The U.S. Olympic Committee's revenue shortfall caused by President Carter's demand for a U.S. boycott of this summer's Moscow Olympics claimed its first victim today when the budgetary ax fell on the Olympic training center at Squaw Valley, Calif.
F. Don Miller, USOC executive director, announced that the facility, one of two year-round centers for training amateur athletes that the USOC opened in 1977, would be closed in October and sold to a developer.
Operation of the Squaw Valley center, which costs the USOC $20.32 per day for each athlete in training there, has been much less efficient than that of its counterpart in Colorado Springs, where the daily cost is $10.16 per athlete, Miller said.
Approximately 33,000 athletes in 33 sports have utilized the training centers to date. Plans for additional regional facilities -- possibly including one at the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. -- have been put in abeyance because of the current budget crunch.
"These are hard times, and we must face bottom line considerations," Miller said.
USOC fund raising, which was ahead of target through the first of the year, has fallen off drastically since Jan. 4, when President Carter first proposed a Moscow boycott to punish the Soviet Union for its invasion of Afghanistan.
Revenues for the first quarter of 1980 fell $1.5 million short of the anticipated $4 million. Miller is projecting a $7 million deficit in the USOC's $43 million budget for the four-year period ending Dec. 31.
Since it was uncertainty about U.S. participation in the wake of the president's boycott call that put a damper on fund raising, Miller said, he hopes that the vote of the USOC House of Delegates Saturday to support the president and the proboycott view of the American public will renew the flow of corporate and private contributions that are the organization's lifeblood.
A vote to defy the president would have "put the USOC right out of business," said William E. Simon, former U.S. Treasury secretary and now the USOC treasurer.
Miller emphasized that only 8 percent of the USOC budget was earmarked for sending a team to the Moscow games, and that funds are still needed to pay for ongoing programs, including an ambitious sports medicine program, development grants to the national governing bodies of various amateur sports, the jobs opportunities program for Olympic athletes, the training centers, and the USOC's National Sports Festival.
If revenues are not increased, more budget retrenchments will be necessary, said Miller. He will meet with Lloyd Cutler, White House counsel, in Washington this week or next to negotiate a program of federal assistance to the USOC.
The White House has included $4 million -- the first installment of a four-year, $16 million, one-time grant to the USOC authorized by Congress in 1978 but never appropriated -- in its supplemental 1980 budget request.
Miller said there was "a slight possibility that this amount might be increased for this calendar year to help us meet some of the immediate problems resulting from our fund raising shortfall."
In addition to appropriations, the USOC is seeking other forms of federal assistance, including tax abatements for corporate contributions, capital improvements at its Colorado Springs training center, and a commemorative coin program.
Cutler has given assurances that the USOC revenue needs will be given more than lip service, but no "deal" with a specific dollar figure was promised by the administration in return for the USOC's proboycott vote, Miller said.
USOC President Robert J. Kane disputed charges that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could censure the USOC and possibly revoke the 1984 Summer Olympics from Los Angeles because of the USOC decision not to send a team to Moscow.
Julian K. Roosevelt, one of two American members of the IOC, said Saturday that the USOC had "knuckled under to political pressure unnecessarily," and might be penalized for violating the IOC rule that national Olympic committees must resist political influence.
Kane said the USOC had kept IOC President Lord Killanin and Director Monique Berlioux fully informed of its actions, and they had confirmed that the USOC "did everything properly." Killanin is satisfied that USOC delegates made up their own minds to support the president and voted to do so democratically, Kane said, adding: "He understands our predicament."
Killanin issued a brief statement today. Without specifically referring to the USOC decision, he said the status of the Moscow games would be reviewed at a meeting of the IOC executive board in Lausanne, Switzerland, April 21-23.
There have been reports that the IOC might change its rules to permit athletes to enter the games as individuals, rather than as representatives of their national Olympic committees. Miller, who will represent the USOC in Lausanne, said that such a rules change in highly unlikely.
Anita DeFrantz, Olympic rower and attorney, said that a class action suit probably will be filed on behalf of U.S. athletes prevented from entering the Moscow games.
However, she admitted the suit was primarily "a matter of principle," and has little chance of reversing the USOC decision against sending American athletes to Moscow.
In other business, the USOC approved Syracuse, N.Y., as the site of its 1981 National Sports Festival, an Olympic-style, multisport event for U.S. athletes held in non-Olympic years.
William Kissell, general counsel of the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee, reported that he is seeking assistance from the federal and New York state governments to make up a $4 to $5 million budget deficit for the Winter Olympics held in February.
"This is a matter of some urgency," said Kissell, explaining that the Lake Placid committee encountered a $2 million shortfall in its projected revenues of $44.5 million and exceeded budget expenditures by $3 million.
"We have creditors who have been very patient and haven't sued us yet, but with interest rates at 20 percent, they can't wait forever," he said.
Hank Usher, executive vice president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, reported that the 1984 Summer Games are projecting a $21 million surplus and are "in very good financial shape."
He said that Soviet Olympic officials who visited Los Angeles last week said that Soviet athletes would definitely compete in the 1984 games, even if U.S. athletes boycott Moscow this year.