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AN OLYMPIC-SIZED CIVIL WAR BREWING WITHIN THE USOC?
Published October 17, 1996
The October 27 quadrennial election of USOC officers and public sector members in Indianapolis, has produced not only contests for nearly every position, "but also a year's worth of charges and countercharges," according to Philip Hersh in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Some in the USOC see this as a "healthy example of democracy at work," but others wonder if it will harm the USOC, "whose funding depends to considerable extent on its image as a guardian to the athletic talents of young U.S. men and women." Most of the controversy centers on the contest between William Hybl and Michael Lenard for president. USOC Exec Committee Member Marty Mankamyer, who claims to be Lenard's campaign manager, accuses Hybl of trying to win the election via grants from his CO-based El Pomar Foundation. Hybl's supporters "suggest" Lenard's campaign is "manipulated" by Turner Sports President Harvey Schiller, for "apparent purposes of rebuilding his power base within" the USOC. FROM THE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR: The "cumbersome task" of merging the winner's ideas with the daily operations of the USOC will belong to USOC Exec Dir Dick Schultz. Hersh notes "some fence- mending already was necessary" after a recent unattributed story in the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph suggested that Schiller was using Lenard's campaign as a "springboard back to Schultz's job." Both Schiller and Lenard called Schultz to deny and apologize about the story and "express their support" for Schultz. Hersh notes that Schiller did write a confidential letter to Nominating Chair Dwight Bell on Turner Sports letterhead endorsing Lenard. Schiller denied any "conflict" with the letter adding, "It should not have any implied consent of the company." But outgoing USOC President Dr. LeRoy Walker said, "I am concerned about that letter. It is questionable in the minds of many people because of our business relationships with Turner" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/16).