Smith, who had been working with his nine-member staff full time since November in preparing for arbitration cases, attributes his success at the hearings to "intense preparation and good presentation." Indeed, so effective was Smith that one player who went up against him in arbitration reportedly confided later that he was almost swayed by Smith's arguments. But then, Smith may also partly owe his success to a willingness to offer slightly bigger raises than did negotiators for other teams. While the seven players he beat in arbitration received, even in defeat, salary increases averaging $118,000, the average raises of the seven players who lost in cases in which Smith wasn't present on management's side received raises averaging "only" $95,000.
A DREAM FULFILLED
Betty Ruth Goza of Lilburn, Ga. is a rabid basketball fan who has long had a special admiration for North Carolina Coach Dean Smith. However, Mrs. Goza's basketball-playing son, Lee, a 6'9" center, didn't get recruited by Smith, so he enrolled at Georgia Tech. Last week, during a 77-54 Tech loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Lee Goza, now a senior, took an inbounds pass from teammate Brook Steppe to start the second half and, confused by the Tar Heels' man-to-man press, drove toward his own basket and scored a layup for North Carolina. The partisan Tar Heel crowd went bonkers, the other Tech players were mortified and Goza flashed a pained expression. But he regained his composure by the time the game ended. "I wish Mom could have seen it," he said brightly of his embarrassing moment on the court. "She always wanted me to score for North Carolina."