The opinion wasexpressed here recently (SI, May 8) that all college presidents must share theblame for the recently exposed corruption in college basketball. Most of ourreaders appear to agree strongly with that view; a few, though, do notunderstand how we can pin culpability to respected academic leaders of knownintegrity.
All too manyuniversities have a double standard of education—one for their nonathleticstudents, another (often de-risible) for the athletes who bring in the gatereceipts. Here the responsibility of college administrators is obvious: theyare inviting the further corruption of kids whose values already have beenperverted in the process of forceful and brazen recruiting.
Not alluniversities that recruit athletes vigorously also practice the doublestandard, but all of them embrace a system of dubious morality. The bestcomment on this facet of an admittedly complex issue came to us recently fromJack Keady, sports editor of the Arkansas Democrat, who quotes Glen Rose,basketball coach of the University of Arkansas, as follows: "If you buy aplayer in your recruiting, then someone else can buy him after he isrecruited."
May 21, 1961
Finally, there isthe sin of omission. Surely not all colleges are guilty of flagrant recruitingor cynical adoption of double academic standards. But who denounces theseevils? And who rejects the world-weary, poisonous excuse that penny-antecorruption on the campus is only a pale reflection of a society which wouldn'tknow how to operate without an angle? Certainly not the National CollegiateAthletic Association, with which more than 500 universities and colleges in thecountry are affiliated and which to date has seemed to be principally concernedwith "playing down" the scandal.
At the veryleast, the revelations of dishonesty in college basketball ought to havealready stimulated a searching reexamination of values and methods by oureducational leaders—i.e., college presidents. But what voice on what campus isnow raised?
The answer todate: none.
Jimmy Piersall, Bubba Phillips, Woodie Held and Barry Latman of the ClevelandIndians recently gathered around Johnny Temple, seeking advice. Temple isregarded as a dressing room lawyer, an inspirational leader, an educated man.Unlike some ballplayers, Temple has an outside interest (he refinishesfurniture). The problem that the four brought to Temple was not how the Indianscould win their first pennant in seven years or how they could stop MickeyMantle. It was more serious than that: which to endorse? Fleer's bubble gum? OrTopps'?
Heavyweight SonnyListon last week got himself a new manager, a chap named George Katz, toreplace old Manager Pep Barone, who many believe was held on puppet strings bynefarious characters. After a press conference to announce the new manager'sarrival, Liston was asked about his chances of getting a fight with ChampionFloyd Patterson. The interview went like this:
Q. How will thefight go off, when and if?
A. If I say I'llbeat him, I'm bragging. And if I say I won't, I'm lying, so I don't know whatto say.
Q. How do youcompare yourself to Patterson?
A. Everyone seemsto think I'm a little slower than he are. I think I'm a little faster than heare. It's more important to be faster with the hands than with the feet.
Q. What do youknow about Patterson from seeing his fights?
A. I know onething. Everybody hits him knocks him down. I don't think he'll get up if I everhit him.
Q. You mean he'llwilt just looking at you?
A. I know hewon't wilt 'cause I ain't even sure he'll get in the ring with me to look atme.
Q. How far willthe fight go?
A. If it goesfive round they can stop the fight and give it to him.
A. Why don't theyinvestigate Patterson? If I fought an amateur like Rademacher I could hurt him.I could cause death to him. I could hit him with a punch and he'd get bloodyand after a round or so I'd quit. See, all the brains are in a sort of cup andafter you get hit a few times it shakes them out of that cup. When they giveyou smelling salts it pulls them back into the cup. It's when the brains getshook up and run together that you get punch drunk.
Round one toListon.
AND SO TO BED
In Londonrecently a reporter asked Donald Campbell, the holder of the world'swater-speed record, how he felt about the challenge announced by RobertBeverley Evans (SI, May 15), the donor of Campbell's trophy.
"I rememberEvans telling me he would claim the trophy back one day," Campbell saidpensively. "But I've no plans for an attempt on the record this year atall. The future? I really find that awfully difficult to answer. One's usefullife is drawing to a close, old chap. The sand in the old hourglass isdribbling away. Good night, old chap, God bless."
THE LONG WHITELINE
In itsconstitution The Professional Golfers' Association of America, the ruling bodyof professional golf in this country, carries a clause barring membership toall but "professional golfers of the Caucasian Race." In harsherlanguage this means "No Negroes allowed." It also means that Negroes,though permitted to play in the various open tournaments that the PGAco-sponsors each week, are barred from sectional PGA championships, of whichthere are now 34.
Last year theCalifornia attorney general's office, impatient with the PGA's retardedthinking, banned from the state's public courses all racially restricted golftournaments. In November at the PGA's national convention the southernCalifornia delegation sponsored a motion to strike the Caucasian clause fromthe constitution. Their motion was overwhelmingly defeated. Now the SouthernCalifornia PGA has had to cancel its 37-year-old sectional championship becauseof the state attorney general's ruling. Next year's National PGA championship,currently scheduled for the Brentwood Country Club in Los Angeles, is also injeopardy.
In an attempt tosquirm out of an uncomfortably tight spot the National PGA tournament committeehas issued an approved-player's card to Negro Professional Charlie Sifford.Though barred, because of his race, from full membership, he may now play inits co-sponsored tournaments. In April he became the first Negro ever to playin a PGA tournament in the South. (He tied for fourth at the Greensboro Open.)Recently Cliff Roberts, who runs the Masters at Augusta, Ga., was asked whattournament officials would do if Sifford qualified for the Masters. "We'ddecide as we do for everybody," said Roberts.
The inference isclear. The PGA is far behind the times if it thinks that racial segregationstill has a place in sports. Professional basketball, baseball and footballhave long permitted Negro athletes to play, and all these sports have thrivedin consequence. It's time that the PGA put its musty store in order too.
LET THERE BELIGHT
Things haveapparently changed between those affectionate rivals, the Kansas City Athleticsand the New York Yankees. Charles O. Finley, the A's new owner, recentlyinstalled fluorescent lights in both dugouts at Municipal Stadium on the theorypatrons like to see what goes on in the dugouts during night games.
Last week whenthe Yankees showed up in Kansas City for the first time this season they wereirked to find the lights lit in their dugout. (It seemed a far cry from aYankee team of recent years that rather enjoyed the bright lights of Broadway.)One of the Yankees turned the lights out. Finley ordered the park electricianto turn the lights back on. The Yankees doused them again.
When the A'srallied for four runs in the eighth, Finley ordered the stadium organist toplay Lights Out. Finley has now locked the switch in the visitors' dugout."The only way they can turn those lights off is with a ball bat," saysFinley. "If they do I'll sue them for $565, which is what it cost toinstall them."
A TRIBUTE TOTONY
A lap done in oneminute (which works out to a speed of 150 mph) beckons Indianapolis"500" drivers in the same way that track's four-minute mile oncechallenged runners. Last week one driver felt that the prize was within hisgrasp. Tony Bettenhausen, 44, had been racing autos for 23 years. He twice hadbeen the national driving champion, he twice had retired from the speedways towork his Illinois soybean farm, and he twice had returned to wheel andtrack.
Last Wednesday,during a practice lap for this year's "500," he urged his red-trimmedwhite Offy to a lap speed of 149.2 mph, and believed that the first 150-mph lapwould soon be his. "Tony has made up his mind to go 150," said amechanic. "If you know Tony, you know he'll either do it or wall thecar."
On Friday,Bettenhausen volunteered to test a friend's car, which had been performingpoorly. As he drove over the red bricks of the homestretch the friend's car hitthe low concrete wall between the track and the main grandstand, climbed uponto the wall, sliced into the retaining fence, and then flipped. It was the28th time that Bettenhausen had been upside down in a racing car—but this timehe lay crumpled and dead.
Tony had neverbeen one to make haste slowly. His fellow drivers respected his talent but theyworried for him too. He will be remembered as the model of an Indy warrior:scarred, weathered, self-possessed—and serene in the presence of the danger ofdeath.
COLD WAR INATHENS
The InternationalOlympic Committee will have an important—although so farlittle-publicized—meeting in Athens on June 16. The prospect: cold war, to bewaged by the Olympic committees of the Soviet Union and its satellites.
The Russians andtheir associates have two objectives in mind: 1) To increase the number ofOlympic events and participants, 2) to transform the self-perpetuating andautocratic International Olympic Committee from an independent body into a kindof sporting U.N. General Assembly, reflecting national policies.
Over here thetendency has been to feel that there already are more than enough Olympicevents, and that they ought to be restricted, not increased. But ourinclination is to agree with the Russians on proposal No. 1. Barring some worldcatastrophe, the rapid development of international competition in sport isgoing to be one of the striking phenomena of the next few years. Already thiscountry is involved in more sporting competition in and with other countriesthan would have seemed possible a decade ago.
One suggestion isthat to avoid cluttering up the Summer Games a third program be held in theOlympic year—a Spring Olympics. Indoor and team sports—basketball, gymnastics,fencing, soccer, field hockey, wrestling, etc.—would be played off here.
The second Sovietobjective is much less laudable. We have often disagreed with Mr. AveryBrundage and his IOC, but one thing we have always admired about them has beentheir independence. To make them the tools of governments or political blocswould be disastrous.
In the long history of racing in Puerto Rico there never has been a jockey whowas received with the sympathetic affection lavished on Pedro Juan Vi√±ales. Itwas common for Vinales to receive a standing ovation from the bettors afterevery race he rode at the El Comandante track in San Juan—he was likable, andalways trying so hard. Last week he retired at the early age of 28. "I justcouldn't make the weight any more," Vi√±ales said wistfully when announcinghe was through. But Pedro Juan Vi√±ales' record will live as long as men ridehorses. Mounts accepted: 360. Winners: none.
THEY SAID IT
•Tom Saffell, manager of the Jacksonville Jets of theSally League, when asked if he was planning anything new after his team lostits 18th game in 22 starts: "Yes, I just might cut my throat."
•Ben Hogan, paying tribute to playing partner KelNagle, who had just scored a hole in one at the Colonial in Fort Worth:"Good shot."
•Lefty Gomez, recalling his 13 years as a New YorkYankee pitcher: "I was never nervous when I had the ball, but when I let itgo I was scared to death."