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"Never, never. He can live 200 years." That's what Primo Nebiolo, president of the IAAF, the world governing body for track and field, said in July of U.S. sprinter Butch Reynolds's chances of getting any of the $27.3 million he was awarded by a U.S. court for damages related to the IAAF's improper handling of a Reynolds drug suspension. Reynolds still has 171 years to go—he's a mere 29—but last week a U.S. magistrate in Alexandria, Va., attached $691,667 that a U.S. company, Mobil, owes the London-based IAAF under a support contract and ordered that the money be put in escrow for Reynolds. Reynolds won't get the loot until all appeals are exhausted, but because other U.S. companies also make payments to the IAAF, he stands to wind up with a lot more money.
Two weeks ago, in a peace offering of sorts, Nebiolo kissed Reynolds on both cheeks during an awards ceremony at the World Championships. You might say that last week Reynolds gave him a smack in return.
Coleman had fouled the Mets' chemistry and image even before he was charged with a felony after injuring three people when he set off an explosive device in a Dodger Stadium parking lot on July 24 (SCORECARD, Aug. 2). In less than three years with the Mets, Coleman also pushed a manager, cursed at a coach, was targeted in a rape investigation that ended with no charges being brought, and hit Dwight Gooden with a golf club he was swinging in the clubhouse.
Whatever the outcome of the L.A. case—Coleman has an Oct. 8 court date—look for the Mets to invoke the good-citizenship clause in the standard player's contract and refuse to pay him for 1994, the last year of his four-year, $11.95 million deal. And look for Coleman to file a grievance, as LaMarr Hoyt did in 1987 when the San Diego Padres sought to void his contract after his third drug-related brush with the law. Hoyt won his case when an arbitrator ruled that the Padres didn't heed warning signs about Hoyt's behavior. Also, seven-time drug offender Steve Howe had his ban from the game overturned in arbitration by linking his drug use to a hyperactivity condition. But Coleman's case differs because 1) he injured others, and 2) it is clear that he alone was responsible for his actions.
The 31-year-old Coleman may have misbehaved himself right out of baseball, never mind that he hit .279 this season with 38 stolen bases in 92 games. "We had thousands of phone calls alter the |parking-lot] incident," a Met official told SI's Tom Verducci. "Thousands. Two were in support of him. We tried to trade him last year, and there was no interest. I don't know who'd want him now."
When California athletic director Bob Bockrath resigned last week to take the same job at Texas Tech, it was only natural to look for a link between that event and Bockrath's firing in February of Bear basketball coach Lou Campanelli for abusive treatment of his players. Just six days before Bockrath's resignation, Campanelli had filed a $5 million lawsuit against Cal, charging that the administration violated due process by not properly warning him that it disapproved of his treatment of players.