Race for NFL union head in home stretch

March 11, 2009 at 12:11 PM
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MAUI, Hawaii, March 11 (UPI) -- The candidates to head of the NFL Players Association agreed that the union will have to present a united front as it heads into negotiations with the owners.

Four hopefuls are scheduled make their case to a meeting of player representatives in Hawaii Sunday who will then select a new executive director to succeed the late Gene Upshaw.

The four candidates told USA Today in separate interviews that getting all of the union's ducks in a row prior to the negotiations with NFL owners on a new collective bargaining agreement was imperative.

"I think Issue One is to make sure our house is in order," said David Cornwell, a veteran sports attorney who frequently represents individual players in cases involving the NFL drug policy. "That we have the structure in place ... a clear understanding of everybody's point of view. It's only then that we'll have the strength

and unity to confront the next issue, which is the CBA."

Along with Cornwell, the player reps meeting on Maui will hear from former players Trace Armstrong and Troy Vincent as well as another lawyer, DeMaurice Smith.

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