SEATTLE, AUG. 1 -- U.S. Olympic Committee President Robert Helmick said today that beleaguered USOC Vice President George Steinbrenner told him he prefers his fate be left up to the USOC.

"We talked yesterday {Tuesday}," Helmick said at a Washington, D.C., reception following a House banking subcommittee hearing concerning the minting of 1992 Olympic coins.

"We reviewed the copy of the agreement he and Commissioner {Fay} Vincent agreed to and he reiterated that his involvement on the committee is up to the committee {itself}. I see no reason to act hastily. We need to sit down and assess the situation."

Steinbrenner, a USOC vice president since February 1989, agreed Monday to resign as general partner of the New York Yankees in the wake of his dealings with gambler Howard Spira. Helmick said Tuesday the USOC will address the issue of Steinbrenner's future with the organization at the regularly scheduled executive committee meeting Aug. 22 in Colorado Springs.

The USOC constitution says the USOC board of directors, which has 100 voting members to the executive committee's 16, has the "authority to elect the officers of the USOC and to remove the same for cause. . . . "

Helmick said Tuesday Steinbrenner would not be forced out. If he leaves the USOC, it would be because he resigns.

"There is not going to be removal for cause," he said Tuesday. "We have no real procedure for that. George has always made it clear that he wants to do what's best for the Olympic athletes and the Olympic movement. George has always told me that if there is a problem he would change his relationship with the USOC."

Apparently, Helmick now has changed his mind. It is believed Steinbrenner wants to keep his post with the USOC. However, there are growing indications members of both USOC bodies -- the executive committee and board of directors -- don't want Steinbrenner to stay.

"I would hope that there could be a mutual agreement between George and the USOC," said one organization insider who asked not to be named. "It should be one decision. In all probability, I think that decision will be that he leaves. I think it is unlikely he will stay on."

Don Porter, a member of the USOC board of directors from Oklahoma City, said today he wants Steinbrenner to resign.

"With the notoriety and everything that's happening, regardless of whether it's true or isn't true, it's making it very, very difficult for George to continue in the responsibilities he has," said Porter, executive director of the Amateur Softball Association.

"Quite frankly, it would be best if George would just resign. With the great amount of publicity and all the negative things being said, this could call into question the credibility of the USOC because of the high position he has."

Porter said he personally would be reluctant to call on Steinbrenner's ouster at the next board of directors meeting in October in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

"He should be allowed to state his side, just as he did with Commissioner Vincent," Porter said. "He'll have that opportunity in October."

Mike Jacki, another board member who is the executive director of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation in Indianapolis, said what many have been saying: That the issue is a matter of public relations.

"We are America's team, supported by the American people and American sponsors," Jacki said. "This could have a significant impact on that."

Said Porter: "The USOC has got to maintain a very high profile of credibility. Although this is not directly related, indirectly it is."