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Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers???

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  • Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers???

    I say yes. Anyone else in any genre or sport would have been called sore losers!

    It is correct that they were robbed in that gold medal game v. the USSR in Munich. It is correct that FIBA's incompetence officiating and supervising that game showed big time.

    But that still does not give reason to start declining medals. That does not give reason to put it in your will that your offspring will not accept your silver medal. Lack of fogiveness is one thing. But when one starts putting his family in those issues, then that is a problem.

    Just remember. Roy Jones, Jr. was robbed in Seoul. Yes, he protested (the right way), but he still accepted his silver medal, although he should have gotten the gold. Evander Holyfield was wrongfully DQ in LA, but after formal protest (the correct way), he was given a bronze. He accepted gracefully.

    One must ask the question. Does the conduct of the American hoop team in Munich send a wrong message about sportsmanship? I know this will be hot! Discuss.....

  • #2
    Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

    I read a story in '02 (30th anniversary) on the topic. 100% of the players must agree before it can happen. A few have waffled a bit, but some are adamant. One guy to the point of having it placed in his will that no family member can ever give this consent.

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    • #3
      Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

      For the benefit of those of us who pay little or no attention to sports other than t&f, what is this about? Did they not accept the medals in 1972 and are considering taking them now? Or did they accept them in 1972 and are now thinking of giving them back. Neither the subject line nor either of the posts thus far make that clear.

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      • #4
        Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

        >For the benefit of those of us who pay little or no attention to sports other
        >than t&f, what is this about? Did they not accept the medals in 1972 and are
        >considering taking them now? Or did they accept them in 1972 and are now
        >thinking of giving them back. Neither the subject line nor either of the posts
        >thus far make that clear.

        My bad. I thought us track heads were more diverse, but that's cool. The 72 Olympic Basketball Title game is arguably the most controversial event in the history of sport. In short, Dave Collin's free throws gave the US a 50-49 lead and should have given them the victory. But, on three different occasions, the officials put :03 back on the clock, resulting in the Soviets throwing a long pass, catch and layup on the final play, giving them the 51-50 win.

        The US Team, understandably angry, filed an official protest, and refused to take the medal stand (first time in Oly history that's ever happened). The medals are still locked up in a vault in Lusanne, Switzerland, and not one member of that team has come forward to claim them. Peace.

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        • #5
          Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

          No way... they made their stand 32 years ago, they were robbed and everyone on earth knows it so they didn't take the medals then and they shouldn't now! The whole thing still pisses me off just thinking about it!!!!

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          • #6
            Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

            IN retrospect should have taken the medals. UNDER those crazy conditions, when I was their age , would have taken a team secret vote and abided by the outcome , my vote would have been FU!

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            • #7
              Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

              I agree with jhc68. If they did not take the medals now, it is ridiculous to ask for them or even accept them now.

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              • #8
                Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

                >I read a story in '02 (30th anniversary) on the topic. 100% of the players
                >must agree before it can happen.>>

                Says who? I'd bet that if one of the players wrote to the IOC and said "I'd like my medal now" they'd be happy to give it to him.

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                • #9
                  Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

                  I wonder if a few of the players who are waffling want to sell that medal and reap the financial reward for selling a unique piece of sports history. I wouldn't begrudge them that if they had any financial hardships.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

                    ..

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                    • #11
                      Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

                      Sports Illutrated quoted the IOC as saying it was a 'team' award and medals would only be distributed as a team. I also read the same in the Charlotte Observer where two of the guys live. Financial hardship is the reason quoted in that article for the reason some have rethought their position, but there is absolutely no chance that some will give an inch. I will do an SI archives seacrch and if I come up with anything, I will post the link.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

                        I'm gonna make some folks even madder with this proposal:

                        That there be a 10-year statute of limitations if one declines a medal. If that were in effect then, the US would be DQ'd. Cuba would move up to silver and Italy would get bronze.

                        Once again, while I would agree that the Americans were robbed, the stance they took raises an issue of sportmanship (or lack of). In addition, keeping your family out of the fruits of your Olympic experience (Kenny Davis's will) makes it worse. Peace.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

                          Official results (the scoreboard) and awards (medals & trophies) are two different things. There are all kinds of cases where people leave early before a track meet ends and don't claim their award, or just don't care to pick it up from the awards table. Some people compete just for the sake of competing, and really don't want any awards. That doesn't change the official results.
                          What if Jim Ryun never picked up his award at the meet in '67 when he ran his 3:51.1 world record? If ten years went by would you wipe him off the official results and give the 1st place award to whoever finished second, also wiping out Ryun's world record?
                          I think not.

                          As much as we may detest the basketball result in '72, whether the U.S. team accepted the silver medals or not has nothing to do with changing the competition results.

                          As for the IOC only awarding team medals to a "team", what if all agree but one person doesn't want to participate? I can't imagine the IOC holding the medals back in a case like that. I doubt they have a hard & fast rule, but probably if 50% of the players decided to accept it, the IOC would go ahead and release the medals to those players. Just a guess.
                          As for a player leaving it in his will that no beneficiary could accept the medal on his behalf, I kind of doubt the IOC would recognize it. Once a player is deceased his "vote" on the matter of a team medal is probably permanently set aside.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

                            This brings up an interesting question:
                            Did any members of the '72 U.S. Olympic basketball team return to play on the '76 U.S. Olympic basketball team?

                            Since professional players were not allowed to be on the American team until the late '80's (unlike the eastern bloc countries which were really all professionals for decades), it may be that all the '72 U.S. players went ahead and "turned pro" before '76 rolled around, and there was no going back under the standards of that day.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Non-Track: Should USA Basketball '72 take their silvers?

                              Yes I think financial hardship would be the main reason. Because if they truly cared for the medal they would have accepted it back in '72. What I don't understand is the guys who may force a former friend/teammate into bankruptcy over this, to me it's too petty........

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