Appearances to the contrary, the indictments of seven men on drug trafficking charges last week by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh gave baseball's brass little cause to breathe easier. True, no ballplayers were indicted or named as un-indicted co-conspirators, and players weren't even alluded to in initial court appearances. But the potential for embarrassment to the game is still there. If and when the cases of the seven accused men go to trial, ballplayers may well be called as witnesses. Twenty to 30 players were questioned during the investigation that led to the indictments, and most or all of them got immunity from prosecution in return for their cooperation.
SI has learned details of the government's case against the seven suspected dealers. Investigators turned up evidence that cocaine was sold to ballplayers in virtually every National League city. Law-enforcement officials say drug deals involving ballplayers were so routine that those who cooperated in the investigation often had trouble providing specific information about transactions. They said that in some cases the athletes were able to pin down sales by recalling who the opposing pitcher was on a given date.
Players usually bought cocaine in relatively small quantities, and one source said they deliberately shied away from larger purchases. "They didn't want to be arrested and labeled dealers," the source said. "They know if it's small quantities they won't go to jail and they'll go into some kind of treatment program." But the small, frequent transactions apparently added up. The prosecutors have information that one big league player spent more than $100,000 on drugs in a single year.
The super schoolboy basketball team from Baltimore's Dunbar High, everybody's choice as this year's mythical national champion, finally met its match—Dunbar High. Coach Bob Wade pitted his 29-1 Poets in a postseason exhibition against his 31-0 squad of two years ago. He rounded up alumni from Tennessee, Wake Forest, Syracuse and other points. But the crowd packed into the tiny school gym cheered loudest for a couple of short-hop travelers up from Georgetown: David Wingate, who actually graduated in '82, and Reggie Williams.
The postgrad Poets were so packed with power that, to even things out a little, Wingate and UNLV's Gary Graham suited up with the '84-85 team. Led by Terry and Perry Dozier—nearly 14 feet of twin brothers headed for South Carolina next fall—and Western Kentucky recruit Kirk Lee, this season's Poets pushed to an 11-point lead with five minutes to play. But the veterans rallied, and Wake Forest's Tyrone (Muggsy) Bogues sealed the victory for them with a length-of-the-court drive for a basket in the closing seconds. "Fresh," said Muggsy, who has picked up expressions like that in college.
Final score: a pro-style 131-128, suggesting that the "D" is silent in Dunbar.
WATER FOLLIES OF 1985
In undertaking a $100 million rehabilitation of its outdoor swimming pools, New York City has committed the design equivalent of renovating Yankee Stadium and leaving out leftfield. Five of the pools being refurbished were built with WPA funds in the 1930s and were designed to conform to Olympic specs. In the overhaul of three of them, architects added filtration systems that lopped a meter off the regulation 50, making the pools useless for official competition.