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They come for hoops. Almost every minute of the day, Five-Star is filled with activity. After breakfast it's down to the courts for station drills, followed by games. After lunch it's more games or instruction and a lecture from a big-time coach like Iowa's George Raveling. After dinner there are more games and a late activity, with lights out at about 11:30.
At B/C, Cronauer can usually be found in his office strangling a telephone, but at Five-Star Garfinkel is always very visible. He calls the sessions together with a blast of the whistle he wears around his neck. Add his sneakers, his cigarette and an ambling gait, and he looks and sounds for all the world like a social director at a Catskills resort. When he has everybody's attention, he may throw up his two-handed set shot, or just pace back and forth delivering his messages. He takes his own photographs, setting world records for times walked across a court during a game.
Last year Garf threw out one camper who was talking during a lecture. "You're out of here," Garf said. "Who needs your ass!" Then Garf gave the campers some classic advice: "Unless you're a player like Delray Brooks, play one level below where you think you can play and two levels below where your father thinks you can play."
Garf is proudest of the 13 stations that are a major part of the Five-Star instruction. At B/C there's a loosey-goosey kind of intensity and less emphasis on instruction. But Five-Star is big on teaching. Each day Brooks and his fellow campers worked on perimeter defense with Villanova assistant coach Mitch Buonaguro or on back-to-the-basket play with Brendan Malone, now the head coach at Rhode Island, or got individual instruction from Notre Dame assistant Pete Gillen at what Garf likes to call "famed Station 13." The coaches take it seriously, the campers take it seriously, and Garf takes it seriously. "We are the best teaching-instructional camp in the history of the world," he says. "Not Pennsylvania, not the United States, the——world!" If you'd care to file a challenge, leave it at the Carnegie Deli.
Garf s employment of a selected few college assistants as camp coaches aroused the ire of many college head coaches, who feared that those in-camp aides were doing more recruiting than teaching. So in 1983, at the recommendation of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the NCAA passed the following rule: "No member of the basketball coaching staff of a member institution may be employed by or lecture at a basketball camp established, sponsored or conducted by an individual or organization that provides a scouting service concerning prospective student-athletes." Inasmuch as the B/C, Superstar and AFBE camps didn't employ college coaches, it was obvious that the rule was aimed at Five-Star. It became known as the Garfinkel Rule.
Garf took the offensive. He got a waiver last summer on the grounds that he had already signed contracts with assistant coaches. This summer, most of Garf's college assistants were back at their stations again because Garfinkel outfoxed everybody by selling his share of the scouting service, the HSBI Report, to his partner, Tom Konchalski. That was not what the NABC members had in mind. They wanted the college assistants out of Five-Star completely.
Then the NCAA's administrative committee ruled that simply selling the scouting service was not enough. Not only could Garf not have an interest in HSBI, but he also couldn't write for it. And Konchalski, a Five-Star staffer for eight years, couldn't set foot on Five-Star's campsites.
How will the NCAA police Garf's divorce from HSBI and Konchalski? What if Garf secretly acts as Konchalski's Boswell, feeding him valuable information for HSBI? What if the NCAA finds out that Konchalski visited Five-Star one recent morning to sing Happy Birthday to Garf? "There are enough college coaches out there who will let us know," says Tom Yeager, the NCAA's assistant director of legislative services. Then, he adds, the NCAA would have no choice but to prohibit college coaches from participating at any camp away from their home campuses.
"I gotta go to the wall to fight this thing," Garf says. "There'll always be Five-Star, and it'll still be the best, but without my coaches it won't be as good." Garf, after all, hired almost all of his station-masters while they were still high school coaches. It's a testament to both Garf's eye for talent and the prestige of Five-Star that most of his coaches got major college jobs after working at the camp. And if Garfinkel goes to court in an attempt to keep his station-masters, he will almost certainly call the college-campus camps of the Dean Smiths, the Joe B. Halls and others into question.
"At those camps coaches have complete contact behind closed doors," says Virginia assistant Dave Odom, one of Five-Star's coaches. "Somebody should look into that."