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RESPONDING TO McLAIN
Gary McLain
March 16, 1987
Carmine Calzonetti, the former St. John's athletic department aide who was the administrator for the Big East all-star team that toured Angola, confirms that during that trip he discovered players in a hotel room with a pile of marijuana. "Many incidents happen all the time, in rooms all over the country," he says. "What were we supposed to do, turn [the players] over to the Angolan government? I could have made an incident out of it or I could have handled it in a mature manner." Calzonetti says he did not tell the all-star team's coach, Lou Carnesecca of St. John's, because Carnesecca had left the tour to attend other engagements.
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March 16, 1987

Responding To Mclain

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Carmine Calzonetti, the former St. John's athletic department aide who was the administrator for the Big East all-star team that toured Angola, confirms that during that trip he discovered players in a hotel room with a pile of marijuana. "Many incidents happen all the time, in rooms all over the country," he says. "What were we supposed to do, turn [the players] over to the Angolan government? I could have made an incident out of it or I could have handled it in a mature manner." Calzonetti says he did not tell the all-star team's coach, Lou Carnesecca of St. John's, because Carnesecca had left the tour to attend other engagements.

Ted Aceto, Villanova's athletic director, says he has no knowledge of alumni lending money to McLain with no expectation of being repaid.

Rollie Massimino, the Villanova coach, says that while he was recruiting McLain, he was told during a visit to the family's Long Island home by the player's high school coach, Bill Donlon, that McLain had used marijuana. Massimino says that after McLain enrolled at Villanova, he heard rumors that McLain was involved with cocaine and confronted him about the matter on several occasions. He disputes McLain's perception that he was not inclined to discipline star players, saying that if he had had solid evidence, he would have taken action against McLain. "If by chance I [had known], it would have been automatic expulsion. I've sat a person down for being two minutes late to a game that meant the Big East championship. If it meant someone on cocaine, that person would not be in our program."

Rev. John P. Stack, the dean of students at Villanova, supports Massimino's contention that the coach did not put victory ahead of discipline in dealing with possible drug use by McLain. "I think if [ Massimino] really had clear evidence, not just something secondhand, like if he had drug testing back then, I think he would have taken action," Stack says. But Stack, who confirms that he also confronted McLain on the subject, concedes that at the time, Massimino "was maybe not as up on drugs and the drug culture as he was on his X's and O's." Of McLain's coming forward with the story of his drug involvement, Stack says, "If what he's doing is a genuine attempt to help other people, then that's a great thing, and I don't think this school is going to suffer from that. Because certainly since the Len Bias thing, a lot of what has been written and read has deterred other people. I think what will amaze people is that he could have kept playing at the level he did and was on [cocaine] as much as he apparently was."

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