Three men accused of distributing anabolic steroids to athletes received court sentences last week, and all got off relatively lightly on the charges. In San Diego Richard Anthony (Tony) Fitton, a former strength coach at Auburn once described by a federal prosecutor as being possibly the biggest steroid dealer in the world (SI, May 13), was sentenced to 4� years in prison and five years probation for conspiracy to import steroids, for bail-jumping, tax evasion and "possession of document-making [i.e., forging] implements." In Nashville, former Vanderbilt strength coach E.J. (Doc) Kreis and pharmacist M. (Woody) Wilson, who had been indicted for illegally selling about 100,000 doses of anabolic steroids to athletes, primarily in football and track and field, at Vanderbilt, Clemson and Colgate, were given one year of unsupervised probation: Most charges against them had been dropped because of technicalities and plea bargaining.
Fitton had pleaded guilty last February to two counts of steroid trafficking but then fled for six months. Last week he faced a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine on the steroid charges. Instead, he was given 30 months imprisonment and no fine. A ledger book filed in the case indicates that Fitton continued to be involved in heavy steroid trafficking in the months following his original November 1984 arrest. Among 96 names on Fitton's ledger are Todd Carpenter, a junior offensive tackle on Nebraska's football team, and John Campbell, last year's NCAA outdoor shotput champion from Louisiana Tech. Carpenter is listed as having ordered $280 worth of steroids from Fitton on Feb. 13, 1985; contacted on Sunday, Carpenter said he had never heard of Fitton or bought steroids. Campbell, who is listed as having paid Fitton $1,198 for steroids on Feb. 14, 1985, said he had never purchased steroids from Fitton.
Kreis and Wilson were indicted on eight and 90 counts, respectively, of steroid trafficking and initially pleaded not guilty to the charges. It was then discovered that the statute of limitations had expired on many of the charges. Kreis and Wilson each pleaded guilty on Nov. 18 to a misdemeanor charge of selling Dianabol, a popular anabolic steroid. The sentencings last week seemed a rather weak warning message to those who sell illegal drugs to athletes.
LET'S FIT STEINBRENNER IN THE TRUNK
New York fans bemoan losing teams—especially their own. Hence the latest Big Apple bumper sticker: GO RANGERS—AND TAKE THE KNICKS WITH YOU.
DINNER FOR 11?
Noisy football crowds have stirred a clamorous debate this fall. Iowa coach Hayden Fry, for one, has suggested the use of sideline sound meters to determine when a home crowd is disrupting an opponent's offensive signals. But just how loud is an average crowd?
Acting on Fry's idea, SI took sound readings two weeks ago in Iowa City during Iowa's Rose Bowl—clinching 31-9 win over Minnesota and found that the crowd's cheering actually peaked before kickoff. The reading when Fry's Hawk-eyes came onto the field was 102 decibels, about the equivalent of a circular saw. During the game the noise on a typical snap by either team hovered at about 85 decibels—roughly as loud as a vacuum cleaner. The roar swelled to 94 decibels—louder than a passing motorcycle—when the Gophers tried for a crucial first down, but remained politely in the mid-80s for key Iowa snaps.
It was all quite noisy, but players and coaches shouldn't complain. According to measurements reported recently in New York magazine, 102 decibels is no louder than the top noise level in several of Manhattan's more bustling restaurants.
AND DON'T FORGET DESSERT
Speaking of which, Boston College's 255-pound noseguard, Mike Ruth, dined out with his father in a Boston suburb the other night. After taking an order of one salad bar, a surf-and-turf, a spaghetti dinner and a veal dinner, the waitress turned to go to the kitchen. "Hold on," said Tom Ruth. "I'd like to order, too."