Specter looks into antitrust issues in Owens' case

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Arlen Specter backed off a threat to have
a Senate subcommittee investigate whether the NFL and the
Philadelphia Eagles violated antitrust laws in their handling of
Terrell Owens.

Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said
Tuesday that he talked to lawyers in the Department of Justice
about the issue.
"I think it's more a matter for them than us because we've got
... a lot of matters which take precedence over this for our own
time," said Specter, R-Pa.
Specter did not say Tuesday whether the Justice Department
indicated it will look into the matter.
Early next year his committee will conduct a confirmation
hearing for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.
On Monday, Specter said it was "vindictive and inappropriate"
for the league and the Eagles to prohibit the All-Pro receiver from
playing and prevent other teams from talking to him, and he might
refer the matter to the subcommittee. He added that he was "not a
supporter of Terrell Owens."
The Eagles suspended Owens on Nov. 5 for four games without pay
for "conduct detrimental to the team," and deactivated him with
pay Sunday after the suspension ended.
Arbitrator Richard Bloch said last week the team's actions were
supported by the labor agreement between the league and the NFL
Players Association.