IOC president Jacques Rogge is a master of speaking while saying nothing. And yet, the press seems to be pretty quick to jump to an unstated conclusion. Here's an SI.com story headlined A second chance? IOC may take another look at softball for 2012 Games. That sounds exciting — I guess they're thinking about revisiting the decision to exclude softball from the Olympic program. Well, not quite. The story reports on an interview Rogge gave to Around the Rings. Here's what Rogge said:
Rogge told Around the Rings that IOC statutes prohibit the Olympic committee's executive board from overturning "a sovereign decision by the IOC session. Our charter is very clear that the [executive board] cannot take an initiative to say 'we want a new vote' because that would open up the door to all kinds of re-votes." But he said there were precedents for the full IOC to reconsider a decision.
So Rogge didn't say anything that SI.com shouldn't have already known, but I guess it's an excuse for a story. It kind of reminds me of this. The man is a genius at getting people to hear what they want him to say.
For what it's worth, I suspect that softball does have a pretty good chance of being on the program for 2012, in the end, but that hasn't changed since this interview came out.
I wish I was an Around the Rings subscriber, though, because the teaser for the Rogge interview is intriguing: "The president of the IOC says rules governing additions to the sports program should be eased." As I predicted at the time of the cuts, Rogge never intended for the Olympic program to be decreased in size, and he wants replacements for baseball and softball.