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USOC Pondering Schiller's Status

January 26, 1988|RANDY HARVEY

United States Olympic Committee officials said Monday that Harvey Schiller has not formally resigned as executive director, despite statements to the contrary last week by the USOC and Schiller.

Schiller said he was quitting last Wednesday, 17 days after he began the $150,000-a-year USOC job, to return as commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, a position he held for 15 months.

But when USOC President Robert Helmick, a Des Moines, Iowa, attorney, and executive board member George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees, met with Schiller last weekend in Orlando, Fla., Schiller told them he had had second thoughts about his decision. According to published reports, 8 of 10 SEC athletic directors opposed the decision of SEC presidents to rehire Schiller.

USOC spokesman Mike Moran said Monday that Schiller's job status could be resolved today.

"From what I understand, he hasn't left us," said James Fox, executive director of the USA Amateur Boxing Federation in Colorado Springs, Colo. "We want him as part of our team. I see him as the future of the organization. He realizes we have to move into the 20th Century in terms of marketing and television."

But Fox does not speak for everyone involved with the USOC.

"I don't know all the facts, but my initial reaction is that I can't see any reason to take Harvey Schiller back," said Michael Lenard, a Los Angeles attorney who is vice-chairman of the USOC athletes advisory council. "He severely embarrassed the USOC. It causes me to question how he will react in future situations when he is frustrated. But I'm certain I will be talking to Bob (Helmick) and Harvey, and I could change my mind."

Expressing the frustration of USOC officials, Chuck Cale, a Los Angeles attorney who is a special assistant to Helmick, said: "I just wish we could go back eight or nine days, and say, 'Take 2.' "

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