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July 09, 1981 - Image 16

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1981-07-09

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Page 16 Thursday, July 9, 1981 The Michigan Daily
Ex-coach escapes sanction


District Judge Phillip Baiamonte
yesterday deferred sentence for a year
for former University of New Mexico.
basketball Coach Norm Ellenberger
and said that at the end of that period
all counts against Ellenberger would be
The former coach was convicted
Tuesday on21 of 22 counts of fraud and
making false public vouchers.
THE JUDGE also placed Ellenberger
on one year of unsupervised probation
and did not require the former coach.o
make restitution.
The judge called this "hypocrisy"
and said he would not be a party to it.
He said Ellenberger had been in a
"high-pressure cooker atmosphere.
were broken. Is anyone really sur-
prised? This is a problem that probably
exists at every major college and
university in the country."
He characterized major college spor-
ts as "minor league but professional."
And he said "all the money referred
to in testimony in the tryal was used by
the defendant to keep athletes happy or

THE FLAMBOYANT former coach "I DON'T agree I should have been
who was as well known for his courtside sentenced at all," he said.
antics as his winning teams could have Baiamonte said the ideal situation
'Naturally rules and laws
were broken. Is anyone really -Judge Phillip Baiamonte,
surprised? This is a problem during the trial of former New
that probably exists in every Mexico basketball coach
major college and university Norm Ellenberger.
in the country.

judge's comments on the state of
college athletics, said: "I thought the
judge really did what I was trying to do
quite well."
Ellenberger's attorney Leon Taylor
said he believed the judge "showed
keen insight. "I think that's what we
were telling the jury. The jury apparen-
tly got hung up on other problems,"
Taylor said.
THE SEVEN-MAN five-woman jury
returned the verdicts against Ellen-
berger about 5 p.m. Tuesday. They
found the former coach innocent of one
count of fraud over $2,500, a third-
degree felony charge carrying a
maximum penalty of three years in
prison. .
After the verdicts, Ellenberger
emerged from the courtroom to tell
reporters: "I don't like it. This is not
right. It isn't right. It is wrong; this is
an absolute wrong."
"We're not through yet," he said.
"Maybe we've just begun to fight. More
than one case has been reversed."
After the verdicts, Taylor said: "It's
not over yet. There's an appeal coming.
A wrong has been committed against
this man. It will be reversed."



received maximum sentences of 18
months in prison on each of the 21 coun-
ts, all fourth-degree felonies.
"I'm certainly pleased with this part
of the trial. Some other parts did not en-
thuse-me too much," Ellenberger told
reporters after sentencing.
Asked whether he still planned to ap-
peal his convictions, he replied: "Oh, of
course. I'm not guilty. The compassion
of the court didn't change that."

would be for the nation's colleges and
universities to get out of the business of
conducting professional athletics and
go back to the academics for which they
were established.
He said that if athletic programs are
so entrenched, colleges and universities
should at least be honest enough to ad-
mit they are conducting professional
ELLENBERGER, asked about the


Tourney lures
golfers to state
BIRMINGHAM (AP)-They're going to roll back the calendar at storied
Oakland Hills Country Club and Gene Littler hopes it stops at 20 years.
Littler who will turn 51 later this month won the U.S. Open golf championship.at
Oakland Hills in 1961 and is at least a sentimental favorite going into the 1981 U.S.
Senior Open which begins today.
OTHER FAMILIAR names out of golf's past who will be competing for the
$25,000 first prize include Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and Billy Casper.
The 6,798-yard South Course which plays to a par of 72 for Oakland Hills mem-
bers has been set at par 70 for the field of 150 seniors aged 50 or over.
"There aren't many birdie holes," Littler moaned after a practice round Wed-
nesday. "There are a lot of guys in the field who will wear their woods out."
THE U.S. GOLF Association did however relented somewhat on the 445-yard
18th hole and moved the tee 10 yards closer to the hole. The green at 18 which is a
par 5 for members and a par 4 for this tournament is designed for shortiron shots.
But most of the senior golfers still were using woods on their second shots in prac-
"Sam Snead complained about it during the 1979 PGA Tournament too,"
Oakland Hills President Bill Prew said with a laugh. "But he birdied it the first
three days and parred it the fourth."
The greens which have been baking in unseasonable Michigan heat for the past
several days have been very fast during practice and golf course superintendent
Ted Woehrle promised to double-cut them-making them even quicker.
THE COURSE-considered one of the toughest in the world-has been set up for
a major championship with narrow fairways and thick tall rough.
Littler predicted the winning score would be over par but said he expected the
fans-28,000 advance tickets at $12 each already have been sold-would be under-
"I think the fans like to see birdies," Littler said. "But you might put the regular
tour players here and they'd shoot over par."
HOST PRO AL Mengert agreed.
"The length of the course is going to be tough on many of the players and the un-
dulating greens will be very difficult on the nerves but you'll see some shotmaking
this week," Mengert said.
The starting field of 150 will be cut to the low 50 after two rounds.
Defending champion Roberto deVicenzo who has been ill recently was unable to
Oakland Hills which will be the site of the U.S. Open for the fifth time in 1985 in
the past has been the sight of a Western Open two PGA championships and the
inaugural Carling World Open.



Tongue tied ^Pehot
Joe Lucas from Innisfail, Alberta, gives it his all during the North American
Calf Roping Championships.


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