The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on July 31, 1987 · Page 37
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 37

Indianapolis, Indiana
Issue Date:
Friday, July 31, 1987
Page 37
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The Indianapolis Star FRIDAY, JULY 31, 1987 ORTS Oltiluari 'S 27. I. PAGE 37 Sneva By ROBIN MILLER STAR ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR Brooklyn. Mich. Rick Mears set the pace during practice Thursday for the Marlboro 500, but the driver everyone was talking about never made a lap. While Mears was circling Michigan International Speedway at 216.216 miles per hour, Tom Sneva was wandering the garage area and wondering if he still had a ride with Mike Curb. The 1983 Indianapolis 500 winner wasn't in uniform Thursday afternoon as Ed Pimm was driving the Skoal Bandit MarchCosworth. Sneva was informed Monday night by Curb's lawyer that he no longer had a ride. "1 had no idea why." said Sneva. By Tuesday night, following a two-hour conversation between Sneva and Curb, everything seemed to be back to normal. But when Sneva showed up here Thursday to begin practice for Sunday's show, he was informed by team manager John Free agent Patten hopes to find home with Colts By JOHN BANSCH STAR STAFF WRITER Anderson, Ind. The fact Joel Patten is one of more than 50 free agents attempting to earn a place on the Indianapolis Colts roster does not make him unique. The route traveled by 6-7, 307-pound offensive lineman is another story. Patten's association with professional football began in 1980 when the Cleveland Browns signed him as a free agent off the Duke campus. Since then, he's had stops in Washington, Orlando and Thousand Oaks, Calif, before arriving at Anderson College. Patten was a well-traveled young man by the time he finished at Duke. His father was a 32-year career Army officer. "He retired a colonel, the Army almost had another General Patten," the short-haired lineman says. Patten was born in Augsburg, Germany and lived at Fort Lewis, Wash., Fort Bragg, N.C. and Omaha before his father left the service. This may or may not be the final resting place for Patten. who is lining up at both right tackle and left guard In his quest to earn another NFL paycheck. He has been an imposing figure the first week of training camp and the coaching staff is Interested in seeing how he fares against the veterans starting this afternoon. "At 29. I know I don't have too many more shots left," says the offensive lineman who is the fifth oldest player on the roster. "I have every confidence in my ability. I know they drafted two offensive linemen (Chris Gambol and Randy Dixon). What will be will be. I'm happy with the pro- Shaffer dives past Louganis for win By KURT FREUDENTHAL STAR STAFF WRITER Bartlesville, Okla. Doug Shaffer, the lad with the Hoosler Connection, still reigns as 1 -meter champion of U.S. Diving. He did it late Thursday on his final effort, his "bread and butter dive," to upend Greg Louganis. In one of the closest competitions on record, the 24-year-old UCLA graduate whose father is a Presbyterian minister In Franklin. Ind., nosed out Louganis by less than 1.5 points in scorching-hot Frontier Park Pool. Shaffer, who beat Louganis by 10 points in the Indoor Nationals' lm In April, hit his 11th and final dive, an inward 2V-2 somersault in tuck position, getting high marks of 8s and 9s from the judges for 76.50 points. That gave him a total of 587.40. Just enough to edge Louganis, again the runner-up in this discipline with 585.93. Louganis. the double Olympic champion and holder of 41 national records, led Shaffer by Bob Collins is on vacation searching for 1 -f - 1 ' v.i f ' . Tom Sneva Anderson Pimm was supposed to be at the wheel. "John said the last thing he heard from Mike (Curb) was to Colts won't lest players for AIDS Anderson, Ind. The Indianapolis Colts have opted to not test their players for AIDS at this time. General Manager Jim Irsay announced the decision Thursday after reports that at least three National Football League teams Dallas, St. Louis and Houston had made volunteer testing available to their players. "The issue of AIDS testing for players is a medical matter of concern with the manage-, ment of the Indianapolis Colts," Irsay said in his statement. "We have had discussions with our team physicians, but at this time do not perform AIDS testing of our players. Whether the Colts institute testing at some future point will depend on further consultation with pur medical staff and discussions with the National Football League." gress I've made. This Is the most I've played since 1985. I'm start- ing to get my football legs under me." Patten was a 225-pound tight end in college. Cleveland wanted to test him as interior lineman, so, it was time to add a little weight. "I started eating all the time and drank milk shakes and beer," he said. Patten reported to the Browns at 255 pounds. Cleveland was impressed with his ability. Patten was the No. 2 left tackle his rookie season, playing in all 16 games. He also worked at the other four Interior line positions. f ; 'ft"' ASSOCIATED PRESS Greg Louganis 19.35 points going into the last dive. Ironically, it was a dive Louganis put in the rule book two years ago that spelled his downfall. He didn't hit his last effort, a reverse 2'2 pike, and collected Just 55.68 points. His winning effort is a dive Shaffer has been doing for a long time. "And I like to do it last." he said. Shaffer, earning Just his second national title, said he had no idea what he needed on his final dive to overtake Louganis. "It was just one more dive. I just did it," he said, adding he felt no special pressure. "But I'm See DIVE Page 43 A put Ed (Pimm) in the car," said Sneva. "Nobody seems to know what's going on and I haven't been able to find Mike. "But he's (Curb) supposed to be flying in here tomorrow (today) to get this all straightened out." Sneva, who is currently ninth in the CARTPPG Industries point standings, has a contract with Curb as does Pimm. "I got a call from Mike (Curb) and he asked me to drive here," said Pimm, who has been running NASCAR for Curb this season. "All I know Is that I've got a contract to run all year with Mike Curb and I'll do whatever he asks me to," Anderson, who was as perplexed as the rest of his crew, was preparing another March 87C Thursday night in case Curb decided to run both drivers. "This is a real circus," said one qf Curb's crewmen, who wished to remain anonymous. "We've run pretty good at the last two road courses and we One year later, the news was not so good. Patten suffered a partial ligament tear In his knee and spent the season on Injured reserve. In 1982, Cleveland released him just before the strike. He turned to the USFL looking for work. The next three seasons were spent in the new league where he started two years for Washington and a third year at Orlando when the franchise moved. In the Florida city, Patten's coach was Lee Corso. "He was great," the lineman says of the former Indiana coach. "He was a player's coach. He taught me to be a person as well as a player." Patten has no regrets about turning to the fledging league. "I needed experience and I got it," he says. Patten does think the stigma of being a former USFL player hurt him when he went job hunting in the NFL after the other league folded. In the fall of 1985. Patten had a tryout with Kansas City. He was not signed. Last summer he had a brief stay in the Dallas Cowboys' training camp at Thousand Oaks, Calif. "That was a good learning experience," he says. "They have some of the best defensive linemen In the business and I learned a few things working against them." HOOFBEATS General Manager Jim Irsay Is hopeful there will be some movement In the next few days in contract talks involving No. 1 draft pick Cornelius Bennett. "I had a brief chat with Richard Woods (Bennett's agent) and he said he wanted to get things moving," the Colts' G.M. said. "I told him we'd like to see an offer. I told See COLTS Page 42 Bo, Big By PHIL RICHARDS STAR STAFF WRITER Chicago The air wasn't filled with footballs here Thursday, only talk of it. After 1 8 years as head coach at Michigan, Bo Schembechler hardly had to introduce himself when he addressed 300 media representatives at the annual Big Ten preseason press conference. He did anyway. And after 18 years, Schembechler hardly had to say that the team with the best defense probably would win the league championship. He did anyway. Again. . A little later, the Wolverine coach looked over at the two players he brought from Ann Arbor with him. 6-7. 306-pound tackle John "Jumbo" Elliott and 5-7, 183-pound tailback Jamie Morris. "They're the biggest and smallest players on my team." he said. "They're two fine players and very fine guys. They are college football, right here. There it Is." Bo had a point. While no one needed to be reminded of who he is or how championships are won, he felt college football's good sometimes gets lost in the bad and the ugly. Elliott and Morris are good students, good citizens, good ath letes. So are the overwhelming majority of the young men playing college football. Yet, since his ride come to a place where Tom always runs strong and he's not running. "It's hard to believe this is the top shelf of auto racing." MEARS, WITHOUT a victory for two years, owned a two mph advantage on the 31 -car field following Thursday's runs. And he did it with a March 86C that Roger Penske bought from Pat Patrick. "The March seems to have a bit more balance." exclaimed Mears, who has been struggling all season with the Pennzoil PC-16. "The PC-16 wasn't competitive and we have to be realistic about it." With CART'S special boost reduction (the manifold pressure was dropped from 48 to 45 Inches for this race in an effort to slow the speeds), Mears won't come close to his 1986 record of 223.401 mph in today's qualifying. "I'm surprised we could run as quick as we did In this hot Ex-Cleveland Brown and USFL P" "V" ! ) 0 j v it""" . H - .'.-tjr ?' : . j fx. , i,f ' j sr. , ' ' ' ' s ' , I c - A, ' 4 I St.:'. ... . A , ,'!',. ' , ' , i 't 1 .... !- t -. "" ' Ten emphasizing 'good the season ended with Pcnn State stunning Miami in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2 to win the national championship, most college football news has been news of unscrupulous agents, drugs and recruiting violations. just a matter of days ago, one of the Big Ten's brightest stars Ohio State wide receiver Crls Carter was ruled ineligible for his senior year because the .school determined he had signed with an agent and accepted payments in vlo-1 a 1 1 o n of NCAA rules. Schembechler "Crls Carter Is not a unique situation," said Schembechler, acting as the Big Ten coaches' spokesman. "It could have happened to anyone. It could have happened at any school, and It has. "We as Big Ten coaches feel strongly that we must do whatever we can to curb this agent problem. We have worked hard the last few years on the steroid problem, as well as drugs and alcohol. We feel that we have controlled the drugs and alcohol and now we're going to zero in with even more enthusiasm on the steroid problem. "We've worked hard with our at Michigan weather," declared the two-time Indy winner. "I don't think we can go much faster and I figure it will take around 215 to win the pole." Mario Andrettl was second quick at 214.228 mph in the Hanna Car Wash Lolallmor-Chevy. Andretti then lost an engine during 1ROC practice and hit the concrete in the second corner but only had the wind knocked out of him. Current CART point leader Bobby Rahal also topped 213 In the Budwciser LolaCosworth. Michael Andrettl, In the Kraco March 87CCosworth, was fourth fastest at 21 1.4 and Pan-cho Carter was also clocked at 211-plus in the Ilardee'sMa-chinists March 87CCosworth. Rookie Fabrizio Barbazza slapped the Turn 2 wall with the right rear of his Arclero March 87CCosworth, but escaped Injury. EACH YEAR Penske hosts a celebrity golf tourney preceeding refugee Joel Patten is working programs to improve our graduation rates. We realize there have been problems throughout the country as far as recruiting violations are concerned and our answer to that Is that we want strict enforcement. "We completely support the NCAA and Dick Schultz (NCAA executive director-elect) and will do everything we can in order to have the kind of competition that the Big Ten Conference should have. That means that It's clean and proper and competitive and good and it's in the best Interest of the youngsters who play. That's the bottom line: No matter how much revenue we generate or what we do, the most Important single fact is what effect does participation have on the guy who plays? We think we're working along those lines. "We think we have a lot of positive things to talk about. So much negative publicity comes from Just a very few Involved In the programs." THE BIG Ten has been a quarterback's league the past five years, sending throwers like Jim Everett, Tony Eason, Jack Trudcau, Chuck Long and Jim Harbaugh on to the National Football League. Even Ohio State has thrown for more yards than It has rushed for the past two years. This season is different. Five this race and, as always, he invites the touring PGA pros to drive the IROC stoekers the day before the outing. Danny Edwards, Jay Haas and Greg Norman are like "little kids at Christmas" on the track according to IROC boss Jay Si-gnore. But last Monday was a real adventure for Ron St reck. In his racing debut, Streck lit the tires up leaving the pits, got sideways and plowed into one of the parked IROC cars which started a chain reaction with two other cars. After getting checked out at the infield hospital Streck got into another Camaro Z-28 and promptly lost control and hit the second-turn wall. "Ron and everyone else felt bad but the damage was mostly cosmetic stuff," said Slgnore. "These guys usually do a good Job and are very respectful of the equipment. "But I think Ron better stick to golf." - 4wim STAR STAFF PH0T0BUD BERRY out with the Colts' offensive line. of the league's learns must replace starting quarterbacks. With several others, the Job Is up for grabs. This promises to be the year of the running back. Returning are Minnesota's Darrell Thompson (1,376 yards rushing in 1986), Iowa's Rick Baylcss (1.150), Michigan's Morris (1,086). Ohio State's Vlnce Workman (1,030) and Indiana's Anthony Thompson (806) and Michigan State's Ircnzo White (633). White has recovered from ankle and knee Injuries that hobbled him last year. I.U.'s Thompson Is coming back strong from arthroscopic knee surgery. Want more stars? Look to the league's punters. Michigan State's Greg Montgomery (47.9-yard average), Michigan's Monte Robblns (43.6), Wisconsin's Scott Ceplcky (43.0), Ohio State's Tom Tupa (42.7), Indiana's Dan Stryzlnskl (41.1) and Minnesota's Brent Herbel (40.4) enable the Big Ten to put Its best feet forward among the nation's punters. Starting Purdue offensive tackle Dan Payne has quit football. The Port Coqultlam, B.C.. resident wants to concentrate on making the Canadian Olympic wrestling team. Indiana Coach Bill Mallory said he will not know until mid-August whether or not starting cornerback Eric Hlckerson will be academically eligible. J V

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