IG reviewing group that runs academy sports

September 28, 1994|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Sun Staff Writer

The Navy inspector general's office has begun reviewing the Naval Academy Athletic Association (NAAA) after its purchase of a condominium for its president and an all-expense-paid trip for supporters spurred Congress to call for an overhaul of Navy athletics.

Capt. Tom Jurkowsky, an academy spokesman, confirmed yesterday that a lawyer with the inspector general's office has been collecting documents about the operation of NAAA.

"I think they're in the information-gathering mode," said Captain Jurkowsky. "They've found no indication of wrongdoing."

The IG review was ordered by Adm. Stanley Arthur, vice chief of naval operations, said Captain Jurkowsky, after Congress last month passed a measure that would shift control of academy sports from the 100-year-old private organization to the federal government by 1996.

The Navy must report to Congress by March, detailing how it will make the changes and including the costs.

"The Navy IG has been in and out of here for the last two months," added Tom Bates, sports information director. "There's been a lot of documents they've taken."

Mr. Bates said the IG lawyer has been dealing with NAAA President Jack Lengyel -- who also serves as the academy's athletic director -- and "some business people" at NAAA. Mr. Lengyel was unavailable.

Officials at the Navy IG's office in Washington would not comment.

Academy officials would not comment on the specific records taken, although one Navy source in Washington said at least part of the review focuses on the purchase of a condominium for Mr. Lengyel.

The NAAA paid cash in December 1992 for a $317,000 condo for Mr. Lengyel.

He and academy officials have strongly defended the purchase, saying the athletic director's contract calls for housing. The NAAA bought the condo as an investment when Mr Lengyel's academy housing was under renovation, academy officials have said.

That same month NAAA sent 96 academy officials, local businessmen and spouses on an all-expense-paid trip to the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.

Five months earlier, the NAAA approved cutting four varsity sports and reducing another sport to club status, citing costs and other factors. The cuts saved $250,000.

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