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).
The U.S. Men's National Soccer Team is in "turmoil,"
according to Grahame Jones of the L.A. TIMES, because starting
players are holding out in a dispute over the amount of bonus
money paid to players for national team appearances.
Negotiations between the U.S. Soccer Federation and its players,
via their agents, "are at an apparent impasse, with neither side
willing to budge." In a statement issued last Friday, the
federation said "the time for negotiating is over." The USSF
then named a 21-player team made up of second-and third-string
players to travel to Peru for warmup game before World Cup
qualifying games begin November 3. The USSF statement added that
agents have "rejected our efforts which would have produced
national team soccer players who would have been among the most
highly compensated in the world" (L.A. TIMES, 10/16).