A grand jury in Cincinnati is still investigating Rose for possible tax evasion, and his p.r. blitz of last week—during which Rose contradicted several statements regarding his gambling that he had made to baseball investigators and reporters earlier in the year—did not in any substantial way refute the evidence against him collected by the commissioner's office. But Rose's willingness to seek help for his addiction is an encouraging sign. "I thought you had to gamble every day to have a problem," he told Walters. "I didn't really start thinking about [havingl any kind of problem until they took the game of baseball away from me. Then I had to wake up."
AND THE WINNER IS...
Not to spoil the preview that our college basketball experts have put together for you (page 46), but we here at SCORECARD already know who's going to win the NCAA title next March. We relied on the Delta Upsilon factor. Each summer the DU fraternity holds an international convention on a college campus. It picks the site about a year in advance. In 1986, DU chose Indiana to host the '87 convention; in March '87, the Hoosiers won the NCAA title. The frat selected Kansas for its '88 gathering, and the Jayhawks went on to win that year's NCAA crown. DU picked Michigan for its '89 confab, and—sure enough—the Wolverines won last spring's NCAAs.
Last week DU named the site of its 1990 convention. Let us declare, then, that even though SI's basketball staff doesn't expect them to make the final 16, the 1990 NCAA champions will be the Fighting Illini of Illinois.
THE MYSTERIOUS BINOCULARS
Three-year-old thoroughbred colt Ile De Chypre was leading by three lengths in a race at Royal Ascot on June 16 of last year when, just 150 yards from the finish, he veered sharply left and threw his jockey, Greville Starkey. Why did He de Chypre act up? If you believe some bizarre testimony given in a London courtroom this month, it was because he had been zapped with ultrahigh-frequency sound from a transmitter hidden in a pair of binoculars—a contraption that could wreak havoc on horse and dog racing.
South London car dealer James Laming, 49, who's on trial for his alleged participation in a cocaine ring run by former show-jumping rider Rene Black, says he invented the ultrasonic binoculars as part of a race-fixing plot that he claims was devised by Black. Laming testified that during the June race his brother, Robert, stood at trackside with the battery-powered binoculars and—to test them—"nobbled" Tie de Chypre with a beam of sound too high-pitched for humans to hear but ear-shattering to horses. "It was simply a case of raising the binoculars, pressing the trigger and—bosh!—that was it," said Laming.
British racing-mystery novelist Dick Francis said he wished he had thought up such an imaginative plot. But Laming insists that his ultrasonic binoculars, which contain a 22-watt amplifier and ceramic transducers—the equivalent of powerful loudspeakers—aren't fiction. Indeed, electronics experts say that such a device is plausible, and veterinarians say that horses do hear high-frequency sounds that humans cannot. Starkey testified that when Laming's legal team gave him a private demonstration in early November, the binoculars made the horse Starkey was riding go "out of control." Last week Britain's Jockey Club warned all British horse tracks to be on the lookout for ultrasonic zappers.
Laming's trial is expected to conclude next week. His defense is that he had no idea that Black, who pleaded guilty last month to cocaine trafficking, was involved with drugs; Laming says he associated with Black only because Black gave him $16,000 to develop the binoculars. When asked by skeptical prosecutors how he came up with such a high-tech device, Laming, who says he taught himself electronics by reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica, replied, "I am not a genius, but I sometimes have ingenious ideas."