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USOC Musical chairs continue to fold



Published: Fri, February 14, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



After just 11 months on the job, chief marketing officer Toby Wong resigned.

COMBINED DISPATCHES

The costly turmoil at the U.S. Olympic Committee continued Monday with the resignation of chief marketing officer Toby Wong.

Wong, who was the first significant hire made by embattled CEO Lloyd Ward, lasted less than 11 months in the job. Although she did not have a contract, her departure will cost the USOC a low six-figure severance, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Wong was the fourth marketing chief since 1999. Since 2000, the USOC has had four CEOs and four presidents, with a fifth president to be chosen in the upcoming weeks.

Gloom looms

Ward told the USOC executive board the Titan Games will lose at least $125,000, not including whatever value-in-kind revenue and staff time have been used on the event. The Titan Games, a three-day combat sports event beginning Thursday in San Jose, Calif., are the first manifestation of the program Ward has created to provide "extra value" to sponsors who care mainly about the Olympics.

The executive committee also learned the USOC has been forced to cut $3.5 million, or 8.5 percent, of the amount it said in November would be the 2004 allocation to athlete programs and individual sports federations.

The USOC, which operates on four-year plans, remains more than $250 million shy of its proposed $591 million budget for 2005-08. That means raising $30 million per quarter in the next two years. The USOC brought in about that much in all of 2002.

Swim coaches named

Southern Cal swim coach Mark Schubert was selected Monday to lead the U.S. women's team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Texas swim coach Eddie Reese was selected as the U.S. men's coach.

It will be Schubert's third Olympics as a U.S. head coach and his seventh consecutive Olympic coaching position. His men's and women's teams at USC have placed 28 swimmers on Olympic teams during his 32-year coaching career.




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