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Gary Bettman welcomes Rob Manfred to Cornell Commish Club

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a news

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a news conference before Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final hockey series between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Credit: AP

I ran into Gary Bettman Thursday at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit, whereupon I naturally asked him about the fact two of the four major North American pro sports leagues soon will be run by alumni of Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Bettman, the NHL commissioner, graduated from the relatively small school in 1974 and Rob Manfred, the MLB commissioner-elect, in '80.

"There are two possible answers," he said. "One is life is full of unusual coincidences, or two, the education you get at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations prepares you to do almost anything, except perhaps practice medicine.

"It’s a great education, it really is."

(Mark Tatum '91, the No. 2 man at the NBA, also is a Cornell alum, but he did not go to the ILR school.)

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