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Thursday, March 19, 2009
Strong words out of Mobile about Senior Bowl

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The Mobile Arts and Sports Association (MASA) just sent out a strong statement about recent reports that the Senior Bowl might be moving to Tampa.

The statement comes from Victor H. Lott, the chairman of MASA's board of trustees, and it categorizes the reports of a possible move as a "falsehood."

In short, Lott said MASA and the Senior Bowl organization have not been in contact with anyone representing Tampa. That part may be true, but a report in The Tampa Tribune quoted Mickey Farrell, the interim director of the Tampa Sports Authority, as saying he had talked to representatives of Under Armour, the company that has sponsored the Senior Bowl in recent years, about a possible move.

Lott also said MASA continues to look forward to a contract proposal from the Ladd-Peebles Stadium Board to continue playing the game in Mobile. Lott acknowledges MASA has solicited additional funds from the City of Mobile in the past two years, but said that process started after it was specifically suggested by city officials.

Lott closes the statement by saying MASA "did not start these rumors and [does] not intend to stoop into any finger-pointing contests or smear campaigns."

The Senior Bowl has been played in Mobile since 1951 and has become essentially a scouting convention for NFL coaches and personnel workers.