how to split $9 billion in revenue — union executive committee member and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita said in a telephone interview Tuesday that what the NFL has turned over "hasn't been sufficient." Executive committee member and Colts center Jeff Saturday said as he left the mediation session the bank would "judge how helpful the material" the NFL offered would be.

Tuesday's session lasted 91/2 hours, the longest session since federal mediator George Cohen began overseeing the talks Feb. 18. The current collective bargaining agreement was set to expire last week. Two extensions have pushed the cutoff to the end of Friday.

The union has not agreed to major economic concessions, and the league has not agreed to completely open its books.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league would not react to Fujita's comments or the union's bank announcement.

Bucs coach Raheem Morris said he is focused on preparing for the draft, which will be held next month regardless of whether a new agreement is in place, but he is optimistic an agreement will be reached soon.

"I'm always positive. It's never doom and gloom here," he said.

NFL Films head recovering: NFL Films president Steve Sabol is recovering from a seizure in Kansas City, Mo. Sabol, 68, was stricken Saturday night and taken to a hospital. He had tests and was alert Monday, league spokesman Greg Aiello said. Steve's father, Ed, founded NFL Films; Steve began working for him in 1964. Steve has won several Emmy Awards.

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report.

Union hires bank to help with league financial data 03/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 9:11pm]
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