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Track's Values Have Gone Out to Lunch

Morning Briefing

June 23, 1990|TED BROCK

Amateurism in American track and field ran its course long ago. For the sport's top performers, the spoils of victory these days include four- and five-figure appearance fees, shoe contracts, endorsements and, maybe, a shot at announcing.

So who pocketed the biggest bundle at last week's Mobil/The Athletics Congress national championship meet? Carl Lewis? Jackie Joyner-Kersee? Earl Bell?

None of the above. According to Will Kern, special events director of The Times, one of the meet sponsors, the top earner was Greg Woepse.

A pole vaulter at San Jose State in the late 1970s and later with the Stars and Stripes Track Club, Woepse walked away from the Norwalk meet with more than $5,000.

But don't try to find his name in last week's vault results. Woepse, who owns three Togo's franchises, provided reporters and meet officials with their box lunches.

Add TAC meet: Among the few Cerritos College stadium records that weren't broken was Edwin Moses' time of 48.68 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, set during the Muhammad Ali Invitational in 1977. When Kern reminded him of that, Moses quickly replied, "Yeah, and don't forget, that was on \o7 dirt."\f7

Trivia time: Who led the National League in home runs in all seven of his full seasons with the same team?

Morning briefing: Running back Roger Craig of the San Francisco 49ers is helping Calvin Klein get a leg up in the world of men's underwear. In Bay Area newspapers this week, Craig appeared in a Macy's ad, wearing only a pair of the designer's briefs.

The response has been "overwhelming," Macy's Merle Goldstone told the Associated Press. "Men like it, too, but women are crazy about the ad," she said.

Craig's agent, Jim Steiner, said there's a good chance Craig will be doing national ads but that the running back's modeling venture is strictly an off-season job.

"His mission is not to display his body," Steiner said. "He's not looking for a career with his clothes off."

Add garment industry: Deion Sanders, the New York Yankees outfielder and Atlanta Falcons cornerback, is about to begin a third career. Neon Deion will appear at a trade show in New York Monday to promote his new Prime Time line of active wear.

Progressive politics: On this day 18 years ago, President Richard Nixon signed the Education Act of 1972. Title IX of that act bars sexual bias in athletics and other activities at colleges receiving federal assistance.

Give 'em the boot: John Jeansonne of Newsday reports from Florence that not all Italians are enthusiastic about the World Cup. Directional arrows to soccer venues have been painted out, and walls have been sprayed with graffiti reading, \o7 "Il Mondialismo ti uccide"\f7 --"World Cup fever is killing us."

In Rome, college professor Salvio Manieri, founder of the Defense Committee Against the World Cup, called the tournament a form of barbarism.

"Its aims are entirely commercial and it is robbing Italy of its culture," he said.

Manieri's committee has published a book of anti-World Cup poetry. One poem ends, "I shall escape to the desert to listen to the real voices and to the calls of Indian crows."

Trivia correction: In Friday's Morning Briefing, the answer to the trivia question incorrectly said that Steve Sax had attended Jesuit High School in Sacramento. Sax attended James Marshall High School in West Sacramento.

Trivia answer: Ralph Kiner, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1946-52.

Quotebook: Seve Ballesteros, asked why only three foreign golfers have won the U.S. Open since 1927: "How many Americans have won the Spanish Open?"

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