Now in Mike Tyson's corner: Harvard's Alan Dershowitz
Mike Tyson's defense team landed a superstar last week when Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz agreed to help the boxer in an appeal of his Feb. 10 conviction in Indianapolis on rape charges. Dershowitz, who in 1984 won a reversal of an attempted-murder conviction for playboy Claus von Bülow, is also working for two other rich celebrities in trouble, jailed junk-bond czar Michael Milken and tax-evading hotel queen Leona Helmsley.
On what will Dershowitz base his appeal? One approach he is contemplating is to invoke the legal principle that only the state of mind of the accused is relevant in criminal proceedings. In date-rape cases, however, equal consideration is generally given to the state of mind of the complainant, and Dershowitz could challenge this he-said, she-said approach. He would point out that Tyson told both the grand jury and the trial jury that he thought the victim, Desiree Washington, agreed to sex. As Dershowitz states the issue, "Whose state of mind governs when both the accused and the complaining witness believe they are telling the truth?"
Dershowitz, who is reviewing a 2,327-page transcript of the trial, may consider two other grounds for appeal. One is the disqualification of a black man during the selection of the grand jury. The other is the flawed performance of Tyson's team of lawyers, led by Vincent Fuller. They allowed Tyson to testify at trial without corroboration of key elements of his story. They also depicted their own client as a sex-obsessed monster who was somehow an innocent victim of a conniving 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant. Dershowitz may package the questionable strategies into an argument that even though Tyson spent an estimated $2 million on his defense, he was deprived of the quality of representation guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
Dershowitz won't assume a principal role until after Tyson's sentencing on March 26. Prosecutors will ask Judge Patricia Gifford for a jail term of 10 years, and they will argue that Tyson should be locked up immediately. Fuller will ask that Tyson remain free during the appeal process.
Whatever the judge decides, the fight appears to be far from over.
The Yawkey Way
The Red Sox lose their matriarch, Jean Yawkey
Jean Yawkey was always there for the Red Sox, keeping score of every game in her personal score book, spending the money she and Boston hoped would finally bring the team a world championship, preserving the proud tradition of the franchise.
She was always there, yet she remained all but invisible. She shrank from the limelight and denied almost every request for an interview. Such was the air of mystery around her that when a Boston TV sportscaster asked her on camera in 1983 if she was happy with a court decision, her two-word answer of "I am" was accorded the status of a big scoop. So when Mrs. Yawkey died last week at 83 of complications from a stroke, there wasn't a wealth of anecdotes about her years with the Red Sox.
It was in December of 1944 that Jean Hollander, a former model, married Tom Yawkey, who had bought the Red Sox for $1.5 million in '33. She was his second wife, he her second husband. They were an out-doorsy couple, a sort of South Carolinian Nick and Nora. They hunted and fished together in the scrub woods of Tom's estate in Georgetown, S.C., and in the summer they journeyed to Boston to watch Tom's team. In the beginning they sat together, but after a while they watched the games from separate roof boxes because Tom didn't like Jean to hear him swear. The Red Sox tend to make people do that.
They had no children, or rather, they had hundreds of them. Tom's coddling of players was often blamed for Boston's failure to win a world championship, even though they were in the World Series in 1946, '67 and '75. When he died in '76, the good old boys who ran the Red Sox assumed Jean wasn't interested in the club's operation, but they were wrong, and she became a limited partner. In '83 she won a vicious court battle for controlling interest in the team. In her remaining years she became the unchallenged boss while continuing her husband's good works with the Jimmy Fund, a charity that benefits children with cancer, and endowing a new wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Her closest brush with the limelight occurred at the end of the sixth game of the 1986 World Series. With the Red Sox one out away from their first world title in 68 years, she was standing on a podium in the clubhouse, ready to receive the World Series trophy on national TV. But then the Mets rallied, and suddenly and quietly she was whisked away.
She left the scene in much the same way last week, alas, without that trophy. There is some uncertainty surrounding the control of the Red Sox, but it is hoped that whoever inherits the team at 4 Yawkey Way will continue the tradition of generosity established by Tom and furthered by Jean.
There may have been no one closer to her than Red Sox great Ted Williams. As Teddy Ball-game said of Mrs. Yawkey last week, "What a terrific gal she was."
—CHARLES P. PIERCE
Up from the Canvas
Francisco Sànchez refuses to be counted out
Things were not looking good for little Francisco (Pancho) Sànchez at this time last year. Pancho, a 5'1" 18-year-old from Mexico City, had trained for months in a dank Chicago gym, preparing for his debut as an amateur boxer in the 1991 Chicago Golden Gloves tournament. Entered in the 112-pound weight class, he drew a pass all the way to the finals, held in the suburban Rosemont Horizon arena, because there was only one other youth in his weight class. Then, just minutes before what would have been his first bout ever, Pancho stepped on the scale and was told he had not made weight.
It was as though water had been spilled in front of a man dying of thirst. Pancho wept uncontrollably; he had no father, mother or relative present to console him. Boxing was more than a sport to him, it was going to be his salvation. School was hard for Pancho, he was poor, and his family was split between the U.S. and Mexico. Boxing was the one thing that could bring him pride. But now even that had vanished.
I had been following Pancho and his 18-year-old boxing buddy, Juan Soto, as they prepared for the Golden Gloves (SI, Sept. 9, 1991), and my heart ached as I watched him cry. Now he was going to become just another inner-city kid with splintered dreams, another kid ready for drugs, gangs and crime.
But Pancho fooled me. He came back from that nine count.
He trained down to 106 pounds, fought in a couple of amateur bouts and then entered this year's Golden Gloves. In his very first fight at St. Andrew's Gym near Wrigley Field last week, he took an early pounding from 16-year-old Raul Carrillo before catching the gangly youth with a left hook to the temple and knocking him to the mat. Pancho won in a split decision, and out of sheer ecstasy, he did a front flip that nearly broke his neck. With his arm around his new girlfriend, María Arroyo, Pancho—nose still bleeding from the fight—could not stop smiling.
All of his family is now in Chicago. He is a junior in the bilingual program at Wells High. He is boxing in the Golden Gloves. And, of course, there is María. "I am happy," he said after the fight. "So happy. Last year at the Horizon I made a very big decision. What happened was my fault and nobody else's. And I decided the experience wouldn't happen again."
His next bout will be for the novice division championship at the Rosemount Horizon on March 16. But win, lose or draw, Pancho Sanchez has already scored a very big victory.
A Model Racehorse
Like Paulina, Porizkova is a photogenic female
She has eyes to die for, a luxurious mane and an ideal configuration. She also has a star in the middle of her forehead, a bed at Belmont and an appetite for hay. She's Porizkova, a 3-year-old filly by Polish Navy, out of Saratoga Fleet, and named for model Paulina Porizkova.
Says owner Bob Kirkham, "She's a gorgeous filly. My wife first chose the name Paulina, but it was already taken. We thought Paulina Porizkova was Polish, and with the filly's breeding, the name seemed appropriate. We found out later that Paulina is really Czechoslovakian."
Porizkova—the horse—does more than just look good. In her last three starts at Aqueduct, she has finished third, second and first. Ridden by Mike Smith, she went wire-to-wire for a three-length victory in a six-furlong race on Feb. 21, paying $8.80. Despite the win—her maiden—she isn't exactly Kentucky Derby material, which is too bad, because the headline RUNWAY FOR THE ROSES has a certain ring to it.
One of the reasons Porizkova isn't a better horse is that her progress has been slowed because of a freak accident she suffered as a weanling. While romping in a field, Porizkova draped herself over another horse. When her playmate ran out from under her, Porizkova's right shoulder was dislocated. Physical therapy, though, has since healed the shoulder, and she is running confidently.
Porizkova's trainer, Billy Badgett, says, "She's very affectionate and she loves attention. She's no superstar, but she tries real hard with what she has. If only she had better legs...."
A Two-Minute Warning
How long is two minutes? In real time, two minutes is just 1/30 of an hour or 1/720 of a day or 1/5,040 of a week or 1/263,520 of a leap year. In college basketball time, however, two minutes is too long.
Biggest lie in America: "The game's almost over, honey. I'll be there in a minute."
The last two minutes of college basketball games have become the Russian breadlines of sport: They never end. Third World nations have been toppled in less time than it takes to play the final moments of some games.
Timeout. O.K., so you're just passing through on your way to the swimsuits. Fine, then. I don't need you. I guess it doesn't matter that I'm writing this while wearing only a tutu. I guess it doesn't matter that I'll be printing Ashley Montana's and Kathy Ireland's home phone numbers in a bit.
In Florida State's 110-96 victory over North Carolina last Thursday on ESPN, the final 2:28 of the game took nearly 15 minutes to play. In Indiana's 86-80 victory over Ohio State on Feb. 23 on CBS, the final 2:33 took 14 minutes. And these are not extreme examples; these are routine. At game's end, the game never ends.
North Carolina committed seven fouls and called two timeouts in the final two minutes in its attempt to catch up. "It's foul-them-to-the-buzzer time," ESPN analyst Jim Valvano remarked. In the Indiana-Ohio State game, three timeouts were called in the final 1:35, including one by the Hoosiers—leading by eight points—with 8.1 seconds left. CBS's Billy Packer actually called it a "very smart play."
The golden rule in college basketball is, If there's time left, there's time left to call timeout.
If you are so hell-bent to get to page 82, then just get out of here now. Go ahead, I'll wait. . . . Good. Now we can stretch our legs, huh? So who's left with me at this point—the class of '87 from Mount Holyoke and Ralph Nader? Fine, then. I've played smaller rooms than this.
These excessive timeouts add to the cult of coaching, with TV analysts endlessly analyzing the various options at hand. (One coach is imploring his team to foul; the other coach is imploring his team not to foul. Pretty complex stuff.)
The game has become a stop-and-start, foul-and-be-fouled telethon. The worst offenders are Big East teams. They contest everything; I've seen Big East starters take a charge during player introductions. (In the Big East, after the seventh foul of a half, the opposing team shoots one-and-one; after the 10th foul, opponents get two shots; after the 50th foul, they're allowed to drive the courtesy car home right then and there.)
In the last two minutes of a Big East game, you not only can order a pizza from Domino's and get it on time, you can order it from Denver!
True Big East story: When a Georgetown-Syracuse game began in 1988, there were 15 people watching in my living room. By the time the game was over, the only people left in the room were me and my wife's divorce lawyer. New York City closes up earlier than the Big East, for crying out loud. Big East administrators plead to TV execs: "Please don't put us on at 9 p.m. ET. Not only is it too late for kids, but the only people left at the end are speaking Hawaiian."
Big East games take so long that you can actually see the gray creep into the beard of Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo. (In fact, all games involving Connecticut and/or Seton Hall now go into overtime. That means a second dose of the final two minutes—and a fresh set of timeouts!)
So I asked the editors what I could do to help in the actual making of the swimsuit issue—and? I was told I wasn't needed. Hah! Can you smell the Jovan Musk I have on right now? Granted, I am banned from most West Coast beaches, but on certain islands along the Strait of Magellan—stretched out in a mahogany suspender suit ($35) and sequin-laced maillot ($50) by Anne Klein—I am simply considered The Man.
Bonus stat for bachelors: In the final two minutes of college basketball games, you can cook five three-minute eggs. If Dean Smith is coaching, you have time to eat them too.
[Thumb Up]To Mike Williams, an Eskimo competitor in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, for dedicating his entry to the cause of sobriety for Eskimos and other Native Americans, who as a group have been damaged by alcoholism.
[Thumb Down]To the University of Missouri, whose officials humiliated Gabby Richards, a wheelchair-bound sportswriter for the Oklahoma State student paper. Threatened with arrest, she was removed from her assigned seat in press row just before a basketball game, ostensibly because of a fire code violation.
[Thumb Down]To Tribune Entertainment, distributors of Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story, for the tasteless design used in promoting (lie TV movie about the basketball star who died of heart failure. The design features the wave of an electrocardiogram ending in a flat line.
Singer Neil Diamond recently attended a Bulls game at Chicago Stadium, and naturally, he wanted some souvenirs. He bought one $1,000 jacket, three $300 jackets, 22 $150 jackets, 92 $65 sweatshirts and other assorted apparel. The tab came to $13,000 and change. One might say his shopping trip was a "Song Sung Bull." But we won't.
THEY SAID IT
Wimp Sanderson, Alabama basketball coach, on lasting 32 years at the school: "I've been here so long that when I got here, the Dead Sea wasn't even sick."
Heidi Voelker, U.S. Olympic skier, after USOC vice-president George Steinbrenner told her he had just bought a hockey team: "Thai's nice. I just bought a T-shirt."
Replay: 15 Years Ago in Sports Illustrated
That's Lena Kansbod on our "Zowie, it's Maui!" swimsuit issue of Jan. 24, 1977. Once readers got through the pictures of Hawaii, they were treated to a feature on lefthanders, one of whom was Will McEnaney. When he pitched for Indianapolis, McEnaney liked to walk his imaginary dog outside the clubhouse. Manager Vern Rapp, exasperated by this practice, once snapped, "McEnaney, get that damned dog inside!"