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A democratic wind—well, O.K., a light breeze—is blowing through the Olympic movement. Reacting to concerns that Dream Teamers and other well-heeled athletes violated the Olympic spirit by staying in five-star hotels during the Barcelona Games, International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch said last week that the IOC will "recommend" that all Olympians reside in the Olympic Village. And what about luxury-loving IOC members? Believe it or not, sources say there was talk about having Samaranch and other IOC bigwigs hunker down in the Village at next year's Winter Games in Lillehammer. Too late—the IOC brass was already booked into a posh hotel.
It's just as well. One likely reason the IOC is only recommending that athletes stay in the Village is that requiring them to do so would be unenforceable. Athletes could easily steal away to hotels. And so could IOC members—in their chauffeur-driven cars, of course.
Syracuse University was buried under the Blizzard of '93, but the March 13 storm couldn't ice the Nike National Scholastic Indoor Track and Field Championships. The bulk of the meet took place on March 15, just one day late, even after 1) the original site, the Carrier Dome, was scrapped when the snow-laden roof had to be lowered lest it collapse; 2) a transformer blew, knocking out power in the alternate site, Manley Field House; and 3) all campus events were suspended.
Of course, it helped that meet director Tracy Sundlun's father, Bruce, is the governor of Rhode Island. As the storm raged, the younger Sundlun called his dad, who in turn called New York governor Mario Cuomo. The clout paid off. The National Guard cleared the snow around Manley, and state emergency workers restored power to the building. Then Sundlun tracked down Syracuse chancellor Kenneth Shaw in New York City. Shaw ordered an exception to the campus-wide shutdown, allowing Sundlun's show to go on.
The prize for sheer tenacity, though, goes to Amy Acuff, a UCLA-bound high jumper from Robstown, Texas. Stranded at the Cleveland airport, she bummed a ride to Syracuse with a traveler who had decided to brave the storm in a rented car. The 300-mile journey took 24 hours, during which Amy called meet officials several times and pleaded, "Hold the high jump—I'm coming." Joining 1,000 other competitors (out of 1,480 registered entrants) who made it to Syracuse, Amy won her specialty by clearing 5'10�", which by then hardly seemed like an obstacle.
Rider- UNLV (cont.)
UNLV's handling of the J.R. Rider case (SCORECARD, March 22) is a travesty. On March 16 UNLV suspended Rider, the senior star of the Rebel basketball team, after concluding that he didn't do all his own work in a freshman-level English correspondence course last summer. The suspension came three days after UNLV president Robert Maxson said that the school had investigated Rider's academic performance and found "no impropriety whatsoever." The "investigation." conducted by UNLV's athletic-compliance director, David Chambers, at the behest of athletic director Jim Weaver, was prompted by a March 11 story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal in which the course's instructor, Vicki Bertolino, said she was pressured by the athletic department into giving Rider a grade even though he deserved an incomplete.
The school did an about-face, reportedly at the urging of two of its regents, after the Review-Journal ran, on March 14, photos of two pages of a paper Rider submitted to Bertolino; the handwriting on one page was different from the handwriting on the other, and Bertolino had written at the bottom of the second sheet, "Who did this page for you? Your tutor?" Only then did school officials question Rider's tutor, who admitted he had written one of the pages.