ShareThis Page
Steelers

Veteran quarterback Batch expecting lockout

| Saturday, July 31, 2010

Charlie Batch stood on almost exactly at the same spot a year ago as he did Friday and warned about the possibility of a lockout and no football in the 2011 season.

"Last year, people laughed at me and said I didn't know what I was talking about," said Batch, the Steelers' representative to the NFL Players Association.

But the NFL owners locking out the players in March is becoming more and more a certainty in the veteran quarterback's eyes as he arrived at St. Vincent College for his 13th training camp.

"We're closer than ever to a lockout, and I don't think that's going to change," Batch said. "There haven't been any positive conversations relating to trying to get something done by the lockout (date of) March 1."

Batch blames the owners.

"It is not the players, and it is not the players versus the owners," Batch said. "It is the owners versus the owners because they don't want to split the money."

The 32 owners voted to open up the CBA in 2008 to try to negotiate a new one before the March 2011 deadline.

The owners want to scale back on the mandated 60 percent of the total gross revenue going to the players, citing increasing costs of business making it difficult for them to allow more than half of the revenue to go back to the players.

Batch wants to see the owners open their books to the NFLPA.

"We can't negotiate against ourselves," Batch said, "but the owners don't have to reveal their books because of the 501c6 status they have. They are a non-profit. If they don't reveal their books, then there won't be a positive result at the end of the day."

Batch said the owners are not motivated to negotiate because they will get revenues, even if there's no football.

DirecTV, which carries all Sunday afternoon NFL games, has to pay the league a billion dollars in rights — which equals $31 million per club — even if a lockout occurs.

"What is the rush for (the owners) to get it done?" Batch said. "They know they have $31 million (coming), and they cut the overhead from the players' salaries."

Batch doesn't see anyway around a lockout.

"Nobody wants to talk about the 2011 lockout because everybody is preparing for the 2010 season," Batch said. "(But) just imagine Sundays without Steelers. That is a real possibility."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me