In addition, restrictions were placed on the number of coaches allowed to recruit and the number of paid visits for recruits. Said Schultz, "To me, this was the second step down the road. The first small step was last year [when the presidents instituted a few reforms], a much larger step this year. But there are still changes that need to be made."
Though University of Iowa president Hunter Rawlings III says otherwise (page 72), the adopted measures were widely opposed by athletic directors and coaches. A few university administrators also balked. After making a futile attempt at forestalling the ban on athletic dorms, LSU chancellor Bud Davis said he felt "like a lonely ass braying in the wind."
That wind blew all the way to New Orleans, where the football coaches were having their own convention. Said Colorado coach Bill McCartney, "The presidents have made up their minds, and they'll run roughshod over college football." Particularly upset over the training-table restriction, Iowa State football coach Jim Walden said, "If you're 19 and don't have money, you're going to steal a steak from a [supermarket]. It's not fair to take food out of the mouths of players and make them go out and eat like hummingbirds."
A more reasoned response came from North Carolina State football coach Dick Sheridan, an attendee at both conventions: "I don't think the CEOs believe we feel ultimate responsibility for the well-being of the athletes. It's as if they're suspicious that we have an ulterior motive. My reasons for supporting, for instance, athletic dormitories, are positive and pro-academic ones."
In reality, the reforms were not all that radical. Coaches must realize that the measures are intended 1) to ease the financial burden placed on many athletic departments, 2) to make the athlete more a part of the student body and 3) to help repair the image of college athletics that has been sullied by recruiting and academic scandals. As Gene Corrigan, commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, said toward the end of the convention, "We have not been out to destroy college athletics. To the contrary, I think there will be zero effect on the quality of competition. The good coaches are not going to fret about it. As always, they'll take what they're given and make it work."
DO AS WE SAY...
What do Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Isiah Thomas, Doc Rivers, Charles Barkley and J.R. Reid have in common? All seven dropped out of college to join the NBA. Oh, and one other thing. All seven have done public service announcements on behalf of the NBA's Stay in School campaign, which rewards students in grades 5 to 9 for perfect attendance.
Comeback doesn't seem to be a strong enough word. Citing "unfinished business," Jim Palmer threw to live hitters last Thursday during a practice at the University of Miami. The 45-year-old Palmer, who won 268 games for the Baltimore Orioles from 1965 to '84, thinks he can win a few more games for somebody. The twist is that Palmer was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame last summer, and no inductee has ever attempted a serious comeback.
Palmer, who owns a home in nearby Key Biscayne, began working out at Miami's campus in mid-December under the supervision of the Hurricanes' assistant pitching coach, Lazaro (Laser) Collazo, who is 19 years his junior. Says Palmer, "After the first time I threw, Laser said to me, 'I don't know how to say this, but for a guy who's going to be in the Hall of Fame, your mechanics are awful.' I said, 'Laser, I am in the Hall of Fame, and what's wrong with my mechanics?' "
Since that day, Palmer has changed his delivery to generate more power and to put less strain on his right arm, and he's very pleased with the results. "I'm throwing harder now and have a better breaking ball than I did the last year I pitched." The year before Palmer called it quits, he had to take 17 cortisone shots. "I had beaten up my arm," he says. "Well, I didn't do that last year. Last year I broadcast. You only have to hold a microphone for about a minute and 45 seconds before the game."