The U.S. Olympic Committee, still waiting for someone to admit to the trashing of dorm rooms by U.S. hockey players at Nagano, Japan, is not ready to take any punitive steps.
While executive director Dick Schultz and president Bill Hybl are not ready to set a deadline for action, they are thinking about moving on."We'd like to have it resolved as soon as possible," Hybl said Wednesday.
Schultz says he is willing to wait a week or two, and Hybl added that the matter would be discussed at the USOC's board meeting in Portland, Ore., next month.
The top two leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee said they aren't ready to impose sanctions against the 23 NHL stars on the team. They want the two or three players responsible for the vandalism still to confess.
Hybl and Schultz said all their options remain open, including the most severe - banning all the players from future international teams.
But, the officials said, they are willing to wait in hopes of cooling the rhetoric and reaching a solution fair to all players as well as Olympic organizers in Japan and the United States.
Schultz said the refusal of any players to admit responsibility, and the subsequent call by some committee members for swift, stern punishment, has left the two sides "polarized."
The NHL said last week its investigation has been unable to determine just who did an estimated $3,000 damage to three rooms at the Olympic Village in the early morning of Feb. 18, hours after the Czech Republic eliminated the heavily favored U.S. team from the Nagano tournament.