SI Vault
February 22, 1999
Walter Payton's Plight A Hard Burden to Bear
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February 22, 1999


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Siperco had already applied for the position, but after hearing that Salt Lake Olympic organizers wanted to provide transportation to and from Romania, free housing and a "living expense" stipend, he withdrew his application. "If I had the slightest idea that you would offer financial help from the organizing committee," he wrote to Johnson, "I would not even have mentioned to you my intention [to study history]."

According to the report, Johnson wrote back asking Siperco to reconsider—and suggesting other funding sources "not associated with Olympic activity." Siperco, whose father was an IOC member from 1955 until his death last year, never responded. "My father said he was glad he did not have to forbid me to go," says Siperco, 36. Now a communications adviser to the Romanian government, he says he spurned Salt Lake "because I do not think it's right to have advantages because a member of my family is in the IOC."

Title IX Trouble
Prof of Doom

Last week Miami of Ohio's board of trustees held a public hearing on a plan to drop four men's sports—golf, soccer, tennis and wrestling—under Tide IX pressure to fund men's and women's athletics equitably. Players and coaches pleaded for mercy, but the highlight came when zoology professor Donald Kaufman spoke up. Kaufman, 54, noted that he had won three of Miami's major teaching awards and brought the school $4 million in grants and subsidies. "I cannot abide the elimination of four men's sports," he said. "It is morally, ethically and legally wrong." He then held up a plaque he'd received for teaching at Miami for 25 years. "I cannot accept this award until this situation is resolved," he said, striding over to Miami president James Garland and handing him the plaque.

The trouble with college sports, Kaufman told the Dayton Daily News, is that schools "give all the money to sports that lead to pro careers." His solution to Miami's Title IX emergency would be across-the-board cuts in all sports. "Everybody bleeds," he says, "but nobody dies."

The next day the trustees gave supporters of the condemned sports two months to devise a plan for raising the money—as much as $26 million—that Miami will need to keep the four programs alive.

Sportschap of the Year
Arsenal's Arsene's No Arse

With the score tied 1-1 in the 76th minute of last Saturday's tense English Football Association Cup match between Arsenal and Sheffield United, Sheffield midfielder Lee Morris fell to the pitch injured. His team's goalkeeper, Alan Kelly, kicked the ball out-of-bounds to stop the action, expecting that Arsenal would, per soccer custom, return the ball to him on the next throw-in. But Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu intercepted the throw-in. Kanu, who would claim he hadn't been aware of the injury, passed to midfielder Marc Overmars, who scored into an open net to give Arsenal a 2-1 victory and a berth in the Cup quarterfinals.

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, saying his team was embarrassed by the legal but unsporting way it had won, offered to replay the game. Sheffield and the football association accepted the unprecedented proposal, and the teams will meet again on Feb. 23.

Hollywood Health Club
Let's Do Crunch

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