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Athletes' Disagreement -- June 8, 1999

USA Swimming's proposed athletes' agreement, called the USA Swimming Marketing Partnership, has been met with less than enthusiastic support by members of the National Team.

The proposal was originally modeled on the USA Soccer athletes' agreement, but has undergone several major revisions since it was first drafted several monthsago. The revisions, says Skip Gilbert, USA Swimming's Assistant Executive Director for Marketing, have been aimed at increasing the partnership aspects of the proposal and the financial benefits to the athletes resulting from USA Swimming's marketing efforts.

The swimmers, however, see it differently, and very few returned the agreement to Gilbert by the May 15 deadline. Said one swimmer: "The agreement seems to restrict my ability to get sponsorships and support money rather than help it. There's no way I'll sign this agreement."

Guess it's back to the drawing board.