A Swimsuit Issue
Out of the Frying Pan
Should competitive swimmers be allowed to wear a Teflon-coated, neck-to-ankle bodysuit that helps them slip through water with virtually no resistance? Adidas's new Equipment Fullbody Suit looks like a luge outfit and repels water like sealskin. Company spokesman John Fread says the unisex suit, which was tested at the University of Calgary's Human Performance Lab and will sell for $130 when it hits stores in March, reduces drag by 12% and also decreases muscle vibration, which can cause fatigue. Several British swimmers, including Neil Willey (below), wore it in this year's British national championships and set five national records. The Teflon suit seems to be legal for international competition—"Assuming there's no effect on buoyancy, we probably would not object," says technical chairperson Carol Zaleski of FINA—and its nonstick surface cleans with no scrubbing.
Gambling at Northwestern
The Scandal That Won't Die
Last Thursday, nine days after former Northwestern basketball players Dion Lee and Dewey Williams were sentenced to prison for a 1995 point-shaving scheme (SI, Nov. 9), former Wildcats career rushing leader Dennis Lundy and three other former Northwestern football players were indicted for perjury in a sports gambling case. Lundy is accused of lying under oath when he denied fumbling deliberately in a November 1994 game against Iowa and when he denied making bets with a student bookie on Northwestern football games in '93 and '94.
At a press conference two hours after the indictments were announced, athletic director Rick Taylor fulminated about the "betrayal" of his school by the players involved and said, "Our only relief is that it is over." He and others at Northwestern may have spoken too soon, however.
SI has learned that federal investigators questioned 10 other Northwestern athletes about the case, but they were not charged. Who are the 10? Where are they now? Are some of them still at Northwestern? What, if anything, was their involvement? When asked about the 10, Taylor professed ignorance. "The only individuals who admitted gambling to us in our investigation were Lee and Lundy," he said. "I was surprised at the three other football players [indicted]."
The surprises could get bigger. If Lundy—who denies any wrongdoing—or one of the other indicted players pleads not guilty to perjury, there would be a jury trial in which the names of the 10 and possibly of other student-athletes who were involved in gambling at Northwestern would likely be revealed.
In 1995, looking back on the university investigation that led to his and Lundy's gambling-related suspensions, Lee told SI that student gambling at Northwestern was pervasive. "They made it look like it was two kids with a problem," he said. "It's bigger than us. I'd say there's an athlete in every sport who's involved. It's a schoolwide problem." Northwestern officials want the public to believe that they conducted what athletic director Taylor calls a "four-year investigation, a very thorough investigation." The investigation may not have been quite so thorough after all.
Art That'll Move You
Follow That Sculpture!
Every Memorial Day, thousands of visitors pour into Ferndale, Calif. (pop. 1,420). Nearly 100 of them are huge amphibians—the stars of Ferndale's annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. A whimsical contest in which artistic merit matters almost as much as speed, the three-day event matches human-powered vehicles, lavishly decorated to resemble all manner of wild creatures and odd objects, on a 38-mile course over streets and sand dunes as well as the Eel River and two miles of Humboldt Bay. Now the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, Calif., has put 16 of these monsters on display in Surreal Wheels: Racing Sculpture from Northern California, which runs through Jan. 17.