When Long Beach State was censured five months ago for rules violations committed during the reigns of Football Coach Jim Stangeland (1969-1973) and Basketball Coach Jerry Tarkanian (1968-1973), the National Collegiate Athletic Association took pains to point out that the stiff punishment imposed upon the 49ers—indefinite probation for not less than three years, exclusion from postseason games and NCAA television packages, cutbacks in scholarship allotments—was for misdeeds that were "among the most serious we have ever considered."
When the NCAA makes such a ruling (and it has cracked down on 150 other sports programs in the past, including Oklahoma football and North Carolina State basketball), it releases a cryptic "summary of violations," which is devoid of names and specifics. Here for the first time an NCAA case (this one identified simply as No. 427) is particularized and the oft-expressed generalities of what is wrong with college sport today—unscrupulous recruiters, unsupervised boosters, disgruntled athletes, loose money and the desperate pressure to win—are deciphered in human terms. Here are often angry, sometimes contradictory, occasionally eloquent stories of payoffs, bribery, intimidation, fixed grades, free apartments and phony jobs in one college program. And there is one consistently repeated complaint: Why don't they go after the big guys?
Of the 74 violations charged against Long Beach State, six are general reprimands, nine involve free lodging for athletes, primarily in the oceanfront Pacific Holiday Towers, for periods of a few days up to several months, and 13 cover the most common major infraction in college sports: free transportation. Minus those 28 violations, the 46 remaining divide into 23 each against the football and basketball programs.
Of the 23 football violations, five involve Linebacker Charles Lewis.
June 16, 1974
Specifically, it is charged that early in 1971, while Lewis was attending San Francisco City College, he received credit for courses at Long Beach State without being required to attend class or complete assignments; that, without his knowledge, during the same period he was also given credit at two other schools under a similar bogus arrangement; that on three occasions his relatives were given free motel rooms when they attended home football games; and that he was given spending money by an assistant coach and a Long Beach booster, Russell Guiver.
The NCAA box score on Lewis, the quadruple-threat scholar, is impressive. While earning 12 credits at San Francisco City College, he was also gaining seven from Long Beach State, five from Los Angeles State and three from Azusa Pacific College. Without ever once attending such courses as "Golf," "Advanced Modern Techniques of Coaching Basketball" and "Officiating Men's Spring Sports," Lewis was given straight A's.
Says Lewis: "On my first visit to Long Beach, Miller and Klu [Assistant Coaches Bill Miller and Mike Kuklenski] met me at the airport and said, "Oh, here's some spending money,' and they gave me $35. When we got to the motel they gave me another $15. I thought, wow, these are outta-sight coaches. When they were showing me around the Student Union, I saw this white jacket with the Long Beach name on it, size 46, and they bought it for me for $16."
Says Miller: "It was only a T shirt, a $2 thing."
Says Lewis: "When I got back to San Francisco City College and decided to stay and get my JC degree. Miller and Coach Stangeland flew in from Long Beach and cracked up a deal right there at the airport. If I signed, I wouldn't have to go to school at Long Beach the first semester, just come for spring practice and they would take care of the grades. So I signed. They were buying me and they were buying grades.
"They mailed me my $110 scholarship checks each month but I had to sign for the last one so I flew down. They reimbursed me for the ticket and after I picked up my check I flew back. I was in Long Beach about two hours.
"When I came down for spring practice I moved in with Russ Guiver. Man, he had some crib. I had my own bedroom with a color TV and everything. Russ used to drive his Lincoln to practice every day and he always brought his little black checkbook. The most I ever hit him for was $50 because I was mellow with the dude. After I enrolled, Miller gave me a telephone credit card number to use and I had a job as a janitor at the Student Union for $120 a month but most of the time I wasn't there.
"When the NCAA came around, the coaches told us to be cool and not to say anything, but some of us started talking about the way ballplayers were being used and we decided to burn the coaches. Stangeland and his boys wanted to get on the map fast. Well, they got there all right, but not the way they wanted."
Minus the five Lewis charges, the remaining 18 against football include six involving ardent 49er fan Russell Guiver.
Specifically, it is charged that Guiver, catering primarily to three star running backs, lent Leon Burns $800, Terry Metcalf $400 and cosigned a $250 promissory note for Jim Kirby; that he paid off the balance of a Kirby loan while he was a prospect; and that he lent prospect Calvin Jones, a JC defensive back now with the Denver Broncos, about $100 on two occasions to make car payments.
Says Guiver, president of the Signal Mortgage Co. and a devout Christian Scientist who lived until recently in a five-bedroom house one block from the Long Beach campus: "My wife always wanted a boardinghouse and she got it. Our home was open to everyone. My wife kept a scrapbook of all the players who stayed with us. We didn't know it was wrong.
"When one defensive back wanted to move his girl friend in, we put our foot down. We told him that he either had to get married or leave. So we had a nice little wedding right there in our home. It's tough to turn people down. I guess I'm a softie. That Kirby could come up with the darndest stories for needing money. I began to get suspicious when his grandmother died for the third time.
"I usually gave in but I didn't always feel good about it. I helped Metcalf buy a car, a $1,200 Plymouth Fastback, but I would never do it again. I learned that you deprive a man of his dignity and his individuality when you do things like that. I got emotionally involved, I guess. I got caught up in the glamour and the publicity and the ego thing. But I'm out of the program now and I'm very disillusioned. It's not a sport anymore."
Minus the six Guiver charges, the remaining 12 against football include six involving All-America Running Back Leon Burns.
Specifically, it is charged that Burns was given up to $275 a month to assist in the payment of rent; that he and his wife were given cash for various purposes; that Assistant Coach Miller offered him improper inducements, including a job for his wife and additional financial aid for housing; that his household goods were stored for approximately one month in a storage area owned by Head Coach Stangeland; that Miller assisted him in moving his furniture free of charge; and that his car was repaired free by a booster.
Says Burns, who like Terry Metcalf is now a back for the St. Louis Cardinals: "I feel that I was exploited and cheated out of a lot of money. I'm writing a book on the subject."
Says Diahan Burns, a wisp of a woman who married Burns in 1968 and was separated from him last December: "They didn't recruit Leon. They recruited me. When they brought me down for a weekend, I told Miller that I was making $500 a month in Oakland and that they'd have to get me a job in Long Beach for at least that much. He said no problem. He also agreed to take care of our moving expenses and getting us a house. So I said O.K., but just put it all down in writing, and he did."
Says Miller: "That's ridiculous! A guy would be crazy to put anything like that in writing. I did get Diahan a job at McDonnell Douglas for $580 a month. All coaches do things like that."
Says Diahan: "They got us a two-bedroom house in Lakewood. It came with an apartment and we rented it to Curtis Biggers, a wide receiver. He was paying us and we were paying nothing. If I needed money for groceries or anything I went to Miller. He never turned me down because with that signed paper I had a hold on him. I never felt like I was asking for too much. They were killing Leon, making him carry the ball 40 times a game. They took more from us than they gave."
Minus the six Burns charges, the remaining six against football include one involving Booster John Read.
Specifically, it is charged that Read co-signed a $500 promissory note for Jim Kirby to buy a car.
Says John Read, a wealthy realtor and the former president of the 49er Touchdown Club: "I helped Kirby get a loan but believe me ours was a penny-ante business compared with the big-money operations going on in Los Angeles. I know because I'm a member of USC's Cardinal and Gold Club.
"We always told the players, if there is anything we can do, let us know. We didn't want to see them suffer. I put up a little money to bring Tight End Leanel Jones' girl friend down from San Francisco. He was just lonely. Before a big San Diego State game I offered the defensive team $5 for every time they sacked the quarterback or intercepted a pass. After the game I slipped Terry Metcalf and John Turner, a tight end, $10. They do those kind of things all the time in the Southwest Conference."
Says Kirby, now in market research at IBM in Los Angeles: "I got $50 a touchdown and $1 a yard. I had a job at a trucking company that I didn't have to go to that paid me $250 a month. I lived in Long Beach for three years and never paid rent. One vacation break I went to Acapulco on the money I was making. I took a pay cut coming to IBM.
"When I wanted something I always went to Stangeland. It was a straight business deal, like a pro situation. I came out of it better prepared for life than I would have if I'd gone through a legit situation. I learned that if people have money and they want a winner, they'll pay for it. If you project that out into life, that's the way it is."
Says Stangeland: "My major criticism of the NCAA is that they never checked the credibility of the disgruntled athletes they investigated. Kirby, their star witness, was arrested for 62 traffic citations. Had they bothered to check, they would have found a lot of other things."
Minus the Read violation, the remaining five against football charge: that as a prospect Calvin Jones was enrolled at Long Beach City College free of charge; that in 1969 Gary Wright, then the 49er sports information director, cosigned a $400, promissory note for Tight End John Turner to enable him to buy a 1966 Pontiac and that Wright later paid for a $10 parking ticket for Turner; that as a prospect in 1971 Terry Metcalf and his girl friend were given free room and board for a week in several motels.
About the promissory note, Gary Wright says: "Stangeland asked me to cosign the note. I told him I preferred not to but he came back again and said they couldn't get anyone else. I was 23, just married and new on the job. So I signed. Then, after Turner let a parking ticket lapse, the police appeared at my door with a warrant for my arrest and you're darn right I paid the ticket."
About the motels, Stangeland says: "A couple of Oklahoma State recruiters were trying to steal Metcalf. So we hid him. We moved him. Moved him again. All we were doing was playing hide-and-seek."
The final football violation charges that in March 1973 Long Beach players participated in an out-of-season practice.
Says Stangeland: "I'm certain that after a soccer class or something some of our coaches got exuberant and threw a pass pattern." Actually, the NCAA was referring to an afternoon when one of its investigators, masquerading as a basketball player on an outdoor court next to the practice field, witnessed a full-fledged football drill.
Minus the 23 football charges, the remaining 23 against the basketball program of Coach Jerry Tarkanian include 14 involving fraudulent test scores.
Specifically, it is charged that Assistant Coach Ivan Duncan arranged to have a stand-in take entrance exams for high school All-America Roscoe Pondexter and for Glenn McDonald, both starters on the 1974 Long Beach team, for George Gervin, who transferred to Eastern Michigan in the fall of 1970 after spending two homesick weeks on campus, and for Ernie Douse, who dropped out of school after his sophomore year at Long Beach.
Says Duncan: "Did they take the test? I don't know. I didn't go into the room with them."
Pondexter and McDonald signed affidavits saying that they took the test. Gervin says, "I didn't want to take it but they made me." Douse told the NCAA that "an intelligent-looking short guy, a senior or a grad student, with glasses and red-tinted hair, whose first name is Bob and whose last name is either French or Italian," took the test in his place.
The number of charges relating to the fraudulent test scores is deceiving in that the four separate incidents, applied in overlapping ways that are peculiar to NCAA rules, multiply amoeba-like into 14 violations. The NCAA evidence includes contradictory testimony by some of the players and supporting reports by a handwriting analyst and a test psychologist, but the case lost credence three weeks ago when a state-appointed official presiding at a court-ordered campus hearing dismissed the charges against Glenn McDonald because of insufficient evidence.
Minus the 14 fraudulent test charges, the remaining nine against basketball include three involving Gervin.
Specifically, it is charged that Gervin, who was the ABA's fourth-highest scorer this season with the San Antonio Spurs, and his friend Leslie Martin, a football player, spent approximately two weeks in Long Beach in July 1970; that Assistant Coach Duncan improperly induced Gervin to attend Long Beach State by offering to place his brother Claude in Compton College and to arrange a football scholarship for Martin; and that Gervin took part in an illegal tryout in the presence of Duncan.
Says Duncan: "If a kid visits a school and he's a chemistry student, he checks out the lab. Well, the gym is a basketball player's lab and believe me they check it out. It goes on everywhere. All the kids travel with their gear."
Minus the three Gervin violations, five of the remaining six against basketball charge: that five players received expenses to accompany the team to playoffs and on road trips when they were not eligible; that as prospects Douse and Pondexter were illegally employed at a summer sports camp on the Long Beach campus; that Tarkanian gave Douse $35 spending money at the 1971 Dapper Dan Roundball Classic in Pittsburgh; and that in 1972 Tarkanian promised Eugene Short, a high school All-America from Mississippi, that his family would be moved to Long Beach and that a job would be found for his mother.
Says Tarkanian: "We always took our scholarship kids along to the NCAA playoffs to practice with the varsity. We didn't know that was wrong. There were NCAA officials all over the place. Why didn't somebody tell us it was wrong? I was not involved in the summer camp. All hiring was done through the athletic department, not the coaching staff. To my knowledge this is not a violation. I never gave Douse any money in Pittsburgh or anywhere else. As for Eugene Short, I totally deny the charge. Eugene's mother denies it and his family adviser denies it."
The last of the 74 violations charges: that as a junior, All-America Ed Ratleff flew to Miami on April 2, 1971 at the expense of the Indiana Pacers to negotiate a contract and then was permitted to play for the 49ers in his senior year.
Says Don Dyer, president of the 49er Athletic Foundation and an attorney who represents Ratleff and 30 other pro athletes: "I flew with Eddie to Miami and paid for the ticket, not the Pacers, and Eddie reimbursed me when he turned pro. That's a violation, but I'd do the same thing today. It's brutal sending a kid alone to negotiate a contract. He'd be eaten alive. If I hadn't gone along, Eddie would have signed and gotten one-fourth of what he eventually got from the Houston Rockets.
"The selective enforcement of the NCAA burns me. For example, in his junior year there was a story on the front page of the Los Angeles Times about Bill Walton and his 'godfather,' Sam Gilbert, talking over a contract with the 76ers. I don't know what the difference is except that Walton gets the Sullivan Award for best amateur athlete and we get put on probation."
Contrary to locker-room whispers, the NCAA men responsible for putting Long Beach on probation were not issued tar and feathers. The chief investigator in Case No. 427 was David Berst, 27, bright, articulate and still brimming with ideals after two years on the beat. He played and coached basketball at MacMurray under Bill Wall, a crusader for a cleanup of college recruiting. "We are upstanding people," says Berst, "trying to do the right thing." Berst was assisted for a short period by Lester Burks, 38, a former Grambling basketball player who toured for six years with the Harlem Magicians. "Some of the black athletes I talked to," he says, "used the ghetto thing as a crutch, but I've been there and it's not an excuse for anything except improving yourself."
The NCAA investigators apparently were unremitting as well as righteous. "The NCAA talked to me four times," says Roscoe Pondexter. "The black dude [Burks] kept saying stuff like, "Tell us what we want to know and we won't give them enough to convict you.' Man, they scared me. They enjoyed trying to make you contradict yourself."
Says Burks: "Ordinarily you don't threaten a guy, you just lay out the consequences. But we did put a little pressure on them about playing that final year." Ernie Douse, who is now attending Long Island University, got the message: "The NCAA guy promised me that I would be able to continue to play college basketball if I told him everything I knew. I'm looking out for myself."
While Berst and Burks were preparing Case No. 427, the principals went their various ways. In June 1972, after he "found Christ" at a presentation by the evangelical Athletes in Action, Assistant Coach Bill Miller left Stangeland's staff to coach at Placer High School near Sacramento. That same month Ivan Duncan, Tarkanian's feisty chief recruiter, quit to coach at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College.
Tarkanian, who never lost a home game at Long Beach State while compiling a 122-20 record, stayed on to win his fifth straight conference title. Then on April 1, 1973, after a brief bidding war in which an offer from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas—$22,000 annual salary, construction of a $100,000 house at cost, $10,000 for a TV show, $10,000 for services as "public relations consultant" to Caesars Palace (later changed to the Las Vegas Convention Center because of image problems), use of two new cars, free medical and dental benefits and a clothing allowance—finally proved too enticing, Tarkanian left the beach for the desert.
Three weeks after Tarkanian arrived in Las Vegas, NCAA investigator Berst received a telephone call from Jim Harrick, basketball coach at Morningside High School in Los Angeles, about that school's All-America, Jackie Robinson. Excerpts:
Harrick: He was recruited and signed a letter of intent to Las Vegas.... His mother was also given a trip over there.... She was treated very, very nicely and taken to the Bill Cosby Show.... I certainly wouldn't want this to get out that I called but I don't feel that it is right.... I can't prove it but there might be a little investigation."
Berst: We certainly are interested....
Harrick: I'm certainly not bitter that he's going there, but I'm certainly sure he will not get an education.... I'm going to Utah State [next season]. I'll be the assistant up there and I didn't recruit Jackie. I was too close to him.... I know what a lot of people say, maybe because I didn't get the kid...."
Three days later NCAA investigator Burks interrogated Jackie Robinson. "He wanted to know all of the schools I had visited," recalls Robinson. "When I mentioned Fresno State, he said, 'I hear they offered you the same thing they offered Roscoe Pondexter.' And I said, yes, they had offered my family a home to live in and me a car and extra cash. I mentioned USC and they had offered transportation and extra cash.
"Afterward, Coach Harrick told me, 'You can still come to Utah State. Just mention to the NCAA man that Tarkanian loaned you $5 or something like that while you were visiting.' Then he showed me a letter of intent filled out for Utah State and said, 'Sign this and we can have that man take care of the rest.' "
Stangeland remained at Long Beach to the remorseful end. After turning the school's football fortunes around with a 25-9-1 record and two conference titles in his first three seasons, he ended his coaching career with disappointing 5-6 and 1-9-1 records. Upon resigning to go into business on Jan. 1, 1974, just five days before the NCAA put the 49ers on probation, Stangeland summed up: "Some coaches stay around too long and I'm one of them."
Among the hardest hit by the NCAA crackdown were Lute Olson, Tarkanian's successor, and Athletic Director Lew Comer, who took the job in July 1971. The fact that Olson's 49ers, 24-2 last season, would have been strong contenders for the national championship made the NCAA ban on postseason play more difficult to bear. Calling his one-year stint at Long Beach State "a nightmare," Olson quit three months ago to become head coach at Iowa. Comer resigned his AD post last month.
In a bizarre twist, it is reported that NCAA investigator Berst has "informally applied" for Comer's job. If he does move West, he would inherit the barren remains of his own handiwork. Roscoe Pondexter, and his brother Clifton, the nation's top freshman player last season, both filed letters of hardship and were claimed in the NBA's May 28 draft by the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls respectively. Forty-Niner Guard Glenn McDonald also went to the Celtics. Temporarily, at least, the glory days at Long Beach State are over.
Out in the trenches, the recruiting wars rage on. It seemed appropriate that two months ago a college all-star game called the Pizza Hut Classic should have as its site Las Vegas. Amid the air of easy seduction, the jingle-jangle of the slot machines and synthetic opulence of the Las Vegas Hilton, the recruiters, agents, scouts and hustlers of all persuasions patrolling the lobby seemed in their element. Even college players not invited to compete in the Classic showed up in resplendent garb and paraded like merchandise through the lounge.
In the coffee shop, agents huddled over their prune Danishes like crones over knitting. Talk was conspiratorial. Glances were distrustful. A rumor—the 27th of the morning—had it that the NBA and the ABA were finally going to merge and all deals were off or, more precisely, under the table.
Six-figure salaries were bandied about like digits lighting up on the Keno boards. Code words like "multiple options" and "guaranteed no-cuts" elicited knowing nods. "No other way," one agent announced with a decisive gesture. "We declare hardship this afternoon and go for all the marbles while the going's good."
Ron Delpit, president of Pro Athletes, Inc., motioning over his shoulder to where Roscoe Pondexter was putting a hard press on a one-armed bandit, said high-handedly: "I could tell him to jump off the top of this building and he wouldn't ask why until he hit the ground. I wanted to take Roscoe to lunch a few years ago and he didn't have bottoms on his socks. Those days are over. All I can say is that there are numbers on the desk. Big numbers."
Jerry Tarkanian, playing unofficial host, said, "Do you hear the stories they're telling? Girls sent to players' rooms. Free penthouse apartments. Lifetime jobs. Eldorados. And they nail me! Why me?"
As he agonized, a short, nondescript fellow "approached. "Hey, Coach," he said. "I've got a super for you. He's Nate Archibald with muscles. And he can board. Nobody knows about him. He's playground." Crossing two fingers, he added, "I'm like this with him. I can deliver." Tarkanian, uninterested, muttered, "Yeah, well, maybe," and strolled off to where loquacious Abe Lemons, coach and athletic director of Pan American University, was holding court.
"Hey, Tark," Lemons shouted. "I understand the NCAA's gonna reopen Devil's Island for ya. They're gonna give ya 30 days in the 'lectric chair." Tarkanian smiled wanly. "Don't fret, Tark," continued Lemons. "I'll send ya magazines and cigarettes in the pen." Tarkanian made more why-me noises. "Reminds me," says Lemons, "of the guy drivin' down the road doin' 60 and everybody else is passin' him goin' 80. And a cop stops the guy and he says, 'Why me?' And the cop says, 'Cause you're easier to catch.' "
Later at Caesars Palace, sitting on something called Cleopatra's Barge, a lounge hydraulically pitching and rolling in a floodlit blue puddle, Tarkanian pondered his fate. "It's unreal, just unreal. We started with nothing. I took the trouble kids that nobody else wanted, figuring that I could help them and they could help me. But there is not one case of my players getting a nickel over their scholarship. If you buy a kid, you can't coach him. There were problems, sure. I had to walk some of those kids to class or else they wouldn't go. But what's the alternative? Is college just to further educate the highly educated? I always had a bad reputation. Tark and his Gypsy Boys. But a lot of those kids got some pride and dignity, learned about responsibility and commitment....
"Oh God, it's a joke, a joke. We were raped at Long Beach. I was so much cleaner than those other guys that it hurts. The worst charges are against football and by being lumped together with them our basketball program comes out looking just as bad. The whole thing is so unfair that it has drained me emotionally and mentally. I can't sleep nights. And the worst thing is that it shatters your beliefs. For the first time in 12 years I didn't go to the coaches' convention. I was too embarrassed. I've always loved the college game, but this has soured me. All I ever wanted was to coach basketball. But now I don't know what I'm going to do."
Then, as Cleopatra's Barge heaved to starboard once more, Tarkanian said, "Let's get off this rowboat or whatever it is. I'm getting sick."
At 42, Tarkanian may be sailing into more rough weather. In the wake of Case No. 427 has come Case No. 443, an investigation of the Las Vegas athletic program before Tarkanian's arrival. According to former NCAA investigator Burks, who helped with the probe, the case is "a mess."
Ill winds have followed Tarkanian's aide Ivan Duncan into the desert as well. After exemplary 29-6 and 21-7 seasons, he resigned from Scottsdale Community College last month partly because his poster campaign to "Bring a Brother from the Ghetto" alienated certain factions. But mainly, in the gathering taint from Long Beach, it was staid Scottsdale, preserve of the rich and retired, going one-on-one with Ivan the Terrible. Ivan lost.
Now 35, Duncan says, "The NCAA thing has killed me in coaching. It's next to impossible for me to get a job on the four-year level. Who's going to recommend me? Jerry Tarkanian? I'm going to drop out of sight for a while. Maybe I'll work construction; at least those guys talk straight. When this all blows over, I'll get another shot. Somewhere."
Somewhere far away from Long Beach is where Stangeland's assistant, Bill Miller, wants to be. Today he lives at the bend in a gravel road in Meadow Vista, Calif.—450 miles distant from the traumas of 49er country. He says: "I didn't like college coaching. Working with some of those spoiled kids down there was unbearable, especially those three or four militants who decided to flush a whole program down the drain just so they could get someone. I think Long Beach was a very typical college situation. Our competitors were doing what we were doing. That is one reason why some of the things we did were technically illegal but they were not wrong. I'm 39 now and I'm looking to the future. The past is something everybody would like to forget. Miss Long Beach? Never!"
Jim Stangeland's lot is to remain in Long Beach and, he says, "Contrary to any rumors you may have heard, I'm not sneaking out of town tomorrow." Now 52, he has a new job working for his chief booster and backer, Russell Guiver, as vice-president of Signal Mortgage Co. Stangeland looks back with regretful candor. "I thought we could whip the world," he says, "but I was arrogant in believing that. We were so poor, so grossly underbudgeted. We had nice guys like Russ Guiver, but the supporters didn't know how to support. I spent so much time building the Boosters Club that I wasn't as close to the situation at home as I should have been—obviously. Many of the accusations are true, quite a few are false. But, given our poverty program, it was the only way I knew how to coach.
"I love the NCAA. I have only the most thrilling memories of going to my first NCAA convention and looking up on the stage at Amos Alonzo Stagg and all those men I idolized. They can't take that away from me." Then, slamming his hand down on a table and pointing to the NCAA national championship ring he earned while an assistant coach at USC, he adds, "And they can't take that away from me either. I didn't enjoy any of my five years at Long Beach State but that doesn't matter. What is it King Arthur says in Camelot? Let's see: 'I will lie here and bleed a while and rise to light again.' Anyway, that's how I feel."
Feelings elsewhere are on the mend. A Long Beach State banner saying THE NCAA is A FOUR-LETTER WORD has been retired. The practice of throwing darts at a picture of NCAA Director Walter Byers tacked to a bulletin board in the 49er athletic department has waned. And the boosters who gather in Lombardo's cocktail lounge no longer pay their bills under the table "because that's the only way us Long Beach State crooks know how to do it."
There is even a sort of bright side to it all in the view of John Williams, an assistant to the Long Beach city manager. "The NCAA thing has focused attention on the city," he says. "Maybe in the long run it's not so bad in terms of people knowing who and where you are."
If there is an epilogue to Case No. 427, it may be in Lois Tarkanian's struggle to understand who and where she and her husband are. Indeed, considering the complex motives and machinations involved, it may even be perversely fitting that the final word be rendered by a Las Vegas shrink.
Distraught and given to periods of crying after the NCAA crackdown, Lois Tarkanian at the insistence of her mother decided to consult a psychiatrist.
Psychiatrist: What did you think? That college coaching was all fun and games?
Psychiatrist: Well, it isn't.
Lois: What is it, then?
Psychiatrist: It's a business. A big, rough, dirty business.