Boston Globe columnist Will McDonough points out that if last year's draft is any indication, the NBA's scouting system has gaping holes in it, at least insofar as the detection of drug use is concerned. Of the first six picks, one is dead from cocaine use (Len Bias, Celtics), one has been through drug rehabilitation (Chris Washburn, Warriors) and one has admitted drug use to a grand jury (William Bedford, Suns).
Meanwhile, Bias's cocaine use came under scrutiny last week at the trial in Upper Marlboro, Md., of Brian Tribble, who is accused of providing cocaine to Bias the morning he died. Terry Long, a Maryland teammate, testified that he, Bias, Tribble and ex-Terrapin player David Gregg snorted about a third of a cup of cocaine that morning. Long also said that Bias had introduced him to cocaine in 1984 and that he and Bias used cocaine together "7 to 10 times."
Last fall Henry Rono, the Kenyan distance runner, who in three spectacular months in 1978 set world records in the 5,000, 10,000 and 3,000 meters and the steeplechase, was arrested in Hackensack, N.J., and charged with bilking four banks out of a total of $1,300 in a fast-shuffle con game. On May 27 the last of the charges was dropped, the banks and prosecutors having concluded that the whole thing was a case of mistaken identity, which is what Rono maintained all along. "The charges were ridiculous," says Rono's agent, Drew Eckmann. "He wouldn't—and couldn't—flimflam anybody."
WHITHER THE DOW?
The stock market has been on a roller-coaster ride in recent weeks. One reason for the Big Board's volatility, says William LeFevere, an investment analyst at Advest Inc. in New York City, is that investors are postponing their decisions, waiting to see whether Alysheba wins the Belmont Stakes. Why? Because, says LeFevere, the last five times a horse has won the Triple Crown, the Dow Jones industrial average for that year closed on Dec. 31 with a net loss for the year. In 1978, Affirmed's year, the Dow Jones lost 3.1%. In Seattle Slew's year, 1977, the loss was 17.3%. In Secretariat's year, 1973, the loss was 16.6%. And so forth.
Another market indicator, however, is the Super Bowl. In seven of the eight years in which the NFC team has won, the Dow industrials have gained. Therefore, because the NFC champion Giants won this year's Super Bowl, the Dow industrials should gain. But, if Alysheba wins the Triple Crown, they should lose. And where does that leave the average investor? In a quandary, where he belongs.
It was intriguing enough that Lieut. Col. Oliver North, the central figure in the Iran-contra affair, was the 147-pound boxing champ at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967 (SCORECARD, March 16). Now we learn that the man North beat was none other than James H. Webb, the new Secretary of the Navy. By all accounts the bout was a tremendous battle, witnessed by some 2,500 frenzied midshipmen. North barely won the first and third rounds, and the second was a draw.
Thanks to the Naval Academy policy of filming championship fights for instructional purposes, a 16-mm record of the now-celebrated bout exists, but it is locked in a safe at Annapolis, where it will remain, said Commander Stephen Clawson, until North and Webb are both out of the public eye. "There was a request to see the film last fall," said Clawson. "In consultation with the Navy Office of Information and Navy lawyers, it was concluded that it was not releasable under the Freedom of Information Act."
Imagine such elaborate security measures involving a three-round college boxing match. This fight is obviously worth seeing.
Amtrak's best, not to say biggest, customer has hit the road. John Madden has signed a three-year agreement with Greyhound. In return for the use of a 40-foot, $480,000 customized bus equipped with Madden-sized bed, shower and closets plus two telephones, an intercom system, two VCRs and a pantry, Big John will make scheduled stops to shake hands with and boost the morale of Greyhound employees. A nonflyer, Madden traveled largely by train for eight years but Amtrak never made use of him as an official spokesman.
One cause of the defection, however, is that Madden, who is also a virtual nondriver, frequently found himself stuck at the site of a TV assignment with no way to get to the nearest Amtrak train station, which sometimes was hundreds of miles away. On one such occasion CBS arranged to lend him Dolly Parton's bus and, said Madden, "I liked the feel of it." Last week Madden and his college-age sons, Mike (Harvard) and Joe (Brown), completed a maiden voyage from San Francisco to New York.
AND MILES TO GO
He has run and run, through periods of hectic travel and miserable weather and even arthroscopic knee surgery. Former Olympian and Boston Marathon champion Ron Hill of England has not missed a day of running since Dec. 19, 1964, when, for reasons he can't recall, he took a day off.
"Since then I've run twice every day except Sundays, when I run once a day," says Hill, 48, whose daily running streak is the world's longest, according to Runner's World. "I've got training logs that go back to 1956. Let's see, this week I've put in 45 miles, so since September 1956 I'm at 113,606½ miles, give or take a few."
Hill, who still competes in road races, became aware of his streak in the early 1970s and has gone to extremes to keep it alive. He has put in postmidnight and predawn runs, sometimes on the same day. Last July he hobbled through a 12-minute mile hours after knee surgery. "Three or four times a year I get up in the morning and think, I could live without this, but it's as infrequent as that," he says. "It's just become a habit."
Hill's streak now stands at 8,199 days. "When it gets to 25 years, I may start running once a day instead of twice," he says. "But I'm reluctant to do that. I think once you start giving up on certain aspects of your life, you're sort of admitting defeat."
A study conducted by a group of researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Md., and published recently in The New England Journal of Medicine found that men who run more than 45 miles a week have something in common with victims of anorexia nervosa and of depression: high levels of two stress hormones—ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) and Cortisol. According to Dr. George Chrousos, a coauthor of the study, strenuous exercise may change the hormone system so that it produces more ACTH and Cortisol. On the other hand, says Chrousos, it is also possible "that these individuals have a personality profile similar to that of people who have anorexia nervosa. They may be compulsive about exercise, diet and body image."
ARMS AND THE MAN
We're not sure what this means, but in Albuquerque the other day, four of the five VHF stations were carrying the Iran-contra hearings, while the fifth was showing The Winning Team, starring Ronald Reagan as Grover Cleveland Alexander.
THE GLOVEMAN SPEAKS
Lee Chilton, a.k.a. The Gloveman, has a message for his fans: Be patient! Ever since we ran our story (April 6, 1987) about his remarkable ability to resuscitate ailing baseball gloves, Chilton has been swamped with orders. "We've had a huge increase in business," he says.
Day and night the phones are ringing, and delivery trucks bearing gloves just keep coming. "We're getting gloves from all over the world," he says, "from Liberia, Italy, Australia, Canada, Bolivia, all over. We got a few in here from Nicaragua. I don't know how they got in here but they're here." He wants people to know that he regrets having to change his policy, but there is simply no way to fulfill his promise of a two-day turnaround time. A more realistic estimate, he says, is two weeks, sometimes longer for the most seriously injured mitts. "I just want people with gloves in here not to get worried or nervous," he says. "They'll get them back."
Chilton turned his onetime hobby into a full-time business in 1981 after a mild stroke forced him into early retirement from community relations work. Now his health is threatened again, this time by success. "My doctor's telling me to back off," he says. "But I can't back off with a warehouse full of gloves."
THEY SAID IT
•Ken Singleton, Expos announcer, on the new roof on Olympic Stadium in often frigid Montreal: "This is nice. What would it take to dome the whole province?"
•DeWayne Buice, Angels reliever, on his eight years in the minors: "Those towns in the Pacific Coast League were getting a little old. A couple of them wanted me to run for mayor."