Sports Illustrated paid Gary McLain "somewhere between $20,000 and $35,000" for telling his story of his drug usage during Villanova's 1985 NCAA basketball championship season, the magazine's managing editor confirmed Thursday night. But Mark Mulvoy said the payment was not the $40,000 that the Associated Press had reported earlier in the day.
McLain's story was written for the magazine by Jeffrey Marx, a news reporter who was part of a team that recently won a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on improprieties in the University of Kentucky basketball program. Marx reportedly was approached by McLain to write the story for his paper, but the Herald-Leader refused to pay for such a story. The paper allowed Marx to do it for Sports Illustrated.
"We paid $35,000 for a Hemingway story recently, and we paid Dennis Conner $20,000 for his account of the America's Cup," Mulvoy said. "McLain got no less than Conner and no more than we paid for the Hemingway piece."
In a related development, John Driscoll, Villanova's president, announced Thursday that an investigation by school officials had uncovered no evidence that Coach Rollie Massimino knew of McLain's drug usage, as McLain indicated in the article. But Massimino did not deny confronting McLain during his playing days about the possibility that he was using drugs.