The sad news about Dwight Gooden's cocaine involvement (page 32) raises an obvious question: Why aren't athletes getting the message about the hazards of cocaine? Why haven't the deaths of Len Bias and Don Rogers, and the wrecked careers of countless other cocaine users, convinced athletes to stay away from the drug?
Dr. Joseph Pursch, the medical director of the Family Care Clinic in Newport Beach, Calif., who has treated many athletes for drug and alcohol addiction, makes a stab at an answer. Accomplished athletes, Pursch says, tend to be confident people and, as a result, "when you bring up a Bias or Rogers to them, they just say, 'Yeah, Doc, but that's not me. I don't have that kind of problem. I can control mine.' "
The cocaine-related problems of Dr. K, the most celebrated of an evergrowing list of athletes who have succumbed to the drug, suggest that cocaine is a whole lot harder to control than these self-deluded souls think. It is time they get the message, once and for all.
Edward (Monk) Malloy, who will take over as Notre Dame's president next month, played basketball for the university in the early 1960s. He still squeezes in two or three games a week, and he has led a team in the school's Bookstore Basketball Tournament in 14 of the last 15 years. This season Monk's entry has a suitable name: All the President's Men.
SIGN THAT KID UP
Before the Holy Cross football team took the field for the first day of spring practice on March 27, strength coach Kevin Coyle lectured the Crusaders on conditioning. Coyle then said they would get things under way with some one-on-one head knocking between veterans and newcomers. He selected junior cocaptain and offensive tackle Ronnie George as first man up and then shouted, "You—No. 70! Get over here!" The two linemen squared off, and the kid knocked George on his butt. As Coyle knew, No. 70 was, in fact, head coach Mark Duffner, who starred at defensive tackle for William & Mary in the early '70s. Duffner had sneaked into the locker room during Coyle's lecture to suit up. When the mortified George found out what was up, he asked for a second shot at his 33-year-old coach. No. 70 knocked him down again.
Paul Newman wasn't on hand to accept his best-actor Oscar for The Color of Money, but the motion picture academy shouldn't feel slighted. Later this month Newman will again be a no-show when the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America honors him with its industry-service award.
Newman will be cited at the 44th annual BBIA convention for stimulating interest in pool with his portrayal of Fast Eddie Felson in The Color of Money. After Newman's 1961 film The Hustler, in which he played a younger Fast Eddie, pocket billiards in the U.S. experienced the greatest boom in its history. Now, following the success of Money, pool-hall owners and equipment manufacturers are reporting a similar spurt in business.
Irving Axelrad, the movie's producer, will accept the award for Newman, who will be busy directing a new film, and no doubt making sure the actors get their cues.