Trouble at Texas
Football players may be using forged steroid prescriptions
Last weekend two Texas newspapers linked University of Texas football players to the forgery and sale of prescriptions for anabolic steroids. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Tim Bruner, a powerlifter in Austin, alleged that in mid-October he purchased four prescriptions (for $100 each) for anabolic steroids from a friend who told Bruner that he got them from two Texas football players.
The doctor's name on the scrips was David L. Hubler. Bruner noticed, though, that the doctor's signature was different on each scrip. In fact, the doctor in question is L. David Hubler, an orthopedic surgeon whose office address is in Duncanville, a suburb of Dallas, and not Dallas as the phony prescription indicated. And the phone number on the prescriptions was for Hubler's home, not his office. Hubler told SI that "someone must have printed up a prescription pad with information from the phone book. I don't know why they picked me."
The allegations by the American-Statesman and a story recounting some of the same charges in The Dallas Morning News came in the wake of the arrest on Feb. 21 of Brent Beauchamp, a walk-on quarterback and punter for the Longhorns. Beauchamp was arrested at a pharmacy in South Austin and charged with obtaining drugs by fraud. He had allegedly tried to fill a prescription for testosterone—an anabolic steroid—using a form with "David L. Hubler" printed on it.
A source close to the Texas football team who has knowledge of the phony prescription operation told SI that two members of the team were forging the forms. The source charged that Beauchamp, who could not be reached for comment, was "the only [Texas player] to have trouble trying to fill a scrip. The other guys never had any trouble filling scrips." When asked how many of the Texas players were buying and filling the fake prescriptions, the source said, "As many as could get their hands on one."
Out of Hibernation
Jack Nicklaus was his Bearish self at the Doral Open
It was a round that came out of the blue and out of the past. Last Friday at the Doral Open, 51-year-old Jack Nicklaus shot a 63, one stroke off the course record, for what he called his best competitive round since the 1980 U.S. Open. Nicklaus, who hasn't won an event on the regular Tour since the '86 Masters, said, "I surprised myself... and everybody else in the field."
The 63 left him only one back of second-round leader Kenny Perry. Nicklaus has almost always played well at Doral; he has won the tournament twice and finished second five times since his first appearance in it in 1962. But there was a little more to the Golden Bear's revival A than just the friendly surroundings. After missing the cut at the recent Pebble Beach event, he returned home, and, he said, "I discovered something in my swing." He also played golf every day for the three weeks before Doral, losing 10 pounds and regaining his concentration. "My feeling is I still have some golf left in me," he said. "And when I spend time working at it, I've gotten results. My biggest problem is I don't have time to work at it."
His comeback seemed just a tease on Saturday when Nicklaus played the last six holes at four over par en route to a 75. "Aw, Jack," yelled one fan in the huge throng that was following Nicklaus. "We were hoping for you." Most everybody else thought that the Bear was through for the tournament.
But in the rain and howling winds on Sunday, Nicklaus climbed back into contention, pulling to within two strokes of the leaders after 13 holes, which is when play was suspended until the next day because of the weather. "Jack, you're the greatest," yelled someone in the gallery as he walked off.
On Monday morning, Nicklaus finished his round with all pars for a 70 and a 72-hole total of 279, three strokes shy of the co-leaders, Rocco Mediate and Curtis Strange. (Mediate won in a playoff.) On each of the last four holes, Nicklaus had a makeable birdie putt, but he missed all of them and ended up in a tie for sixth. Still, his performance at Doral showed that old Jack can still play some golf.
The new NFL president says fears are groundless
In an item in this space a week ago on the NFL's plans to experiment with pay-per-view TV, we raised two sensitive issues: 1) the possibility of pay-per-view for such big events as the Super Bowl and 2) the seemingly elite nature of the pay-per-view audience. Last week the NFL announced the appointment of Neil Austrian as president and chief operating officer. Austrian was previously a director of the investment firm of Dillon Read & Co., and before that he was chairman of Showtime, the cable channel. Given his background, Austrian is well qualified to speak on the issues we raised, and he was willing to do so.
"To the best of my knowledge, the NFL has no firm plans for pay-per-view," said Austrian. "To me, football is the American game, not baseball, and that is because of the wide availability of games. It would be very shortsighted on our part to take games off free TV. If we were to do pay-per-view, it would only be for the avid fan who wants additional games. Will the Super Bowl ever be on pay TV? Well, the commissioner [Paul Tagliabue] doesn't see it in his lifetime, and I believe him.
"As for the concept that pay-per-view is only for the elite, don't forget that 50 percent of the households in this country have cable. People are paying for games as it is. I know I am when I see my monthly cable bill. Pay-per-view is not just for the affluent. Its biggest success has been for WrestleMania, which has a wide demographic profile."
So why do some fans, journalists and congressmen fear pay-per-view?
"It's natural that people look for the devil as they look ahead," says Austrian. "But the devil's not there."
An impostor on the Princeton track team is uncovered
Princeton University justifiably prides itself on the diversity of its student body. But when the school admitted an 18-year-old, self-educated distance-running phenom named Alexi Indris-Santana three years ago, it got a bit more diversity than it bargained for. Last week Indris-Santana, a sophomore member of the Tiger track and cross-country teams, was revealed to be James Arthur Hogue, a 31-year-old alumnus of a Utah state prison.
On Feb. 26, Princeton Borough police, armed with a warrant for parole violations, arrested Hogue outside a geology class. News of the charade sent the media to the campus. "We haven't had this much attention since Brooke Shields graduated," said a university spokesman.
When Hogue applied to Princeton in 1987, he wrote that he was a ranch hand from Utah and claimed to be self-educated, providing as credentials an extensive reading list, along with a combined SAT score of more than 1400. He also sent newspaper clippings detailing his track accomplishments. He was accepted for admission in April '88 but deferred his matriculation for a year, claiming his mother was ill. In reality, Hogue spent the next 10 months in prison in Salt Lake City for possession of several thousand dollars' worth of stolen bicycle parts.
After being paroled in March '89, Hogue arrived in Princeton three months later, a slight, long-haired kid in a pickup truck. By most reports he got along well on campus, earning A's and B's in science and math courses. As for track, Indris-Santana placed 12th in the Heptagonal crosscountry championships last November, and during the indoor track season he won two 5,000-meter races.
It was his running that led to Hogue's unmasking. At a track meet in New Haven, Conn., on Feb. 16, he was recognized by a woman who went to Palo Alto (Calif.) High School with him when Hogue was 25 and was calling himself Jay Mitchell Huntsman. She told a newspaperman, who queried Princeton, and Hogue's long run came to an end.
Said track coach Larry Ellis, "I had the wind knocked out of me when I learned. I think he had convinced himself that he really was this kid."
Still a Roughrider
A former CFL center scores a big scoop for CBS
As a center for the Ottawa Roughriders of the Canadian Football League from 1971 to '75, Bob McKeown was known for his quickness. Last week McKeown, now a CBS News correspondent, broadcast the first report from newly liberated Kuwait City, scoring a major coup for that network.
When the ground war broke out, McKeown and his crew accompanied allied troops heading for Kuwait City and then decided to go it alone. In their rented truck, code-named Shambles, they sped down a deserted highway, not knowing what lay ahead.
What they found, said McKeown, was a "fluid situation." While interviewing a Kuwaiti woman, he was interrupted by a Kuwaiti man carrying an M-16 who breathlessly asked McKeown to accompany him and several U.S. marines to "liberate the U.S. embassy."
Kuwait City is a long way from Yale, McKeown's alma mater. At Yale, he played football and befriended the campus cartoonist Garry Trudeau. After graduating in 1971, McKeown returned to his native Ottawa to play for the Roughriders. "He was small for a center," says former coach George Brancato, "but he did a great job for us. Maybe he was too smart to play football."
Two years after Ottawa won the 1973 Grey Cup, McKeown retired. He ended up working in both radio and TV for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and eventually became the host of CBC's The Fifth Estate, Canada's 60 Minutes. CBS News hired him last August.
About his scoop, McKeown says, "It was one of those things where everything went right, and we had a whole lot of luck—like Al Geiberger shooting a 59. It was the most remarkable thing I've ever done."
Baseball characters gather for their own spring training
In Clearwater, Fla., early this week, there was to be a one-day training session that would be for the birds—namely, the Pirate Parrot, the Cardinals' Fred Bird and just plain The Bird, the Orioles' mascot. Also planning to attend were the Phillie Phanatic, the Indians' Slider, Homer the Brave, the Astros' Orbit, the Mariner Moose and Tony the Tiger. Tony is not affiliated with the Detroit ball club but rather with Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, the sponsor of this seminar for baseball mascots.
Among the topics under consideration in the day's workshops: playing to the crowd, the use of mime, the use of body language, getting children involved and dealing with obnoxious fans. Mascots were to be videotaped and critiqued. In addition, they were scheduled to perform for fans attending a Phillie workout. Kellogg's was providing meals, lodging and other creature comforts.
The main instructor for the session was Andrew Burnstine, who teaches mime and clowning at New York University. (He is also an adjunct professor of fashion at Kent State University, but never mind.) "We'll be dealing with general issues, like how to turn a crying child into a laughing child," Burnstine said last week. "I'll also be teaching specific shticks. The most important thing to come out of this, though, will be the chance for these guys to share war stories with their counterparts."
Indeed, a chance to be with his own kind was one reason Tom Mosser, a 30-year-old illustrator who is the Pirate Parrot, was flying down to Florida. "It'll be kind of nice to meet other adults avoiding reality like I am," said Mosser. And what war story would the Parrot pass on to his colleagues? "Well, one time on a really hot day during a game against the Mets, I passed out at second base. Naturally, everybody thought it was part of the routine. I must have been out for five minutes. I finally got up, stumbled across the field and lay sprawled in an empty row of seats, in dire need of medical attention. The fans loved it."
[Thumps up]To the Veterans Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame, which last week selected for induction nonconformist owner Bill Veeck, as well as the great Yankee second baseman Tony Lazzeri.
[Thumps up]To Ralph Miller, Oregon State's longtime basketball coach, who came out of retirement to help his daughter, Shannon Jakosky, coach her Newport Harbor (Calif.) High girls' team in the last days of her pregnancy.
[Thumps down]To Sam Wyche, the Bengal coach fined $27,941 last season for denying clubhouse access to female reporters, who is now making light of the matter by offering, as a prize in a charity auction, the chance to be the first woman in the Cincinnati locker room after a preseason game.
THEY SAID IT
Peter Jacobsen, professional golfer, on what separates a pro from an amateur: "When a pro hits it left to right, it's called a fade. When an amateur hits it left to right, it's called a slice."
Steve Stone, Cub broadcaster, asked if he might attempt a comeback like ex-teammate Jim Palmer's: "My arm has felt so bad since I retired that I can't even throw a tantrum."
Making a List
Johnny Petraglia, 44, a member of the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame, hosts the inaugural Johnny Petraglia Open this week in North Brunswick, N.J. According to Petraglia, these are the 10 most difficult spares. (Because some bowlers, including Petraglia, are lefthanded—i.e., they bowl from the Brooklyn side—we have listed the southpaw versions of these spares in parentheses. Nicknames for the splits are provided where applicable.)
1) 5-7-10—The Three Stooges or Hart Schaffner & Marx.
2) 2-8-10 (3-7-9)—Sissy Split.
3) 7-10,8-10, 7-9 or 4-6—The 7-10 is The Bedposts.
4) 2-4-5-8 (3-5-6-9)—The Bucket.
5) 3-10 (2-7)—Baby Split.
6) 3-9-10 (2-7-8)—Baby Split with Double Wood.
7) 3-6-9-10 (2-4-7-8)—No nickname.
8) 1-2-4-10 (1-3-6-7)—The Washout.
9) 6-7-10 (4-7-10)—No nickname.
10) 5-7 (5-10)—Water-in-the-Ball; the 5-10 is known as Dime Store or Woolworth.
The Right Stuff
Blue Jay pitcher Al Leiter used to be plagued by a recurring blister on one of his pitching fingers. But last summer he discovered a solution to the condition, a substance called glutaraldehyde. "I'm thinking of bottling it and going into business," says the lefty. "We can call it Leiter Fluid."
10 Years Ago in Sports Illustrated
In our March 16, 1981 issue, we examined the proverbial "trade that helps both teams": The Brewers got Rollie Fingers (left), Pete Vuckovich and Ted Simmons from the Cardinals for Sixto Lezcano, Dave LaPoint, Lary Sorensen and David Green. (The teams would meet in the '82 World Series.) Elsewhere, we profiled this week's cover subject, Robert Parish, in his first season in Boston.