Game events:

Last 3 seconds:

Courtesy of The Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland

IOC Historical Archives / International Federations - Basketball - Correspondence - 1961-1975

Scans: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5 page 6


Sunday, 10th September 1972

The meeting was convened at 20.05.

All members were present, except Sir Ade Ademola, who was excused. Mr. Willi Daume assisted.


Final Of the Olympic Basketball Tournament

Mr. William Jones, Secretary General and another representative of the Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur assisted during this part of the meeting.

President Brundage opened the discussion by stating that the US team, winners of the silver medals, had refused to receive their medals and he asked Mr. Jones to explain the situation.

During the last three seconds, explained Hr. Jones, there was a question of the exact amount of time left for play. One team had asked for time out which was refused but the ball was put into play too soon by the other official. No play was called and the game again started but as the ball was put into play from the side line, this showed that the time had been nullified and there were still three seconds to play, although, unfortunately, the official had forgotten to turn the clock back, Therefore, one second after play started again, the bell sounded for full time. The clock was immediately put back and play continued for a further three seconds., The trouble arose as the Americans were ahead when the bell rang for time but when the game restarted, the Russians went ahead and therefore won the tournament, the Americans gaining second place.

M. Jones continued that there was no rule in the Federation's rules concerning medals but the first three teams did qualify for the tournament in Montreal. If the Americans lost their place, then they would have to re-qualify for jhontreal, which would affect the rest of the American teams the South Americans would not have a chance to be represented.

President Brundage explained that the crux of the protest . was that the Americans claimed that the first bell for time was the proper bell and that they were the winners. Hr. Jones replied that by putting the ball back into play from the sideline, the referee showed that the two seconds before had been nullified. Both the Russian and American coaches were aware of this and were in no doubt of the situation. The jury of the Basketball Federation had met all through the night and had finally decided by a secret ballot that the Russians were the winners.

President Brundage stated that the meeting was now dealing with a team who would not accept the decision of the Federation and showed this by refusing to accept the Olympic medals. Lord Killanin thought that if the US refused the medals, all the teams should move up. In this case, the Soviet Union would receive the gold, Cuba the silver and Italy the bronze.

Mr. Daume resorted that Mr. Buck and Mr. Roby had gone to the village to try and talk to their team but as yet there had been no reply. There was a chance that the team would change its mind and appear at the victory ceremony scheduled for 0.15 that_evening.

Lord Killanin agreed that if the Americans changed their mind, there would be no problem. However, the officials must know before the victory ceremony what they had decided, so as to be able to change the medal places.

M. van Karnebeek proposed that it would be better to leave the silver medal place blank and not move up the teams. Comte de Beaumont agreed.

As the American basketball team was flaunting the Federation's ruling, President Brundage was wondering what Mr. Jones was going to do. Mr. Jones replied that the team was not picked by the National Basketball Federation but by a Basketball Committee of the USOC. In this case, stated Lord Killanin, the Basketball Federation and the USOC were not operating according to Olympic rules.

Hr. Jones was thanked by the meeting and left the room.

President Brundage thought that Mr. Buck should be contacted and asked to attend the meeting and say whether or not the Americans would be at the victory ceremony. This was agreed.

The meeting then adjourned from 21.15 to 22.30, while waiting for Mr. Buck.

Hr. Buck attended the meeting, accompanied by Mr. Bob Keene, Vice-President of the USOC and Mr. Bill Summers, Chairman and Mr. Herb Moles, Assistant Chairman of the USOC Basketball Committee.

President Brundage stated that the Executive Board were not prepared to go into technical details. It only wanted to know if the American team would be attending the victory ceremony or not.

Hr. Buck reported that he had been unable to influence his team and they would not attend the ceremony-unless they were awarded the gold medal.

President Brundage stated that the American team had played in a tournament under the jurisdiction of the Basketball Federation according to its rules. The jury of appeal had made a ruling and the American team would not accept this judgement.

Mr. Buck agreed that this was correct but he thought that if the Executive Board heard all the details, they would not support the Basketball Federation. The Board should hear the two referees, the four table officials and should see the actual film of play. The officials had signed a statement in contradiction to the findings of the jury of appeal and Mr. Buck requested that the Board should hear these people.

President Brundage explained that in technical matters, the I0C expected the International Federations to make the decisions. The Executive Board was a jury of appeal but only in non-technical matters.

Lord Killanin than asked if there was a National Federation which made the entries for the Games. The answer was affirmative, as this was done through the AAU.

President Brundage than asked Mr. Buck if he could produce any information of a non-technical nature, to which Mr. Buck replied that he would get this information later.

Lord Killanin again stated that in his opinion, the only problem remaining was whether or not to move the teams up in their positions, as the Americans would not accept the silver. If an enquiry was made into the protest on non-technical grounds, then the Executive Board could not see these officials without having Mr. Jones present at the meeting.

Mr. Andrianov dismissed the protest, as it was the business of the International Federation and not of the IOC.

Lord Killanin thought that the Americans should accept the silver medal and then carry on their protest afterwards. Hr. Buck agreed but he had been unable to persuade his team to do this.

Hr. Buck and his colleagues were thanked for attending .- the meeting and were shown out of the room.

It was President Brundage's opinion that the medal awarding ceremony should be postponed and the Executive Board should see the officials and Mr. Jones the following morning. The press knew that there was a protest and if the_medals were awarded with such a protest pending, the IOC would again lose face.

Lord Killanin thought the medals should be awarded that evening to the first and third teams and a release should be made that the Executive Board were examining the American protest_and the whole question of basketball as an 0lympic sport.

Mr. van Karnebeek wondered if there had been other cases of an NOC protesting against an IF and if so, what action had_been taken. President Brundage confirmed that there had been two and in each case, the sport concerned had been removed_fr0m the Olympic programme until such time as it conformed to Olympic rules.

Major Padilha thought that the Americans should have protested immediately about playing the extra three seconds. Mr. Andiranov agreed but President Brundage pointed out that the USOC had done this.

Decision: Victory ceremony to be held that evening, without awarding the silver medal. The protest and the rules of the Basketball Federation to be examined.

The meeting adjourned at 23.50 and Mr. Buck handed over to President Brundage the formal protest, together with e document signed by the basketball officials.