SI Vault
Edited by Jack McCallum and Kostya Kennedy
October 02, 1995
Blood Money Conviction
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October 02, 1995


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U.S. Olympic swimmers.
Will get $50,000 for each gold medal in Atlanta. Has Mark Spitz resumed training?


Herbie Husker.
Nebraska mascot, canned for lacking wide appeal, returns to sidelines after fans protest.


Old boxers.
Victories for Bugner, 45, Holmes, 45, and Shavers, 50, who hasn't lost a hair on his head.


Anthony Mason.
Abrasive Knick who averages single figures in points and rebounds signs for $20 mil over five years.


Dan Marino.
Joins movement to buy Pittsburgh Pirates and keep them in his hometown. Bucs need another arm.


Peter McNeeley.
Signs on for Pizza Hut commercial. Must be for a pie that's done in 89 seconds.


Old Cowboys.
Mission, Texas, erects 18-by-100-foot mural of native son Tom Landry—but Gene Autry's Angels are knocked out of first-place saddle again.


Alberto Tomba.
same mag that exposed Prince Charles's soft white underbelly prints nude photos of La Bomba.


Ottawa Senators.
Top pick Berard and star Yashin hold out on NHL's worst team. Yashin can wait "five or six years."


Jerry Tarkanian.
Draws rumors of NCAA violations even before first game at Fresno State. Legends die hard.


Blood Money Conviction

The equestrian world hasn't been the same since the night of Feb. 2, 1991, when a small-time hood named Tommy Burns was arrested and began singing to the FBI about the people who hired him to kill horses for insurance money (SI, Nov. 16, 1992). His stories led to the indictment of 23 owners, trainers, riders and veterinarians in July 1994, and the American Horse Shows Association set out to suspend those who were charged.

One of the indicted, George Lindemann Jr., a scion of one of America's wealthiest families and a man who has devoted his life and a sizable chunk of the estimated $600 million family fortune to show horse competition, filed a lawsuit against the AHSA for $100 million. He hauled the association through various injunction hearings and appeals that allowed him to continue competing on occasion. Lindemann had recently switched from Grand Prix jumping to dressage and was one of America's hopes for the '96 Olympics.

But after his federal wire fraud conviction last week for hiring Burns to kill a horse so he could collect on a $250,000 policy, Lindemann is an Olympic hopeful no more. The jail term resulting from the verdict could range from 16 months to three years, and fines could reach $750,000. Lindemann's real crisis may come after the sentence is announced Dec. 18. Permanent expulsion from equine competition is a real possibility, officials say, and that would amount to a life sentence to Lindemann, the competitor.

I Am Mr. Agassi, Your Host

Andre Agassi spent more time playing congenial host during last week's Davis Cup semifinal tie between the U.S. and Sweden than he did playing tennis. As the hometown hero who was instrumental in bringing the matches to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Agassi felt it was his personal responsibility to show everybody a good time. He did so at considerable cost to his pocketbook and to his tennis.

Agassi spent $40,000 for a players-only jaunt to a water park, a catered dinner at his home in the Spanish Trail resort, several dozen $300 tournament tickets and lord knows what else. But his emcee efforts left him tired, aching and jittery when it came time to play before a friendly crowd of 13,000. He struggled against Mats Wilander last Friday, falling behind by a break in the opening set before winning 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 6-2. In the third set Agassi developed soreness in his chest. Maybe reaching for your wallet all the time will do that.

On Sunday, a few hours before his match against Thomas Enqvist, Agassi, U.S. Davis Cup captain Tom Gullikson and Dr. James Snyder decided Agassi shouldn't take the court. Agassi had been suspected of pleading injury to get out of dead rubber matches in Davis Cup, but in this case he seemed genuinely disappointed at being sidelined. Swathed in a towel and with a bandage crossing his chest, he sat courtside as his replacement, Todd Martin, beat Enqvist 7-5, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2), a win that clinched America's 4-1 victory.

Agassi should be healthy in time for the Davis Cup final Dec. 1-3 in Russia, where, presumably, he'll be able to concentrate on tennis full time.

Ryder Commentary: Oh, My!

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