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Tales from the Attic: Committee for an Open & Improved ACBL.
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November 1999 Newsletter:A letter by William J. August of Palm Beach FL.

His closing comment is "Printing this letter will At least show a Modicum of

guts and class."

As an ACBL member and participant for over 40 years, I have witnessed  many

things Management in Memphis has done which have not been in the best

interest of the members. This latest "blunder" is beyond my imagination.

The ACBL Junior teams recently played in the Junior World Championships

in Ft. Lauderdale. As an adjunct to the matches, I understand that Alan Cokin

participated in the event as some sort of "advisor or whatever to one of the USA

teams. I find this absolutely reprehensible. I addition, he was given a financial

stipend. UNBELIEVABLE. Are you people crazy?

This man was accused of, and found to be , a cheater. In bridge, a cheater is the

lowest form of humanity.  He was suspended by the League. For a protracted period

of time he swore to everyone that he was innocent. He finally admitted that he was

guilty as charged.

What a joke! He had filed a huge lawsuit against ACBL and ACBL had settled with

no explanation to us , the members. The settlement and legal fees came from

our money. WE members own the League, not the Board or Management.

After the settlement, Cokin and Sion were allowed into ACBL sanctioned events

like nothing had happened. If I wish to compete, ACBL says I have no choice but

to play against Mr. Cokin should we meet.

Those who play with either of them as partner or teammate, have their own code

of honor and decency. But for the ACBL to use our money for a cheater to counsel

a squad of youngsters who are still learning our rules of conduct and standards

of ethics, is an insult and a sham.

COI NOTE:

The awkward events of 1979 can be summarized thus: Messrs. Cokin and Sion's

signaling code was broken during the Norfolk VA spring NABC Men's BAM Teams,

which they won. In June, during the Atlanta GNT "zonals," Steve Robinson

kibitzed their table for 16 boards, taking notes. The subsequent hearings,

including one before the ACBL Board's appeals & charges committee, resulted

in the indefinite suspension of their membership.

Four years later, their "anti-trust" lawsuit vs ACBL was settled, with the League's

insurance carrier paying the legal expenses of both sides. They were re-admitted

on a probationary basis, with a lifetime prohibition against them playing as a

partnership. Follow Cokin's appearance before the Board to admit their guilt.

both eventually signed statements to that effect.

Over the years since, their behaviors have diverged significantly. While Mr. Cokin

has been helpful and cooperative, (in the words of their de facto probation

officer, Bobby Wolff) Mr Sion was videotaped stacking deals two years ago,

and as a result is banished presumably forever.

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