Last week's expulsion of six IOC delegates confirmed expectations that the organization's small fry would be punished while the big fish swam away. "When [IOC leaders] were looking for someone to blame, it must have been easy to say, 'Throw the Samoan out,' " said Western Samoa's Paul Wallwork, who was expelled because his wife accepted a $30,000 loan—later repaid—from Tom Welch of the Salt Lake City bid committee. Sergio Santander Fantini of Chile, who was also expelled, noted that of the 10 ousted delegates (including four who resigned), nine were from developing countries. Meanwhile, big shots such as Australia's Phillip Coles and IOC executive board member Un Yong Kim of South Korea survived the week.
A U.S. Justice Department investigation into the Salt Lake City bidding process continues, however, and federal indictments could lead to new embarrassments for the IOC. Congress is also joining the fray. Next month the Senate will consider removing the IOC's tax-exempt status, which could make U.S. corporate sponsors rethink their support.
In its meeting last week in Lausanne, Switzerland, the IOC adopted a change in the way the site of the 2006 Winter Games will be chosen: No members will be allowed to visit candidate cities, and the full membership will choose between two finalists selected on the day of the vote. The IOC also established an ethics commission to be made up mostly of non-IOC members, and it opened its financial records to the public. Still, real reform may depend on another new commission, IOC 2000, whose mandate is to examine and, if necessary, reinvent the Olympic hierarchy.
IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, who received two standing ovations during his opening speech in Lausanne, promptly named himself chairman of IOC 2000. He will appoint the commission's members. As IOC vice president Anita DeFrantz puts it, "What's the new IOC? The IOC without 10 members."
Cheating at Minnesota
Minnesota's basketball scandal threatens to take down a few university officials along with coach Clem Haskins. How could the Gophers keep a program running on cash payments and falsified classwork? Apparently it happened because Minnesota allowed Haskins to operate an academic counseling unit for his team independent of the one that served all other Gophers spoils programs.
"The basketball players are only allowed to interact with academic staff that has been anointed by the coach," read a memo sent to athletic director McKinley Boston by then director of academic counseling Elayne Donahue in 1992, "and the coach only anoints those he can co-opt." In 1995 professor Sander Latts triggered Haskins's anger by questioning the authorship of a paper submitted by a Gophers basketball player. In '97 Latts got a research paper from forward Courtney James—one of the players whose assignments former athletic department clerk Jan Gangelhoff claims she ghostwrote—that the professor still ranks among the 10 best he has read in his nearly 40 years at Minnesota. Again Latts voiced his doubts about the paper's provenance, this time to an academic oversight committee. Again he got nowhere.
In January former academic counselor Rick Marsden—who is gay and has filed a sexual discrimination suit against the university—swore in an affidavit that a coach (whom he later identified as Haskins) asked him to write papers for a player in 1986. University general counsel Mark Rotenberg says Minnesota hasn't formally investigated Marsden's charge because the school can't question him on the matter pending a hearing on its motion to have the case dismissed.
Haskins, Boston and other Minnesota employees have been asked by the school not to discuss the matter. But when news of the scandal broke two weeks ago, the coach responded by declaring that next year's Gophers would be "coached by Clem Haskins." Like Haskins's depleted Gophers team at the NCAA tournament, that prediction now looks like a loser.