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Martin to Accept USOC Presidency if Elected

April 12, 2003|From Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — After months of saying he didn't want the position, Bill Martin agreed Friday night to serve as president of the U.S. Olympic Committee if he's elected.

Martin, acting president since Marty Mankamyer resigned Feb. 4, had said he was too busy as athletic director at Michigan to take the job full time. He changed his mind Friday after several USOC members, including Vice President Paul George, voiced their support over the last week.

"Yes, so get off the question," Martin said sarcastically after being asked if he will accept the position. "Because I've been beaten up."

The USOC faces a major restructuring after three months of infighting and resignations led to intervention by Congress.

A USOC task force is expected to make a restructuring presentation today and a Senate task force will make its recommendations in June. In the meantime, USOC officials are trying to get the organization headed in the right direction.

The executive committee addressed financial concerns by announcing cutbacks in compensation packages for employees and two sponsorship deals.

Acting Chief Executive Jim Scherr said most of the staff has agreed to reductions in merit and compensation deals, amounting to a savings of about $1.5 million in each of the next two years. The sponsorship deals will be announced at a later date, but Scherr said one deal was new and the other was a renewal.

The news comes after a financial report showed the USOC is facing a projected revenue shortfall of about $8 million by the end of 2004.

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