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THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO

Call Him Crazy, but Tyson Diagnosis Not That Tough

October 14, 1998|RANDY HARVEY

Sixteen months, two hearings with different state boxing commissions, legal appeals reaching as high as the Nevada Supreme Court and a battery of psychological tests since Mike Tyson lost his license to box in Nevada, it has been determined that he needs therapy.

I'm no psychologist, but I could have made that call 16 seconds after he bit Evander Holyfield on the right ear at the MGM Grand in June 1997, because that's about the amount of time that elapsed before Tyson returned to bite Holyfield on the left ear.

As of Monday, the obvious has been neurologically confirmed by a team of experts from Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital, who in their report to the Nevada State Athletic Commission also determined that Tyson is truly sorry about his actions against Holyfield, probably won't repeat them in the ring and, thus, is mentally fit to return to boxing.

Considering the standards of behavior for boxers, it's difficult to conclude otherwise.

That doesn't mean Nevada's commissioners will vote that way. Although Tyson has met the conditions placed on him during last month's hearing by undergoing extensive psychological examination, at least two of the five commissioners continue to express concern about assault allegations against him in Maryland.

It is important to differentiate between those and the assault allegations against him in Washington. In the latter, according to his lawyers, eight witnesses came forward to say he didn't retaliate in a restaurant when two women tried to provoke him, one by throwing coffee on him. The lawyers add that Tyson won't settle out of court because he insists on his innocence.

But in Maryland, where two motorists claim Tyson assaulted them after an accident, the boxer's lawyers reportedly have made an offer to settle, which, based on their stance in Washington, should make the Nevada commissioners wonder about his innocence. That certainly is the effect it has had on Maryland authorities, who say they will proceed with a criminal case even if a settlement is reached.

Observing closely from Indianapolis is Judge Patricia Gifford, who must decide if Tyson's conduct in Maryland constituted a violation of his probation in his 1992 rape conviction.

Under different circumstances, the prudent course would be to wait for resolution in Maryland before proceeding with the hearing. But it has been well-documented that Tyson needs a fight before the end of the year in order to pay $13 million in back taxes.

Now, just when you thought a process that is making even a thug like Tyson seem like a victim couldn't become any more convoluted, Kirk Hendrick, Nevada's senior deputy attorney general, presents this scenario:

The state athletic commission could reinstate Tyson's license next week, enabling him to resume his career, then reconvene to withdraw the license if he is convicted in Maryland, by which time everyone involved will require therapy.

*

I guess the lockout is serious. . . .

The NBA can eliminate the Larry Bird exception, but it needs to replace it with a method enabling teams to retain their superstars. . . .

Part of the league's appeal over the last couple of decades stems from the fact that many of its most popular players--Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan to name three--have remained with one team throughout their careers. . . .

Otherwise, none of the issues in dispute affect the game fans see on the court. . . .

It's just rich people arguing with richer people about how to distribute their money. . . .

They'll be back before most of us really miss them, which means sometime before the Super Bowl. . . .

It's astounding how quickly the Chargers have unraveled since their Super Bowl appearance in 1995. . . .

Overseeing the demise has been General Manager Bobby Beathard, who won a power struggle but lost a successful coach in Bobby Ross, then hired Kevin Gilbride to replace him. . . .

Beathard should have known about Gilbride. All he had to do was ask Buddy Ryan. . . .

I'll bet Beathard didn't call Jeff George to ask about June Jones, either. . . .

Ryan Leaf must wish he had stayed at Washington State for his senior year as much as Mike Price does. . . .

That also would have made USC's game Saturday at Pullman more entertaining for everyone except Paul Hackett.

*

While wondering if Jon Gruden was celebrating that 7-6 win over the Chargers or trying to forget, I was thinking: I had hoped to have seen the last this season of the tomahawk chop, the Angels should bring back Dave Wallace and Mike Piazza from New York but leave Hideo Nomo there, I guess Phil Esposito shouldn't hit up brother Tony for a loan.

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