SI Vault
Edited by Steve Wulf
June 30, 1980
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June 30, 1980


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In refusing to move or postpone the 1980 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee consistently argued that such actions would violate its charter. Yet in hopes of defusing the boycott movement, the IOC extended its May 24 entry deadline and is now mulling over limitations on the use of national flags and anthems in official ceremonies, both of which would also be in apparent violation of its charter. It is in like spirit that the IOC, faced with a paucity of rival bidders to host the 1984 Summer Olympics, overstepped its charter by allowing a private corporation rather than the city of Los Angeles alone to assume financial liability for the Games. And in hopes of rounding up more bidders for the 1988 Olympics, it may delay selection of a site for that event until 1982, a year later than the charter recommends.

The inescapable conclusion is that, pieties aside, the IOC adheres to its charter only when it's convenient to do so. In consequence, that supposedly hallowed document, like the Olympic Games themselves, has become seriously devalued.

Former University of New Mexico Basketball Coach Norm Ellenberger was acquitted last week in Roswell, N. Mex. on all seven counts of a federal indictment relating to a grade-transcript scandal at the University (SI, Dec. 10, 1979 et seq.). Five counts were for mail fraud, one was for wire fraud and one for interstate travel in aid of racketeering. The prosecution's key witness, former Assistant Coach Manny Goldstein, told the court that on Nov. 4, 1978 he had discussed with Ellenberger the faking of credits from Mercer County Community College in Trenton, N.J. for former player Andre Logan. Ellenberger denied that he discussed the forgery at that time. He told the jury he knew that Logan's transcript was being changed, but that he did not have a hand in it. Ellenberger said he knew that NCAA rules were being broken, but that he did not intend to defraud anyone or commit a crime. Faking Logan's transcript, he said, was a "stopgap measure" to allow Logan to play in an exhibition game because a new and legitimate transcript for Logan was expected to arrive in one or two weeks. The six-man, six-woman jury also listened to a tape recording in which Goldstein told Ellenberger how he planned to make a recruit, Craig Gilbert, eligible last season by faking 16 credits from Mercer through Gilbert's school, Oxnard Junior College in California. After deliberating for two hours and 45 minutes, the jury delivered its verdict. When the court clerk finished the announcement of the jurors' findings, the courtroom audience began to cheer and Ellenberger shook hands with nearly everyone in the courtroom. Ellenberger still faces a 22-count indictment, relating mostly to allegations of fraudulent travel vouchers, handed down by a state grand jury last month.

The envelope, please. The winner in the best actor category at the 21st annual Clio Awards is... Joe Greene of the Pittsburgh Steelers for his mean performance as Joe Greene for Coca-Cola. You know the commercial, the one in which he tosses his jersey to the kid who gave him the Coke. Greene wasn't in New York last week to accept this Clio, the Oscar of advertising, but when apprised of his award, he exclaimed, "What, me an actor? I'm thrilled. It's like making five straight tackles on the one-yard line to win a football game." Greene has no immediate plans for an acting career, although he will serve as a Coca-Cola spokesman. As his attorney, Les Zittrain of Pittsburgh, said, "After the commercial, what could Joe do for an encore?"


It's still not too late for New Yorkers to get a jump on frog-hunting season, which opened June 16 and closes Sept. 30. Ronald Robert, a state environmental officer stationed in Warrensburg and an occasional frog hunter, reports that along the Hudson River just below Fort Edward, "They're filling buckets with 'em. Big ones, too. Nice, big bullfrogs, although the smaller ones up here in the Adirondacks might be a little sweeter."

Before Kermit the Frog fans out there start croaking, they should know that hunting keeps the frog population in check, while providing French restaurants with cuisses de grenouilles and biology classes with subjects. Sportsmen need either a fishing license if they use hand, spear, club, hook or long bow, or a hunting license if they feel they need a firearm in case an enraged frog should turn on them. The most popular method of catching a frog is to tie a piece of bright red felt or flannel to a hook and swing it over the unsuspecting prey, who almost always jumps for the bait. Netting is illegal under the regulation that reads "No person shall use any device which prevents the frog from having free access to the water." Sounds fair enough.

It is also illegal to hunt frogs between sunset and sunrise. Instances of frog poaching, however, are rare. "In 20 years I don't think I've had but three frog cases," says Robert. "People don't say, 'Well, I'm gonna go out and poach a frog,' but they might say, 'Well, I'm gonna go out and get a bucket of frogs for the old lady because she likes 'em,' and those people might not be completely legal in doing it." Although some fishermen use the smaller frogs as bait for bass, pike and perch, most frog hunters keep or sell them for food: good frog legs can fetch more than $3 a pound on the open market. "You catch 15 or 20 of'em and dress 'em up," says Robert, his mouth fairly watering. "I can see why people down in the city in fancy restaurants pay $15 or $20 for them."


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