A USFL club owner who is a former television executive described yesterday his unsuccessful attempt to obtain a fall television contract for the league, and how every hopeful development was followed by a devastating letdown.
Eddie Einhorn, who bought the Chicago Blitz in the spring of 1984, told the jury in his league's antitrust suit against the NFL that he received three different reactions from the three networks. But it all added up, he said, to no network television contract at all.
One of the USFL's principal contentions is that the NFL's presence on ABC, NBC and CBS blocked it from obtaining a fall contract. One of its principal demands is that the NFL be barred from at least one of those networks. USFL counsel Harvey Myerson has also tried to show that NFL pressure on the networks, both direct and indirect, caused them to stay away from anything that might offend the established league.
Einhorn said that during his negotiations with ABC, there were some references to the NFL, adding: "To me, actions speak louder than words. There are enough acts that I have described here over a long period of time. We were in a position where we weren't allowed to pursue our own destiny."
However, he gave no specific instances of NFL pressure and later added: "NFL implications did come up but I'm not making a major issue of that."
Earlier, Neal Pilson, the former chief executive for CBS Sports, testified that a declining market for televised sports and the USFL's disarray were the main reasons the network declined to give the league a contract for its switch to the fall. He said there was no pressure from the NFL.
Einhorn's account of his negotiations with CBS were substantially the same as Pilson's. He said most of his problems came from ABC, which carried the USFL in its three spring seasons.
Eight bettors each selected the one-two-three horses in the fourth and fifth races to split a $699,100 Twin Trifecta jackpot at Delaware Park.
Steve Kallens, a track spokesman, said 1,889 bettors correctly selected 4-to-1 shot Just For Patricia, Lyphard's View (3 to 1) and Essence Lady (6 to 1) in the fourth race triple. Those winners each collected $111.30 and a ticket to play the fifth race triple, the second half of the Twin Trifecta that had not been hit for 15 days.
Delaware Park attracted about 6,500 race fans -- nearly three times the normal Friday crowd -- as excitement over the Twin Trifecta grew, Kallen said. He said the day began with a Twin Trifecta pool of $488,726, but that nearly $561,000 was added yesterday. Of the 1,889 tickets still alive, eight of them picked 10-to-1 shot That's Telling, So Cunning (3 to 1) and Arvonia Off (2 to 1) to finish one-two-three in the fifth race.
Each $3 ticket is worth $87,387.60. The names of the winners were not immediately available.
Jacques Demers became the 20th Detroit Red Wings coach and the club's fourth in the last year. The signing of Demers to a five-year contract was announced at a news conference by Jimmy Devellano, the Red Wings' general manager.
"Anybody who thinks this man isn't going to be around awhile, this says it all," said Devellano, calling Demers "the best coach in hockey."
Demers, 41, took an unheralded St. Louis Blues team to the semifinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs, where they finally bowed to the Calgary Flames in seven games.
"I don't have to make promises, I don't have to sell myself," Demers said. "All I can say is we're going to play better than we have in the past. The Red Wings aren't a great hockey club but it's a good hockey club and we're going to make it better."
Four Cleveland players went fishing on their day off Thursday and almost didn't make it back.
Indians reliever Ernie Camacho said that he and teammates battled rough Lake Erie waters for nearly an hour in a 24-foot boat with a stalled engine.
"Water was flying everywhere and the boat was close to sinking," said Camacho. "Eventually, the Coast Guard had to tow us in. But until then, I was sure I was going to be just another tragic boating statistic."
Camacho, pitcher Don Schulze, outfielder Otis Nixon, batting coach Bobby Bonds and four of their friends met at Port Clinton, Ohio, early Thursday morning. The Lake Erie suburb is about 80 miles west of Cleveland.
"We went fishing off Kelley's Island from about 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we caught lots of fish," said Camacho. "But then a storm came up and the motor quit. I really got sick to my stomach, and so did Otis. I was so weak, my insides so sore, that I was spitting up blood. . . . They all were making fun of me, but I was really scared."
Nixon said the incident "made me lose some sleep but it hasn't turned me off fishing. The next time, though, I just might go to a movie on my day off." . . .
Mike Schmidt, the Philadelphia Phillies' star third baseman, is contemplating retirement because of a succession of injuries that have dimmed his enthusiasm.
Schmidt, a 14-year veteran, has been troubled all season by a variety of ailments.
Under contract until the end of next season, Schmidt, 36, who has hit 468 home runs in his career, said he is starting to think about the end of his playing days. "Next year, if I go through this . . . on a regular basis, I'll quit," he told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Or retire . . . if I have to go, year in and year out, consistently through these little, nagging things where I've got to be in that trainer's room every day, that ain't for me. I've had enough."
John (Hot Rod) Williams played hard and well in one of the basketball games he is accused of fixing, Southern Mississippi Coach M.K. Turk testified. Williams is being tried in New Orleans on sports bribery charges and is accused of plotting to shave points in three Tulane games and of carrying out the scheme in two games -- against Southern Mississippi and Memphis State in 1985.
Thursday, Memphis State Coach Dana Kirk said he couldn't see any evidence of a fix in the game his team won at Tulane. In his testimony yesterday, as the defense opened its case, Turk pretty much agreed with Kirk. "His play was very sound and solid. He did in that game what he had done in other games," Turk said.
Under cross examination by Assistant District Attorney Tim McElroy, Turk conceded that it wouldn't really be possible to determine absolutely that a player was playing at only 70 percent of his ability.
TRACK AND FIELD
Kathy Ormsby, paralyzed from injuries suffered when she jumped from a 50-foot bridge after she stopped running during the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, was transferred from Indianapolis to Duke University Medical Center, where she is scheduled for two spinal operations.
The 21-year-old North Carolina State University athlete left Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis by air ambulance and arrived in Durham yesterday afternoon. A Duke spokesman said she was in stable condition.
The Washington Senators Fan Club will host the third annual Old Timers Sports Collectors Classic at RFK Stadium June 21-22. There will be guests signing autographs and 50 tables of baseball cards and other baseball memorabilia. Admission is $2 for the show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 21 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 22.