This sort of intrigue is nothing new to international soccer, and perhaps it should have been expected after the U.S.'s victory over Canada on Nov. 9. For the first time the Americans had qualified for the World Cup with a game to spare. Meanwhile El Salvador's hopes of making it to France next summer rested on beating the U.S.
Harkes and Wegerle told U.S. coach Steve Sampson about the calls. Sampson responded by engaging in some defensive maneuvering. In addition to giving the American players code names and telling the hotel operator not to put through callers who didn't use them, Sampson—code name Smitty—talked to his players at a Nov. 11 practice. "Please understand the ramifications of any action that you take based on these calls." he told them. "You could lose your international career, and it could be an enormous black eye to the federation. Don't take any risks."
Harkes and Sampson reported the contacts to U.S. Soccer, which monitored the situation but took no action. Then, proving they'd been listening to Smitty, the Americans went out on Sunday and scored the first three goals against El Salvador on the way to a convincing 4-2 victory. El Salvador closed its locker room after the game; the country's soccer federation could not be reached for comment.
"This has never happened to me before," Harkes (code name Ian) said after the game, "but I guess it happens all over the soccer world. People talk about it all the time." U.S forward Eric Wynalda explained, "A game of this magnitude meant millions and millions of dollars to a little country in Central America. And people will do strange things when money's involved."
A Memorable Bond
Former Harlem Globetrotter Curly Neal was there So was NBA great Willis Reed. But there was no question who the star was last Thursday night at Manhattan College's Smith Auditorium. There, 70-year-old Junius Kellogg was honored for an act of courage that rocked college basketball.
In January 1951, Kellogg, Manhattan's star center and its first black player, declined a gambler's offer of $1,000 to shave points in a game against DePaul and then blew the whistle on what turned out to be a nationwide scandal. By the time the investigation was over, 32 players from seven national powers were found to have fixed 86 games between '47 and '50.
When Kellogg told Manhattan coach Ken Norton about the gambler's offer, he had no idea of the seam's scope. "I grew up in a small town in Virginia, and I'd never heard of shaving," says Kellogg, who has been confined to a wheelchair since a car crash in 1954 left him a paraplegic. "Every time I went out on the field of competition, my goal was to win. But I thought it was just a one-on-one situation. I didn't know the whole world was going to be ignited."
Among the guilty parties was CCNY's Floyd Layne, who at the time of the scandal was—and still is—one of Kellogg's best friends. A surefire professional player, Layne was suspended from school and banned from the NBA. "Life carries us in many different directions," Layne, a retired physical-education teacher from CCNY who now coaches at a Brooklyn high school, said at last week's benefit to raise money for Kellogg. "Junius and I know that each of us has had his trials and tribulations, but we've stuck together."
For four decades Kellogg and Layne have been active members of the Courtsmen, a group that counsels and provides scholarships to inner-city children in New York. They see each other at meetings once a month and often talk on the phone—usually about basketball. "Of course Floyd was hurt in the situation, but he understood," says Kellogg, who still goes to work every day as a program director for the city's department of youth and community development. "We've been stronger for it, I think. I know we have. We're friends."