U of M Worried About Deal

University of Minnesota officials are relaying some concerns over the unsettled condition of the Vikings ownership, which could have some problems with their cooperation in a new stadium.

Rumors are always a bad part of sports. In the case of unsigned rookie Bryant McKinnie, rumors began circulating early that the Vikings wouldn't be willing to pay the kind of money other teams were in doling out huge signing bonuses and rumors of the hard-line stance shown in the past by McKinnie's agents started both sides on the wrong foot.

In the intervening months, the talk has become more pointed and more beligerant, as the two sides show no signs of letting it rest. So it is that rumors about the future of the Vikings could potentially cause a snag in the commitment of the University of Minnesota to a new stadium.

The U of M Board of Regents met Thursday, and the discussion centered around rumors that the Vikings might move to Los Angeles or that Red McCombs might sell the team. Neither is a pleasant thought for the board of regents, because the fear is that the U of M might get stuck with more of a tab than it wants or is willing to pay.

However, what the regents seem to be missing is that all of the talk of a move to Los Angeles and of McCombs selling the team have been tied to the Vikings not having a new stadium deal. If the university and the Vikings create a unified front, McCombs will assure that the Vikings remain in Minnesota and, in the event that he should sell the team, it would be clearly stated in any purchase agreement that any new owner would have to paying the tab for buying the team.

Hopefully, this isn´t just posturing by the university. A deal can get done and should get done, without letting rumors run the day.

* With the signing of 12th overall pick Wendell Bryant Thursday by Arizona, McKinnie remains the lone unsigned first-round pick.
* As of Sunday, McKinnie will have tied the length of the holdout of Jim Steiner and Ben Dogra's client from last year – Cincinnati DE Justin Smith.
* The Vikings suddenly have to worry about somebody new in the Buffalo offense – RB Travis Henry. His 149 rushing yards last week vs. the Jets was the most in a decade for the Bills – in 1992 Kenneth Davis ran for 181 yards.
* The Vikings are playing a numbers game this week. Whether purchased or not, Greg Biekert got his No. 54 from Antonio Wilson. Biekert wore No. 54 at Oakland. Lemanski Hall has been assigned No. 55 and Wilson will now wear No. 59. Biekert wore No. 55 in the opener vs. Chicago.
* Byron Chamberlain is likely going to sit out Sunday's game to allow his ailing PCL in his knee to heal.
* Punt returner Nick Davis has been scratched for Sunday's game. D'Wayne Bates will return punts.

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