A group of officers and other influential members of the United States Olympic Committee has recommended that Baaron Pittenger receive a contract extension as the USOC's executive director for the next year and a half.
Pittenger, who became executive director in January when Harvey Schiller resigned after only 18 days to return to his old job, commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, has a contract that expires Feb. 19.
Although Pittenger has expressed interest in remaining as executive director through the 1992 Summer Olympics, other candidates, including Schiller, have emerged.
But the USOC's administrative committee, headed by USOC President Robert Helmick, proposed during a meeting Saturday in Dallas that Pittenger be retained until July 13, 1990, his 65th birthday.
The administrative committee will present its recommendation to the USOC's executive board during a meeting in Portland, Ore., Feb. 17-19. The USOC will continue to accept nominations for the job until Jan. 3.
A USOC source said that Pittenger, who attended the meeting in Dallas as an administrative committee member, accepted the proposed terms. But the source added that Pittenger might seek another contract extension in 1990 that would allow him to remain in the position through 1992.
"Baaron is confident that he can garner enough support between now and 1990," the source said.
Pittenger was unavailable for comment Monday.
A former associate athletic director at Harvard, Pittenger joined the USOC staff at its headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1977 and served as assistant executive director from 1981 until this year.
USOC members contacted Monday interpreted the administrative committee's action as a reluctance to change executive directors at a time when there are so many other questions about the USOC's direction. At the meeting in Portland, only two of the USOC's six officers are likely to be retained.
The USOC's overview commission, headed by George Steinbrenner, will issue a report at the same meeting that is expected to recommend significant changes in the USOC's operations.
"It might be better to allow Baaron to clean house, then bring in the new man to take over the new structure," said one USOC member, who did not want to be identified.