SI Vault
Edited by Richard Demak
October 07, 1991
A Big Gamble
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October 07, 1991


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1. Ohio State

Jackson State

Texas A&M

Ohio State

2. Florida State

Southern Univ.



3. Michigan

Florida A&M




Alabama A&M


Any Ivy band

5. Texas

Tennessee State

Notre Dame


6. USC

N. Carolina A&T



7. Indiana


I'enn State

Southern Univ.

8. Nebraska




9. Florida A&M

Alcorn State

Florida A&M

Florida A&M

10. Kansas

Central (Ohio) State



A Big Gamble

Is baseball right in keeping quiet about its gamblers?

A few spring trainings ago the members of a major league team made the FBI man assigned to give them their annual lecture on the evils of gambling cool his heels. It seems they were still filling out their picks for the team pool on the NCAA basketball tournament.

That kind of cavalier attitude toward gambling has long been the norm in baseball and, for that matter, other professional sports. Last spring Philadelphia Phillie outfielder Lenny Dykstra was warned, but not suspended, for playing in high-stakes poker games. Two umpires, whom the commissioner's office refuses to identify, are currently on warning for their gambling activities. Pete Rose, of course, was banned two years ago for gambling, but that was long after his wagering became common knowledge in baseball.

In an article in the November issue of Penthouse, writer Jerome Tuccille details the gambling habits of former Chicago Cub manager Don Zimmer. According to Tuccille, Zimmer bet from $3,000 to $5,000 a week on football and basketball games while managing the Cubs. Zimmer has admitted to talking to commissioner Fay Vincent about his gambling, but, he told WMAQ-AM in Chicago, "I have no concern. I'm in good grace with the commissioner."

The commissioner's office would neither confirm nor deny any past or present investigations into Zimmer's activities, which leaves the impression—accurate or not—that this is just another scandal being swept under the rug. Asked why Zimmer's situation was never made public, deputy commissioner Steve Greenberg said, "We try to balance the public's right to know with the individual's right to confidentiality. In the case of Don Zimmer, we felt that everybody who needed to know did know."

It seems as if baseball is merely trying to protect its image. If baseball had an effective program to treat players and others who have gambling addictions—which it doesn't—then its argument for confidentiality might be laudable. But until then, perhaps the game would be better served if the public—and baseball people, too—knew that the commissioner's office was dealing with threats to its integrity swiftly and forcefully.

An Air of Comedy

Live from New York, it's Michael Jordan

As you have probably figured out by now, Michael Jordan's schedule is a bit fuller than yours or mine. But even for Jordan, the eight-day period between Sept. 20 and Sept. 28 was extraordinary.

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