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In the middle of an interview last week with Larry Siddons of the Associated Press, Juan Antonio Samaranch apparently forgot that he was the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). When the subject of hockey came up, Samaranch said, "It is a pity the Americans are so weak. They are good players, but they have no cohesion. They have no coordination between them. Everyone is playing his own game. When they have the puck, never, never, never do they hit the puck to one another. They run and shoot, run and shoot."
A long time ago, the 67-year-old Samaranch was a goalie on Spanish national roller hockey teams. That experience may have made him feel qualified to criticize the American hockey team, but Samaranch—aside from being wrong in his analysis of the U.S. squad, which was strong and cohesive on offense and woefully weak on defense—was also nibbling at the hand that feeds the Olympics. Without the Americans' Miracle On Ice in the 1980 Games, the IOC would not have obtained anywhere close to the $309 million it got from ABC for the U.S. rights to televise the Calgary Olympics.
? Ron LeFlore, the former basestealing champion who was trying to become an umpire (SCORECARD, Feb. 22), failed to finish among those few at the Joe Brinkman Umpiring School who were selected for the Minor League Umpire Development Program. LeFlore says he may now try to find a job in the Korean professional league as a batting coach.
?Last week the New York State Racing and Wagering Board revoked the license of harness driver Henri Filion for "fraudulent acts in racing" as a result of the fourth race at Yonkers Raceway on Nov. 14, in which the payoff on a long-shot triple was suspiciously low (SCORECARD, Dec. 14). In addition, the board upheld the 30-day suspensions of three other drivers: Mike LaChance, Ren� Poulin and Joe Marsh Jr. The suspensions of Jimmy Marohn and Jay Randall were overturned because their horses were not considered "strongly competitive."
?Tracy Graham, an Iowa State freshman, was not allowed to compete for the Cyclones' women's volleyball team because she violated NCAA Bylaw 5-1-(j) by taking her ACT test on a date not approved by the NCAA (SCORECARD, Nov. 9). She missed the entire season. However, at the January NCAA convention, a proposal was passed to allow a subcommittee to grant exceptions to Bylaw 5-1-(j) in cases in which a member institution provides "objective evidence" that a student's overall academic record warrants such an exception. The subcommittee will begin hearing appeals on March 8, at which time it is possible that Graham, who is doing well in her courses, could be granted a full four years of eligibility.
BILLY BENZ THE RULES
Gary Ward, one of several New York Yankee outfielders fighting for a spot in the regular lineup, missed his first three spring training workouts in Fort Lauderdale because he stayed in California to certify his Mercedes. He didn't want to leave his wife home with only one car. One would think that such an alibi might upset Yankee manager Billy Martin, but Martin seems much more agreeable his fifth time around.