SI Vault
Edited by Jack McCallum and Richard O'Brien
October 17, 1994
A Good, Hard Check
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October 17, 1994


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A Good, Hard Check

A Beer-Fueled "initiation party" that reportedly got out of hand has left the Williams College men's hockey team with what promises to be a season long hangover. Responding to accounts of the Sept. 22 team gathering, which was characterized as a hazing party for new players and which resulted in the trashing of a dorm basement and a freshman player's being taken to the infirmary with alcohol poisoning, Williams administrators suspended all five seniors from the hockey team for the entire 1994-95 season. Senior captain Garrett Nannene was also suspended from school for a year. In addition, Williams president Harry Payne instructed the Ephs, last year's ECAC East regular-season co-champions, to forfeit their first two games of the season, against Rochester Institute of Technology and Wesleyan. "The line is clearly drawn, and, we expect, the lesson is learned," said Payne.

Many students at Williams have criticized the suspensions as too harsh, and the players involved might appeal, insisting that they've been unfairly made examples of. Still, Payne and Co. are to be commended for acting swiftly and decisively—and with a rare disregard for the athletic bottom line. Of course, Division III Williams has little at stake financially. What's the chance of a big-time Division I school acting so expeditiously and emphatically in a similar situation?

Model Citizen

Arizona Cardinal defensive back Lorenzo Lynch, who has sustained his eight-year NFL career by being a menace to receivers, will spend 30 weeknights in jail for failing to meet the terms of his probation resulting from a March 1992 misdemeanor conviction for assaulting a man in a Phoenix barbershop. Lynch completed just 40 of the 100 hours of community service he had agreed to perform. In addition to the jail time (he is being freed on weekends and between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the week), he must attend anger-control counseling, primarily because he also violated his probation in June by attacking his girlfriend.

One might think that all this would have made Lynch consider changing his ways. One might want to think again. Asked recently if he considered the counseling necessary, Lynch responded, "No way, man."

A Course Weil-Run

Long before he discovered that he was, above all else, a runner, Fred Lebow was an immigrant, a Romanian-born Jew who came to the U.S. in 1951 and wound up working in New York City's garment district. Lebow, who died Sunday at 62 after a second bout with brain cancer, never lost two of an immigrant's most precious assets: ambition and the sense that, in a land where a man isn't sure of the rules, he can make up his own.

Lebow's great gifts were grand vision and nuts-and-bolts pragmatism. If a project struck him as worthy, he found a way to will it into being. A one-mile road race? Why not run it down the city's swankiest boulevard, Fifth Avenue? A 10K for women? The Mini-Marathon quickly became the largest and most prestigious women's road race in the world. When Lebow took over as president of the New York Road Runners Club in 1972, it had 270 members; now it has 31,000.

Lebow saved his greatest passion for the New York City Marathon, which makes sense, for it is in every way a race of immigrants, with thousands of runners, foreign and domestic, cheered on by every group in the city's vast melting pot. Lebow, an avid runner of modest attainments, founded the marathon in 1970, using his own money to buy 10 watches for awards. That first year 127 people, among them Lebow himself, ran the four-loop course in Central Park. The marathon grew steadily, if modestly, until somebody—no one is certain who—suggested that the 1976 race expand to all five boroughs of New York City. At first even Lebow had his doubts, but once persuaded, he hurled all of his energy, imagination and considerable stubbornness into making it the best and biggest marathon in the world—it had 28,140 entrants last year.

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