Rose Will Be Suspended--but Not for Life : Red Manager, Giamatti Reach a Compromise Agreement on Gambling Dispute

Times Staff Writer

In a compromise agreement reached Wednesday with Commissioner Bart Giamatti, Cincinnati Red Manager Pete Rose has agreed to an indefinite suspension for betting on baseball but will not be suspended for life, sources close to baseball said.

The details of an accord that ended almost six months of legal wrangling will be announced at a news conference in New York today, an off-day for the Reds.

It is not known if Rose will begin his suspension immediately, but he has apparently agreed to undergo treatment for gambling addiction while suspended.

Reports that the suspension is five years are inaccurate, a source close to Giamatti said.

The Dayton Daily News reported that an Ohio attorney said the deal called for an indefinite suspension, allowing Rose to ask for reinstatement in five years. Also, Rose is not required to admit to any allegations against him, the newspaper reported.

The New York Times reported that a source said Rose will be declared permanently ineligible to work in baseball for betting on Reds games. The paper reported that Rose's future status in baseball was unclear.

The Chicago Tribune, however, reported that the suspension was three to five years with an understanding that Rose will be fully reinstated and eligible to return to dugout.

Rose apparently agreed to the terms after Giamatti removed the threat of a lifetime suspension, a penalty Giamatti could have imposed if he agreed with the judgment of his special investigator, John Dowd.

Dowd's 225-page report on Rose's gambling activity concluded that Rose consistently bet on Red games between 1985 and 1987.

It is not clear why Rose, who has consistently denied allegations that he bet on the Reds or on baseball, would accept any suspension from Giamatti after contending in court that the commissioner had prejudged his case, but speculation Wednesday centered on two factors.

--The refusal of a federal appeals court last week to return his lawsuit against Giamatti to an Ohio state court left Rose, already facing heavy legal expenses, with no alternative but to pursue an injunction against Giamatti in federal court, where the sweeping power of the commissioner's office has traditionally been upheld.

John D. Holschuh, a federal judge in Columbus, Ohio, was scheduled to begin the injunction hearing Monday, but that is no longer necessary.

--Rose's legal staff, for the first time Monday, received permission to inspect fingerprints on betting records found in the home of Paul Janszen, who allegedly ran bets for Rose, and concluded, as the FBI had, that the fingerprints belonged to Rose, a source said.

Faced, in addition, with an ongoing probe by Dowd and the overwhelming evidence in the investigator's report, Rose, it is speculated, opted for a settlement.

Giamatti, in turn, had often said that he was willing to discuss a settlement but only if he, as commissioner, set the terms rather than a judge or arbitrator. Distraught over the long court fight, Giamatti, sources said, used Rose's appeals loss as leverage to push for a compromise.

Rose was accused by bookmakers and other acquaintances of betting on baseball, including games involving the Reds. Baseball investigators cited evidence that included betting slips alleged to be in Rose's handwriting, and telephone and bank records.

But Rose, under investigation since Feb. 20, had obtained a temporary restraining order from an Ohio state court June 25. That order prevented Giamatti from holding a hearing on the gambling allegations prepared by Dowd, and prompted the long legal maneuvering.

Baseball's investigation, which became public after the first court case last June, named bookies who had accused Rose of betting on baseball.

Rose, who was in Minnesota for a television show Wednesday night and could not be reached for comment, has scheduled a news conference today at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.

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