The U.S. Olympic Committee, anxious for a better return on its investment in associations developing athletic talent, is proposing a more-medal, more-money funding system for the groups.
The proposed funding revision would send more money to established and emerging Olympic and Pan American sport governing bodies. Critics claim the financially weaker sports such as luge, field hockey, fencing and modern pentathlon could see their money support stagnate. They also suggest the USOC is straying from Olympic values by placing too high a premium on winning and not enough on the ideal of participation.
USOC officials said no Olympic sport will be cut out of the financial picture and the change will provide an incentive for management and performance improvements. They also maintain that in the long run all sports would benefit because more medals translate to increased public awareness and interest, making fund-raising easier.
The issue of incorporating a more stringent "success formula" in determining Olympic grant funds comes up for vote Saturday during the USOC's board of directors meeting in San Diego.
"I think it's good," said Frank Greenberg, president of The Athletics Congress, the governing body of track and field. ". . . the USOC has to adopt a policy as to how they are going to allocate limited resources."
The USOC is distributing $17 million to the 42 national sport governing bodies for 1990 and anticipates distributing $19 million next year.