COCAINE CONNECTIONS II
This is an article from the Feb. 6, 1989 issue
In the Dec. 12, 1988, issue, SI reported that NFL investigators had ignored evidence that Miami Dolphin wide receiver Mark Duper had consorted with drug dealers as far back as 1986. Two months later, the league still seems slow to follow up on leads. SI has been told by a Fort Lauderdale attorney that two weeks ago an NFL investigator showed little interest in information offered by the lawyer regarding cocaine use in the league.
The attorney, former Florida Assistant State Attorney Herbert M. Cohen, represents Ricky Arroyo, 29, who has admitted to selling cocaine and has told of using coke with both Duper and another Dolphin, All-Pro wide receiver Mark Clayton. "We tried to tell the league our story," Cohen told SI's Robert Sullivan. "A couple days before the Super Bowl, I was talking to John Bellizzi [executive director of the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association], and he said I should tell [NFL assistant security director] Charlie Jackson what I knew. I agreed." Bellizzi went to Jackson, and according to Bellizzi, "[Jackson's] reaction appeared to be 'no interest.' He said he'd get back to me but didn't. I was surprised. They should have jumped at it."
NFL spokesman Joe Browne responds, "It was literally days before the Super Bowl, and we weren't going to drop everything to speak to him. We would be interested in speaking to him on our time schedule."
Until his arrest last March on cocaine-trafficking charges, Arroyo was a driver for Super Duper Limo, Duper's limousine service. Arroyo has told SI he took cocaine with Duper and Clayton for the first time in 1983 and describes both players as "big users." He has given the Florida State Attorney's office a written statement, obtained by SI, in which he says that he supplied Duper with cocaine "frequently" (Arroyo says he provided Duper with 3½ to seven grams of cocaine, $125 to $250 worth, at least once a week) for three months, beginning in December '87. Arroyo's statement further declares that he shared cocaine with Clayton "on 2 or 3 occasions." On one of those occasions, Arroyo has told SI, Clayton offered him "a couple of lines of coke" while Arroyo drove Clayton around in a Super Duper limo.
Two other sources told SI's Armen Keteyian they saw Clayton using cocaine three years ago at convicted cocaine dealer Nelson Aguilar's Miami apartment. One of the sources says he used cocaine with Clayton at least twice and that "people have seen him tooting in Manhattan's [a Miami nightclub]."
Just as troubling as the accusations of illicit drug use is the company that Clayton and Duper apparently kept. Police told SI's Martin F. Dardis that both Clayton and Duper were shown socializing with drug dealers, including Aguilar, in photos confiscated during a 1986 bust. Arroyo says that Duper's "best friend" until early last year was Herman Williams, who was arrested with Arroyo for allegedly agreeing to buy more than $100,000 worth of cocaine from an undercover officer and who, like Arroyo, is awaiting trial. And one of Duper's business partners, Eddie Purifoye, was convicted in 1984 for carrying a concealed .357 revolver.
Arroyo, who is cooperating with authorities, has told SI that since his arrest he has twice talked to Clayton. "Once at Monty Trainer's [a marina and restaurant] I saw him and he said, 'Hey! Got anything for the head?' " says Arroyo. "Another time, it was either before the Minnesota or Chicago game this past season. He called and said, 'Can you get me something?' Both times I got him the drugs—that second time, four or five grams, a big piece. I didn't charge him, just gave it to him." Clayton, like Duper, denies ever using cocaine or associating with drug dealers.
The NFL cites its suspension of Duper (reportedly for skipping a drug test) and two dozen other players this past season for alleged violations of its drug policy as evidence that it's trying to combat drug use. But the league appears to be relying almost exclusively on its drug-testing program—which it admits is limited—to identify players who may be using illegal substances. Meanwhile, its investigators seem to be in no hurry to pursue solid leads. Could it be that the NFL brass is afraid of hearing even more bad news?
HERE'S THE KICKER
After watching their beloved Green Bay Packers struggle—and fail—to find a decent placekicker this season, Dave and Sandi Loomans of Peshtigo, Wis., sent Packer coach Lindy Infante a job-application letter on behalf of their 6-year-old mule, Peter Emmett Mueller, called Pete. "You might say I am outstanding in my field," read Pete's letter. "My ambition is to lend my talents to an organization that has the same general attitude and intellectual capacity that I have."
Pete recently received a reply from Infante citing several reasons why Green Bay couldn't use him: The Packers don't have a kicking shoe or uniform to fit him, their trainer doesn't know how to tape hooves, and their team plane would be hard-pressed to accommodate Pete, who's 4'2" tall but weighs nearly 600 pounds.
Infante's letter ended with this PS.: "I know you can't type with those feet, so please tell the person that wrote [the letter] for you, if it was meant to be sarcastic he made his point."
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Toronto Maple Leaf defenseman Luke Richardson knocked right wing Tony Granato of the New York Rangers unconscious with a hard check during a 1-1 tie in Toronto Saturday. Granato was hospitalized with a mild concussion. Richardson said later: "It was sort of a plus to get him out of there. It's too bad he ended up in the hospital, but better there than on the ice, where he could have scored the winner."
MEASURE FOR MEASURE
There's a jockey named Kevin Furlong riding in Southern California. He has vanity license plates that read 8TH POLE, referring to the marker located one furlong—that's 220 yards, or one eighth of a mile—from the finish line. A few years back, when he rode in Canada, where metric conversions appear in the track programs. Furlong was nicknamed Two Hundred Meters.
The world has never seen a 12-year-old chess player as good as Judit Polgar of Budapest. Polgar, the youngest international master in history, last month rose to No. 1 in the World Chess Federation's women's rankings—no other player, male or female, has ever reached the top so young—and many experts feel that she'll be the first woman to challenge for the overall world championship. In fact, the reigning titleholder, Gary Kasparov of the Soviet Union, has said he would not be surprised if Judit is the next overall world champ.
Judit is an aggressive tactical player, who, in the words of U.S. grand master Arthur Bisguier, possesses "imagination and enormous technical gifts." She's the youngest of three brilliant chess-playing sisters—Zsofi, 14, and Zsuzsa, 19, are also international masters—who received their schooling and chess training at home under the supervision of their father, Laszlo, a retired psychologist and teacher. Laszlo believes that almost any child can be nurtured to be a chess prodigy, and he has immersed his daughters in the study of math, languages (Judit speaks Hungarian, Russian and English) and chess. The Polgar girls usually work at their game seven hours a day with the help of professional coaches and a home library of 3,000 chess books.
All three sisters will go to New York next month for a tournament, but most eyes there will be on Judit. Says British grand master Raymond Keene, "The way she plays reminds me very strongly of [former world champion Bobby] Fischer."
McCLOUDS AND RAINBOWS
Florida State senior guard George McCloud sank a three-pointer with seven seconds left last Thursday night to seal the Seminoles' 69-67 victory at South Carolina. The same evening, in Daytona Beach, Fla., his younger brother, Sidney, also a guard, canned a three-pointer at the buzzer to seal Daytona Beach Mainland High's 77-76 win over Palatka High.
STEFFI SLAM WATCH: ONE DOWN, DOWN UNDER
Judging from her domination of last week's Australian Open, in which she took the first step toward winning an unprecedented second straight Grand Slam, Steffi Graf is widening the already sizable gap between her and the other women players. Graf didn't lose a set in Melbourne, and in only one of her seven matches—her 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Helena Sukova in the finals—did she lose more than five games. Five of her matches took less than an hour.
Graf has now won 149 of her last 154 matches and five consecutive Grand Slam events. As she bids for back-to-back Slams, Graf—who was dubbed the Dynamo from Deutschland by Tennis Australia president Brian Tobin when he presented her with the winner's trophy—will be as hard to stop as one of her powerful forehand drives.
THEY SAID IT
•Abe Lemons, basketball coach at Oklahoma City University, of two disgruntled alumni who visited his office: "They wanted to buy up my contract, but neither had change for $20."