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There has been much talk lately about the possibility of Hakeem Olajuwon (page 28) playing for the U.S. in the 1996 Olympics. But barring a successful appeal of a recent ruling by FIBA, the international governing body of basketball, it's just not going to happen.
The Nigerian-born Olajuwon, who became an American citizen in April, faces two obstacles in his appeal. First, as a 17-year-old in 1980, he competed for the Nigerian junior national team in the All- Africa Games. FIBA's bylaws state that any player who has participated in international competition for one country cannot play in international competition for another country. Through the years FIBA has assiduously enforced that rule, which is designed to keep athletes from jumping countries, either for money or to better their chances of winning a gold medal. Rare exceptions have been granted to players from the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and East Germany, instances in which entire nations broke up.
Second, Olajuwon was one month late in turning in his application to FIBA to change his basketball nationality. FIBA guidelines require a player to sit out three years before he is eligible to play for his new country, and Olajuwon did not file until September of this year—the Atlanta Games are set for August 1996. Perhaps FIBA would be willing to overlook one of these elements but almost certainly not both.
Dave at the Brickyard
Maybe you saw the news that David Letterman, a longtime fan of auto racing, is thinking about financing his own Indy Car racing team. We know we shouldn't attempt this. We know it has been overdone. We know we'll never make it as funny as Dave would. But we can't resist presenting...
The Top 10 Reasons Dave Is Thinking About Buying an Indy Team:
10) Leno has his Harleys—we want something that makes even more noise!
It's clear who came out as the losers in the recently settled NHL officials strike—the fans and the players. For an agonizing 16-day period fans watched a product that was damaged by the corps of replacement officials, whose inconsistency and incompetence robbed most games of any flow.