Fair Game

Moore makes the most of Duck track

Finally got around to tackling Kenny Moore's recent book, 'Bowerman and the Men of Oregon.' It definitely was worth the read.

The book is about much more than UO track and field patriarch Bill Bowerman, though that subject is covered ably. It provides historical perspective on Duck track back to the days of Bill Hayward, for whom the Oregon track is named.

All the greats who have worn the lemon and green are presented, and those who have followed the program over the years will find themselves often taking note with, 'Ah yes, I remember him.'

Nobody is better equipped to do the book than Moore, the former Sports Illustrated writer who lived Duck track. As a kid growing up in Eugene, he idolized the UO runners of his childhood, then became one of them, twice taking his talents to the Olympic Games.

It's a subject of the heart, and Moore's lyrical prose maintains the reader's interest even as he provides more information than you really want to know.

You're on the inside looking out at big-box stuff such as Nike and Steve Prefontaine and Bowerman's long battle against the establishment (Amateur Athletic Association, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee).

I found some of the trivia fascinating - that Hayward, a true character, wasn't a colonel but liked to be addressed as such; that Bowerman's wife, Barbara, was once in love with a UCLA quarterback as well as with Bill; and that the irascible Bowerman really did pee on the legs of his unsuspecting athletes in the shower as some sort of twisted prank.

The genius of Bowerman is illuminated here. That of his biographer shines through, too.

nGlobal Spectrum has bid to play host to the U.S. Olympic box-offs at the Rose Garden next September. The top two contenders in each weight class will square off for the right to represent the country in the 2008 Olympic Games. The site will be announced later this month.

• You probably read about the high school senior in West Virginia last week who rushed for 658 yards and 10 touchdowns, not counting a 77-yard TD run nullified by penalty. You won't see the youngster's name mentioned here, because two of the scores came late in a 64-0 rout.

Blame the coach, not the player, for poor sportsmanship in running things up against a hapless opponent for record purposes. If statistics or state rankings are that important, if that's what high school athletics are about, I'm not buying.

• The University of Portland men's cross country team, ranked eighth nationally, suffered a major blow last week with the arrest of senior Micah Rolfe on a first-degree burglary charge. Rolfe had been running as the Pilots' No. 2 man in the absence of sophomore David Kinsella, out with knee tendinitis.

Rolfe, who has a court date set for later this month, will miss the pre-nationals at Indiana State on Oct. 14 and possibly the West Coast Conference Championships at San Mateo, Calif., on Oct. 28.

• Jamelle McMillan, the son of Trail Blazer coach Nate McMillan, is bound for Arizona State.

The 6-2 senior point guard at Seattle's O'Dea High has verbally committed to the Sun Devils and will play for new coach Herb Sendak, who was recruiting McMillan while still coaching at North Carolina State - Nate McMillan's alma mater.

'He wanted to be where his family could see him play,' the Portland coach says of his son. 'Jamelle and (Sendak) made a pretty good connection. It's a perfect match. He loves the campus, Tempe is a nice town, and the coaching staff is a good fit. He should have an opportunity to play right away as a freshman.'

McMillan will join Steve Jones Jr., a 6-1 guard from Jesuit High who is a walk-on sophomore at ASU and the son of NBA television analyst Steve Jones.

• Denizens of the Rose Garden will be startled at the new look after summertime improvements to the facility made by Global Spectrum. Just about everything on the club level has been renovated, including bars, eating areas and restrooms.

The Courtside Club, a dining area that seats 350 on the playing level, might be the most chic spot in the entire arena. Suites have been spruced up, and televisions added to the outside viewing areas.

Global Spectrum's work will continue in January, with the existing Garden Club on the main concourse built into a full-scale restaurant and sports pub and Havana's Cigar Bar getting a new look. Included on next year's list is a new scoreboard.

• I had it wrong twice in a recent column. When Oregon State Athletic Director Bob De Carolis scored a hole-in-one a few weeks ago, he was playing in a threesome, not a foursome. Don Ossey not only wasn't there to witness the ace, he's not a Beaver fan. 'I'm a die-hard Duck,' Ossey insists. My bad.

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