THE SITE EVALUATION Committee of the International Olympic Committee winds up its tour of Utah tomorrow morning. The committee, consisting of chairman Niels Holst-Soerenson of Denmark, Pal Schmitt of Hungary, Walther Troeger of Germany and the two USOC delegates, Robert Helmick and Anita DeFrantz, spent Monday and Tuesday visiting the facilities and prospective facilities for a prospective Utah Olympics.
They also spent the two days being wined and dined. Just to what extent have they been wined and dined? Well, they were hosted for breakfast Monday at University of Utah President Chase Peterson's house; they were hosted for lunch at Tony Roma's Restaurant in Salt Lake City; and they were hosted for dinner by Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis at the Browning Mansion.Tuesday, they had breakfast at Olympic Committee Director Tom Welch's house; they had lunch at Deer Valley Ski Resort; and dinner was scheduled at the Red Lion Hotel in Salt Lake City prior to that night's Jazz game.
"Wining and dining at every turn," smiled Rainer Dahl, chairman of the Utah Sports Foundation, who got in on a few of the meals himself. If the way to the IOC's heart is food and drink, Utah's bid is in good shape.
OF GAMES AND BATTLES: Bill Bean, the athletic trainer at the University of Utah, is enjoying the Utes' 12-game winning streak as much as anyone these days. But it does not have his undivided attention.
"It used to be that I'd read the sports page first," says Bean. "Now I read the front page first."
The reason is Bean's wife, Nancy, arrived in Saudi Arabia a week ago. Nancy is a nurse in the 144th Evacuation Hospital. Her unit was activated last November and shipped to the Persian Gulf last week.
Bean says he got a phone call from Nancy last Saturday night, just before the Utes won No. 12 against UTEP. "She couldn't be specific where she was," he says, "but it sounded as if they're someplace close to Riyadh. She's a non-combatant, but you still worry even if she's not on the front line. Quite honestly, my focus point's on Nancy these days."
As for the Utes, he says they're in good health and "ready for Thursday's game at Wyoming." In the past Bean, who is looking after their 14-month-old son while Nancy is away, might have said "battle" but not under the present circumstances.
PLAY VS. WORK: Utah Coach Rick Majerus, getting a lot of attention and credit for the unheralded Utes climbing to their 12-game win skein, 15-1 record, and No. 23 national ranking, downplays just how hard he and his players work.
"I tell the players all the time, `This isn't work,"' he says. "I know their parents. I know Tyrone Tate's mother is working hard every day in Chicago. I know Barry Howard's father is working in a factory in California. All I ask of these kids is an hour and a half of hard practice every day so they can represent their university as well as possible. But this isn't work. Putting a right fender on a Ford for eight hours a day, every day, that's work."
HE CALLED IN SICK, FINALLY: The Jazz's Mark Eaton is expected to be back in uniform tonight against the Spurs after missing the last two games because of illness.
You have to say this for Eaton: It took him a while to call in sick. Prior to last Friday's game at Dallas, he had never missed a minute of his nine-year, 690-game career because of illness.
For that matter, he had only missed six games out of the 690 regular season games due to anything. He missed one game in his first three seasons (1982-85) because the coach didn't put him in; he missed two games in 1986 because of a sprained ankle; and he missed three games in 1987 because of a pulled muscle and a hyperextended knee.
This current bout with an energy-draining virus - it snapped a 288-consecutive game streak - left Eaton sidelined but not necessarily humbled. "It's been a really weird thing," he says. "I haven't been sick, I've just felt lousy."
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Pete Rose, who on Monday assumed his court-appointed job as a gym teacher at Heberle Elementary School in Cincinnati: "I'm excited to be here. When you were a kid, didn't you get excited about going to school?"