Congress wants to monitor NFLPA's search for new director

Four members of Congress want the Department of Labor to monitor the NFL Players' Association's search for a new executive director, according to a letter obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

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In a letter dated Jan. 8, Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.C.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) also asked that a "detailed disclosure and description report" of the search be provided to the group and the labor department.

"We would like to ensure the integrity of the search process and that the process is transparent, fair and compliant with all applicable Department of Labor rules and regulations, and the NFLPA Constitution rules and by-laws," they wrote in the letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

Eight candidates remain in the running to succeed Gene Upshaw as executive director, a person familiar with the search told the AP.

The candidates include former union presidents Troy Vincent, Mike Kenn and Trace Armstrong, sports attorney David Cornwell, former union executive vice president John Spagnola and former NFL player Jim Covert.

Roderick West, CEO of New Orleans' gas and electric companies, and Ben Utt, another former NFL player, round out the list.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to release the information.

Candidates are scheduled for interviews with the executive committee next week. The list then will be trimmed to three or four finalists, who will address the union's 32 player representatives in Hawaii in March.

NFLPA president and Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae and Richard Berthelsen, acting executive director of the players' union, also received copies of the letter.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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