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"It's like being a Safeway store and giving bread out on the street," says Margot Polivy, an attorney for the AIAW, which has filed an antitrust suit against the NCAA, scheduled to come to trial on Aug. 25. "The bakery next door says, 'We can't compete with that,' and Safeway says, 'That's competition.' "
"Really, there are no options," says West. "You can't compete unless you go NCAA." However, she cautions that with the NCAA money will come the same difficulties that have been increasingly plaguing men's programs. "Without a doubt, the NCAA recruiting rules will prove to be more costly than ours." Those rules allow paid campus visits by recruits, and more trips by recruiters. "And who'll pay? The money will have to come from other sports, forcing cutbacks there."
There will be other changes. The AIAW chose its governing board in truly open elections; the NCAA's candidates almost invariably run unopposed. The AIAW's legislative body and committees included student members; the NCAA's doesn't. And there is no guarantee that women will be able to exercise control over their own sports. "The NCAA is kind of an old-boy network," says AIAW President Merrily Dean Baker, whose organization remains incorporated but isn't operating any programs. At least one NCAA delegate, Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles, concurs. He predicts that voting power for women within the NCAA will never exceed 5%. "The NCAA wants to control all of intercollegiate athletics and doesn't want another organization to compete with it," says Broyles. For a while, the AIAW did attempt to work out a compromise under which the NCAA would create autonomous divisions for men and women, but, says Baker, "The NCAA was singularly uninterested."
The AIAW has sufficient reason to feel muscled aside by the male-dominated NCAA. It remains to be seen whether women's intercollegiate athletics will come out the better or the worse for it.
America may be near the bottom of the world's class when it comes to interest in soccer, but in sports television it is "recognized around the world," as a certain network likes to claim, as No. 1. During the World Cup tournament, only one American network televised every one of the 52 games either live or on same-day tape delay. That was the Spanish International Network (SIN), headquartered in New York, which sent its telecasts to 193 affiliates serving 30 million U.S. households. Of course, many of the viewers understood ni una palabra of the Spanish commentary; nonetheless, SIN made many new amigos gringos. Soccer aficionados in Richmond, Tulsa and Seattle petitioned their local cable companies to pick up the telecasts, and many fans and TV critics agreed with the sentiments of Charlie Robins, who wrote in The Tampa Times, "I've been able to watch and enjoy the World Cup without turning the sound down, something I can't say for ABC's Monday Night Football."
One viewer in Queens, N.Y., Irish-born Martin Hamrogue, was so enraptured with SIN's coverage, he went out and bought a sample of every product that was advertised during the games—including Carta Blanca beer, Tecate beer, Presidente brandy and Barcel churritos—and sent a collage made from their labels to SIN.
Aside from the soccer action, viewers especially enjoyed the familiar commercial for Coca-Cola featuring the cute little boy and the star athlete. Only in this version, it wasn't Mean Joe Greene but Diego Maradona, the 21-year-old Argentine forward, who throws his jersey to the kid in return for a Coke as the kid says, "¡Gracias, campeón!" To thank its viewers, SIN began rebroadcasting 37 of the 52 games last week.
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