Muscle Builder, Vol 6 No 3, Page 23, October 1956

The Hoffman Exposé

by Barton Horvath

The putrid stench stirred up by Bob Hoffman's questionable actions at the American Mr. Universe contest held at Virginia Beach on June 9 and 10 has created a bodybuilding rebellion. Buck Cowling, director of the event has refused to accept the decision of the judges and he brands Hoffman a 'liar' and a 'fraud'. When the facts were presented to Dan Parker, America's favorite sport's columnist, Dan was moved to blast Hoffman in his Daily Mirror column. Hoffman was put on the spot by reporters after the contest and when asked to explain his irregular actions, sneered . . . "I'm interested in getting rid of these physique contests anyway. They are sissified things. . ." For the full facts of Hoffman's flagrant violations of AAU rules and for the details concerning his conuct unbecoming an AAU official, read this explosive expose now!

FOR FAR TOO LONG A PERIOD OF TIME one Robert C. Hoffman of York, Pa., has bellowed his way into the limelight of AAU bodybuilding contests, usurping powers never officially delegated to him in series of ludicrous attempts to establish himself as the czar of the muscle world.

His latest faux pas, committed at the 2 day American Mr. Universe Contest last June 9 and 10 at Virginia Beach, raised a tidal wave of indignation that may sweep him completely out of AAU and Olympic Committee affiliation.

When the first night's balloting showed a decisive first place victory for Ray Schaefer, Mr. America 1956, Hoffman's pride and dignity were hurt. He alone, from a panel of seven duly accredited judges had voted first place to his protegé Steve Klisanin, who ranked no better than fourth in the general consensus.

Hoffman, who has become quite a controversial figure among bodybuilding enthusiasts because of his annoying tendency to take irregular steps to assure contest victories for his favorites, after realizing that Klisanin would not win in a fair contest, flaunted self-assumed authority and contrived to have the first night's balloting declared merely a trial run.

Then, by deftly maneuvering the replacement of two duly delegated AAU Officials with judges of his own liking, and convincing another that his original scoring had been in error, Hoffman rigged the event and manipulated a new score on the second night, with an astounding reversal that gave fourth place Klisanin the winner's trophy and Schaefer the No. 2 spot.

A crowd of 1500, braving a drizzling rain, was stunned by the announcement of Klisanin's victory. With Schaefer, Harry Johnson, Bob Hinds and Gene Bohaty all vastly superior in muscle architecture to Klisanin, unbiased observers immediately recognized the rhubarb of which Hoffman was guilty.

If the crowd was shocked, more so was Buck Cowling, the director of the Mr. Universe Contest, who was issued the sanction by the local Virginia Registration Committee.

Hoffman's total disregard of fair play so incensed Buck Cowling, that he not only REFUSED to accept the verdict of the judges, but he has informed this office that he has instituted legal action against Hoffman as an "incompetent official", "a liar", and "a fraud".

Photosttic copies of the balloting as well as tape recordings of pertinent conversations in Cowling's posession should serve as complete evidence that Cowling's charges are just.

Further proof of Hoffman's partiality in this even is that immediately after the Virginia Beach fiasco, Schaefer made the trip to England for their Mr. Universe event and won the title handily, over a dozen international stars!

If Cowling's charges can be proved to the satisfaction of the AAU Officials, then disciplinary action will have to be taken, to the point of ousting Hoffman from the Association.

The specific charges are:

  1. He lied.
  2. He changed judges in a middle of a contest to permit his favorite to win.
  3. He used an AAU sanctioned contest to promote personal business.
  4. He insisted he was empowered with officiating rights he did not possess.
  5. He ignored specific AAU rules and thereby jeopardized the amateur standing of every contestant, including Chuck Vinci, and Paul Anderson who gave lifting exhibitions.
  6. he swayed the opinion of at least one judge.
  7. He is guilty of incompetence.
  8. He is guilty of actions unbecoming an AAU official.

An imposing list of charges which if proved, should sound the swan song to an already fading Hoffman career. Do they stand up? The reader and the AAU investigation committee should have no difficulty in deciding for themselves.

Newspaper Clippings

Pot Still Bubbling:

'Mr. Universe' Type Contests 'Sissified', Hoffman Asserts

Robert Hoffman, storm center of a rhubarb that has taken some of the sheen off of Virginia Beach's "Mr. Universe" contest, yesterday told The Viriginian-Pilot that physique contests are "sissified".

He also flatly contradicted Promotor Buck Cowling's assertion that he had exceeded his authority in chanigng judges while the contest was in progress.

"I could do as I liked and I actually only made one change," said Hoffman in a telephone converstation from his headquarters in York, Pa. "I made the change on Horvath (Bart Horvath, of Jersey City, N.J.) because I don't consider him a quailfied AAU official."

He conceded that Ray Schaefer, Mr. America for 1956 and runner up to winner Steve Klisanin at Virginia Beach, was in first position at the end of the semi-final balloting Saturday while Klisanin was in fourth place. "But Klisanin only had to pick up two and one-half points to finish first," he said. "The light was bad the first night and some of the judges couldn't see blemishes that showed up on the second night."

Conclusions Criticized

Hoffman also said he thought the voting conclusions the first night "were not at all good," and that this influenced his decision to make changes the second night.

Horvath, he said, was replaced by Paul Anderson, of Toccoa, Ga., a world record holding weight lifter. "I only put Horvath in there the first night to try to educate him around the right line," he said.

Horvath is publisher of a rival magazine to Hoffman's "Strength and Health".

AAU Asked To Probe 'Universe'

Promoter Charges Change of Judges In Beach Contest

VIRGINIA BEACH--The Junior Chamber of Commerce here has asked the National Amateur Athletic Union to conduct an investigation of the judging at a "Mr. Universe" contest held here last weekend.

The action was announced today following a four-hour meeting of the organization Tuesday night, at which the refusal of Buck Cowling, promoter and faction-hoder of the contest, to accept the decision of the judges, was discussed.

In a letter to Carl Hansen, president of the National AAU, William Robertson, president of the resort Jaycee organization, said: "(We) request and strongly urge that a high and impartial AAU official conduct a thorough and complete investigation of all questions raised concerning the judging of this contest..."

The Jaycees are also asking that the AAU make public its findings.

Cowling, the day after the two-day contest was completed, announced that he would not accept the decision of the judges and charged Bob Hoffman, head judge and Olympic Weight Lifting Team coach, had changed judges in the middle of the contest.

The Junior Champber of Commerce, which sponsored the contest, as part of this city's Golden Jubilee Celebration, said through a spokesman today and in its letter to Hansen that it is not interested in the personalities involved and therefore will not attempt to resolve the issues recently raised.

Cowling said upon announcing his decision that he had evidence to back up charges that first night ballots were changed during the second night of the contest.

Cowling however was not at the Jaycee meeting held here last night. A club spokesman said today that he wanted to make it clear that Cowling was not a member of the sponsoring organization and that the organization is taking no sides in the controversy.


- On Sat. June 9, Doug Biller has Schaefer and Hinds tied for 1st place. Klisanin was a full point behind. Vinci had only 10 points. (see score sheet at far left.) After Hoffman's insistence that judges be changed inthe middle of a contest because he was dissatisfied, Biller DROPPED Schaefer ½ point, INCREASED Klisanin 1½ points and upped Vinci 2 points. (see score sheet at close left). DOUG BILLER - WHY DID YOU ALTER YOUR SCORE?

- Does Bob Hoffman really rank Chuck Vinci above Ray Schaefer? Does Ottley Coulter really agree with him? Score sheet at close right shows ludicrous Hoffman score. He gave VINCI 13½ points, Schaefer only 13. He voted Vinci above Schaefer, Johnson, hinds and Bohaty. He voted KLISANIN above Schaefer. BOB HOFFMAN, WHY DID YOU VOTE AS YOU DID? At far right, note unusual similarity of score sheet of Ottley Coulter, a substitute HOFFMAN JUDGE, to Hoffman's score. Coulter sat next to Hoffman in contest. COULTER - WHY DID YOU VOTE AS YOU DID?

- Both Hoffman and Coulter voted Chuck Vinci at close right ABOVE SCHAEFER, at far right. No wonder the director of the Mr. Universe contest has refused to accept the decision of the judges when gross incompetence of this sort was demonstrated. Read the explosive facts here that could spell an end to Hoffman's AAU affiliation.

- Line-up of contestants. Compare Vinci and Klisanin with Schaefer. Hoffman engineered to have judges changed in the middle of a contest when Schaefer was decisively ahead to establish Klisanin as winner.

- Here is section of beautifully-decorated stadium where Virginia Beach Mr. Universe Contest was held. Despite patriotic decor, 'fair play' did not prevail.

- He WON! Hoffman's judges thought these muscles earned Klisanin top award.

- HE WAS A LOSER. Hofman placed both Vinci and Klisanin above sensational Bob Hinds!

- HE ONLY WON SHORT MAN CLASS. Hoffman voted both Vinci and Klisanin above Johnson!

- Barton Horvath interviews Ray Schaefer before contest. Ray was 'discusted' with officiating.

- This is Horvath's Official's car Terpak refused to honor!

- COMPARE Ray Schaefer, left with Chuck Vinci, below. WHO possesses better physique? Hoffman voted Vinci ABOVE Schaefer. Read all about it here.

- Peary Rader and Harry Johnson enjoy some refreshments at the Sand and Surf Motel.

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