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McCallum Is Assigned to San Diego : Tailback Will Probably Go to Sea, Leaving Raiders Adrift

May 09, 1987|MARK HEISLER | Times Staff Writer

A spokesman at the Navy Supply School said Friday that Ens. Napoleon McCallum had not been granted any of his first three choices for a duty station and is being assigned to San Diego, which will probably end his career with the Raiders, for the present.

"That's my understanding," said Lt. Jim Stoops from Athens, Ga., where McCallum has been attending the school. "He has been assigned to the staff of Naval Surface Forces Command, Pacific."

Stoops said that McCallum will eventually go to sea. "Usually it's within two or three months," he said.

McCallum could not be reached.

A year ago, McCallum, an Annapolis graduate, was able to pursue a dual career when his assignment to supply school was switched at the last minute to a ship in drydock at Long Beach. He wound up playing in 15 games, starting three when Marcus Allen was hurt.

James Webb, who replaced John Lehman as Secretary of the Navy, has since announced, however, that no "special accommodation" would be made for McCallum this season. A spokesman for Webb said that under the new guidelines, last year's assignment constituted a special accommodation.

Officers at supply school are allowed to list their preferences for a duty station, but those are granted according to class rank. McCallum's first three choices were in Long Beach, but his class standing--reportedly No. 86, which an official said put him "about the middle of the pack"--wasn't deemed high enough for him to have sufficient priority in making his choice.

A Navy source in Washington, who asked not to be identified, also confirmed the report.

"I don't think he could play football, too," the source said. "Hey, it's pretty far (from San Diego to Los Angeles). Unless they trade him to San Diego or send a helicopter for him."

The Raiders have never stopped hoping that McCallum might be reassigned to Long Beach but they have also been collecting free-agent tailbacks. Now working out at El Segundo are former Raider Kenny King, former Kansas City Chief Ethan Horton and former New Orleans Saint Wayne Wilson.

"I just have to wait and see what happens when the time comes for him to be stationed," Coach Tom Flores said. "I can't respond until then. But obviously, that's a little far for him to commute."

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