Today's Topic: Damage Control and Invisibility

Clemson started off 1996 by losing, 41-0, to Syracuse in the Gator Bowl, and it hasn't gotten any better.

Four players were arrested for sexual assault last winter, seven players were accused of sexual assault last month and, last week, Tiger Coach Tommy West dismissed one of his best players, wide receiver Antwuan Wyatt, after his drug arrest.

Last week, at a sports information directors' convention in Boston, Clemson's Tim Bourret had to cancel his appearance on a panel in order to return home and deal with the problems on campus.

The topic of the panel Bourret missed: "Damage Control."


Trivia time: Who was the youngest Olympic track and field gold medalist?


Tells it all: Syracuse basketball star John Wallace elected to stay in school last year and play his senior year before entering the NBA draft. Eyebrows were raised when Wallace slid to No. 18, but the Phoenix Suns' Cotton Fitzsimmons thinks he knows why after watching Wallace at a pre-draft camp.

"The perception is he's much like Derrick Coleman," Fitzsimmons told the Sporting News. "Both attended Syracuse, and Derrick is his idol. That's all I need to say."


Do you remember? The short-lived World Football League began play in five cities 22 years ago this week.

The Anaheim-based Southern California Sun opened with an 11-7 loss at Birmingham, before 53,231. But after it got out that some teams were missing paydays and padding attendance numbers, the WFL began unraveling.

It folded midway through its second season, $30 million in debt.


Robotic Olympics: The track and field competition at Atlanta may look a bit more automated than at previous Olympics. A wheeled, radio-controlled gadget will ferry javelins, discuses and hammers back to the throwing areas.

The long jump also has a new toy. The guy with the rake? Obsolete. A Finnish gizmo called "Sandboni" will automatically smooth the landing pit after each jump.


Best-laid plans: It seemed to Procter & Gamble Co. that Olympic-caliber cyclist Brooke Blackwelder would be a perfect spokeswoman for one of its shampoos.

Blackwelder is "both athletically talented and beautiful. She's the kind of athlete that television would have focused on," said TV analyst Nova Lanktree. "It was a smart buy."

It was, until Blackwelder didn't make the U.S. Olympic team.


That's one way: Cleveland Indian Manager Mike Hargrove has been accused of tinkering too much with his batting order, but he says he comes by it naturally.

"I played for Billy Martin in Texas and I remember one day he put all the names in a hat and drew out a batting order. We had Jeff Burroughs leading off."


Trivia answer: Ulrike Meyforth of Germany, who was 16 when she won the high jump at the 1972 Munich games.


And finally: Ex-Dodger pitcher Carl Erskine sent ex-Dodger and Pittsburgh infielder Pete Coscarart a get-well note after learning Coscarart had suffered a heart attack. An excerpt:

" . . . you're OK because you never got a hit off of me."

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