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THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO / RANDY HARVEY

USC Alumnus Runs Interference for Garrett

July 02, 1998|Randy Harvey

As a running back with USC and the Kansas City Chiefs, Mike Garrett thought he took some hard knocks. That was before he ran into the media as USC's athletic director.

When things go wrong in USC's athletic department, it seems as if the media persist in holding the athletic director responsible.

Feeling battered, perhaps with some justification because he doesn't get as much credit when things go right, Garrett met with selected members of the local media Wednesday night at a Beverly Hills restaurant in an off-the-record, clear-the-air session.

It was arranged by Ed Hookstratten, the powerful lawyer-agent who has represented such clients as Johnny Carson, Bryant Gumbel, Pat Riley, Vin Scully, Dick Enberg and Marcus Allen.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday July 3, 1998 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 3 Sports Desk 1 inches; 24 words Type of Material: Correction
Page Two--Eritrea, which had been a province of Ethiopia, has been an independent nation since 1993. Because of an editing error, that information was incorrect Thursday.

A USC alumnus, Hookstratten thought Garrett deserved an opportunity to face his accusers.

Garrett already has survived one media skirmish this summer. The Sports Illustrated article USC officials feared would further damage Garrett's image has been shelved.

*

I'm hardly one to complain because Gary Sheffield wears facial hair. . . .

It was time for the Dodgers to get with the '60s, even if it took them until the '90s to do it, and relax some rules. . . .

But when Sheffield said he wasn't going to the All-Star game, well, the Dodgers were right to insist he reconsider. . . .

John Semcken, spokesman for New Coliseum Partners, says Michael Ovitz will never build a stadium in Carson and that the Coliseum remains the only viable option in L.A. County for an NFL team. . . .

So then why is Ovitz spending so much time and energy on the project? . . .

Meantime, in Houston this week, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue lauded city leaders "for their unified effort to get another team." . . .

The Houston Chronicle reported such unity "is needed to show that Houston wants an NFL team, and it apparently places the city ahead of [Los Angeles], its chief competitor." . . .

Bobby Bragan, appearing at Harry Ornest's 75th birthday party Tuesday night at the Friars Club, recalled the first time he was fired as a manager, in 1957 by the Cleveland Indians. . . .

"Ted Williams had just beaten us, 1-0, with a ninth-inning home run," Bragan said. "Frank Lane called me in and said, 'I don't know how we'll get along without you, Bobby, but starting tomorrow we're going to try." . . .

Bragan returned to the Dodgers to manage at triple-A Spokane, where his roster included Maury Wills, Tommy Davis, Frank Howard and Chuck Essegian. . . .

Ornest, a Hollywood Park board member, came to the defense of Chairman R.D. Hubbard, who, according to recent comments made by trainer Bob Baffert, doesn't know how to run a racetrack. . . .

"I don't know anybody in the last 15 years who has done more altruistically for racing than Dee Hubbard," Ornest said. . . .

Hubbard said Baffert called to apologize. . . .

According to the NBA players' union, only four teams--the Clippers, Atlanta, Indiana and Golden State--lost money last season. . . .

The union doesn't know Donald Sterling very well. Our Donald doesn't lose money. . . .

A rent of only $2,500 per game at the Sports Arena guarantees that. . . .

Sterling didn't appreciate super agent David Falk's attempt to intimidate the Clippers into taking Mike Bibby. . . .

After a meeting between Sterling and Falk on the day before the draft, the Clipper owner gave Elgin Baylor the go-ahead to draft Michael Olowokandi. . . .

In his last interview before leaving the Lakers, Nick Van Exel said his knees hurt so much he can barely walk up the stairs at his home. . . .

The Harlem Globetrotters' basketball camp for players 6 to 16 is scheduled for July 6-10 at L.A. Trade Tech. . . .

Bill Walton is co-director of Jammin' Hoops '98, camps scheduled for July 6-8 in Long Beach, 13-15 in Los Angeles and 16-18 in Pasadena. . . .

Celebrating his first July 4 as a U.S. citizen will be UCLA distance runner Mebrahtom Keflezighi. . . .

A native of Eritrea, Ethiopia, he takes his citizenship oaths today in San Diego and will wear a U.S. singlet for the first time this month at the Goodwill Games. . . .

The Galaxy expects a crowd of more than 50,000 at the Rose Bowl for its Saturday night game, which will be followed by fireworks. . . .

Enjoy Cobi Jones while you can. He says he has three offers for next season from German teams. . . .

Steve Sampson after the World Cup: "I came, I saw, I ran."

*

While hoping it's Nancy Lopez's turn to win the U.S. Open, I was thinking: Tom Lasorda should resist the temptation to trade Paul Konerko for Jeff Shaw, Brett Hull should have been in Chicago from the start, the lockout isn't too bad so far.

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