ARE THERE NO COPS?
The unsporting behavior of basketball crowds at many arenas around the country has defied the best efforts of officials to suppress it, but last week Coach Al McGuire of Belmont Abbey College, playing at Jacksonville University, came up with a simple, game-losing solution.
Early in the game there was a fight on the floor between fans and players. One fan broke the nose of Belmont Abbey player Jim Lytle. Disturbances continued and, finally, with 8 minutes 32 seconds left to play and the score tied at 60-60, McGuire felt he had had enough. He took his team off the floor, forfeiting to Jacksonville. Game officials had lost control, he said, and "to have continued would have caused serious reaction by the fans."
Coach McGuire had the support of Belmont Abbey's president, the Very Rev. John A. Otgen, O.S.B., and he has ours, too.
HIGH, LOW AND THE GAME
One of the truly respected sports publications of the world is L'Equipe (French for The Team), whose 300,000 daily circulation is bigger than that of many other Paris newspapers. It was founded in 1899 by a wealthy French monarchist who was vilified by the press because he threw a rotten egg at the president of France. In riposte he established L'Equipe and dedicated it to the restoration of the monarchy.
But he was a sports nut, too, and after a while L'Equipe began to forget about politics and concern itself with more vital matters, like the Tour de France, which it founded, and Georges Carpentier. Today, when the world's political news becomes too grim to be borne, the circulation of L'Equipe shoots up as much as 30%. It scarcely ever mentions the monarchy any more.
Now L'Equipe has come through with a report on track and field that must be taken seriously, in part because L'Equipe so takes it and in part because quite a few track and field men around the world do, too. Says L'Equipe:
"The IAAF, which is now studying the problems raised by using fiber-glass poles, is about to open fire on stadiums of high altitude. It may very well be that, starting from next September, the IAAF will no longer recognize dash and vaulting performances achieved at an altitude of more than 1,000 feet (305 meters). Results on short distances are obviously affected by atmospheric pressure, for these [results] decrease in ratio to the elevation: average pressure at sea level is 1.013 millibars, at 2,500 meters it is no more than 770 millibars. The IAAF will, undoubtedly, fix the reasonable limit as 920 millibars, which corresponds to an altitude of 1,000 feet."
So much for Denver and Mexico City.
STATE WINS AGAIN
Secretary of State Dean Rusk, a letterman center on the Davidson College basketball team 33 years ago, visited his old school last week and dropped into the gym to congratulate Coach Lefty Driesell on his 14-9 season's record, Davidson's best in 13 years and one that, with 12 straight wins, was the first to beat the seven-straight record of the team that Rusk had played on.
"Understand you weren't so bad yourself," Coach Driesell remarked.
The Secretary took a ball and, standing some 20 feet from the basket in a stance that somehow suggested a Roman gladiator awaiting attack, arched it through the net.
"Nothing to it," he said.
Offered the ball for a second shot, he shook his head, on the theory that nothing improves perfection. But the players insisted and he shot again. Another basket.
In a week that saw the postponement of the Joe Brown-Carlos Ortiz lightweight championship fight, the decision not to run Sir Gaylord in the Flamingo Stakes and the withdrawal of John Uelses, Ron Delany and Parry O'Brien from the National AAU meet, it was pleasant to contemplate the dependability of Peter Snell, man of his word and gracious accommodator of hometown pals.
Friends in Auckland, New Zealand reminded Snell wistfully, after he set world records in the mile, the 800 yards and the 800 meters, that they never had seen him break a world record and never had seen anyone, let alone a hometown boy, do a mile under four minutes.
At that point Snell's future program did not include any more mile runs without special training, but he changed his schedule forthwith and met fellow Aucklanders halfway. He would run the mile for them, he said, and would do it under four minutes, but he would not break a world record.
At Western Springs Stadium last week he did just that. Seventy-five yards ahead of Murray Halberg, Snell broke the tape, but no record, at 3:56.8.
That dogs are individualists is well known to anyone who ever owned a dog. Each pup is whelped with its own peculiar whims, quirks, caprices and crotchets. An outstanding idiosyncratic among dogs is Mike, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever, who used to live in Edgemoor, Wash. but had to move. Mike chased automobiles, as dogs will, but the peculiar thing is that he chased only Cadillacs—ignoring Lincolns, Volkswagens, Oldsmobiles and Chevies. Just Cadillacs. Like the dry-fly fisherman, Mike was a purist.
His owner worried about the Cadillac-chasing because a dog as big as Mike can be disconcerting to a timid driver. He feared the dog might run a Cadillac into a ditch. So he gave Mike to a friend, Chuck Fischer, a resident of bucolic Birch Bay, where there are no Cadillacs.
Sure enough, Mike ignored the local cars and took up beachcombing. He cornered big Dungeness crabs at low tide, rolled them over with his nose and carried them to his master upside down, their claws clicking helplessly. He acquired a connoisseur's taste for clams on the half shell, helping with the digging and standing by aquiver with eagerness while his new friends opened them for him. He patrolled the waters of the bay, searching out kittens destined for drowning, rescued them and conferred upon Chuck the task of finding new homes for them.
After a long spell on this cold-turkey routine it seemed that Mike might well have kicked the Cadillac habit. Certainly he seemed as normal as a dog is ever likely to be. Surely, everyone said, he had forgotten. One day a Bellingham dentist tooled out to Birch Bay in a spang new Caddy. The specialist sniffed the air, stiffened like a setter on point and flushed the dentist halfway back to Bellingham.
THE INSIDE TRACK
•The Houston Oilers' loss of Head Coach Wally Lemm to the St. Louis Cardinals reflects his dissatisfaction with the Oilers' front office. He had asked Owner Bud Adams to name a strong general manager who could make quick decisions (the Oilers had lost four key draftees for lack of such action). When Adams himself failed to make a quick decision, Lemm jumped. The same fault in the front office had much to do with Lou Rymkus' leaving the club last season.
•Joe Louis, matchmaker for the newly formed United World Enterprises, may find that boxing promotion in Los Angeles poses as many problems as the income tax. High rental costs at the Sports Arena make crowds of 10,000 necessary to break even, and good dates during the indoor sports season are rare. Cal and Aileen Eaton, longtime L.A. promoters, highly successful, don't seem to be worrying about their rivals.
•No nonracing engine has participated in the Indianapolis "500" since 1948 and none has won since 1927, but Mickey Thompson, multirecord drag racer, plans to enter a Buick V-8 aluminum job of increased hp and displacement. With aluminum, titanium and magnesium in chassis, body and engine, Thompson figures the car to be 500 pounds lighter than the average racer.
MISSISSIPPI MISSES ANOTHER
As in the past, Mississippi State will not permit its basketball team to compete in the NCAA championships, for which they seem highly eligible this year, because of the chance that the players might have to compete against Negroes. The policy is not that of coaches or players or students but of university officials and, of course, the politicians who control them. Mississippi is the only southern state with such a policy.
The issue has been prominent since 1959, when Mississippi State defeated top-ranking Kentucky and thus was put in the running for the NCAA championship. "Sure, I want to go," All-America Bailey Howell said then. "All the boys want to go. We will, if they will let us."
But they didn't go.
Last year the question came up again, and Governor Ross Barnett was moved to speak. Integrated athletics, he said, could lead to social integration. So the boys didn't go last year either and, according to Athletic Director Wade Walker, they won't go in 1962. "It is an unwritten policy," he said.
Written or unwritten, the policy has stirred a ferment among the students throughout the state. Last week Editorialist Jimmy Robertson of The Mississippian, the student publication of the University of Mississippi, reminded readers that in 1956 "the Ole Miss baseball team played in the NCAA finals and finished third in the nation without incident.... The state violates the principle in other fields," he noted further. "We have sent our girls to Atlantic City to appear in bathing suits before integrated audiences."
Teams from the Lost Coot Gun Club No. 3 of Petaluma Creek, the Royal Eskillstruna Yacht Club and the Cerci de L'Uni, among others, competed in San Francisco last week to determine the world dominoes championship, quite possibly the first world dominoes championship ever held anywhere. It attracted competition from as far away as Portland, Ore.
In the main game room of the Commercial Club, whose members pretty well sum up tycoonery in San Francisco, 224 players clicked their tiles at 66 tables, shouted triumph, groaned defeat and munched on a 19-choice buffet lunch, complete with champagne. Entry fee was $100 a two-man team, and the $11,200 was turned over in toto to the Hunter's Point Boys Club.
The tournament was, indeed, such a success that an International Dominoes Association may develop from it, with future world championship competition eventually spreading to other cities. The IDA is a longtime recurring dream of Dominic C. Armanino, author of two books on dominoes. (He wrote them because he couldn't find a text to teach him the fine points of the game. He and his partner didn't even finish in the first 20.)
Competition began at 9 a.m., and at 6:30 p.m. the four finalists settled into their heavy leather chairs. The winners were two dentists, Drs. Charles F. Tobin and Kenneth Kingsbury. From the sponsor, the San Francisco Chronicle, they received a handsome trophy done by Sculptor Stefan A. Novak—an 18-inch job depicting a double-five domino of rubbed walnut with ivory insets, mounted on a block of polished black marble set off by silver title plates. They also won first-class trips to Hawaii (for four) aboard a Matson liner.
One feature of the tournament was the appearance of a team from the 49ers, Quarterback John Brodie and Linebacker Matt Hazeltine, the brains of the 49er offense and defense, respectively. They were wiped out in the first go-round.
THEY SAID IT
•San Francisco Giant Manager Alvin Dark on Willie Mays: "Half step slower or not, Willie is still the greatest all-round player in the game today. He hasn't lost any of his power, and he has a greater knowledge of the strike zone. The tip-off to his greatness is this: He hit 40 home runs last year, drove in 123 runs, led the league with 129 runs scored, batted .308. And still there were some who wrote that he didn't have a good year!"
•Shelby Metcalfe, assistant basketball coach of Texas A&M, on his part in a recent Texas vs. Aggie fistfight: "I just got out my pocket comb and helped the Texas band play The Star-Spangled Banner."
•Bob Devaney, new football coach at the University of Nebraska: "I don't expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation. I just want to win enough to warrant an investigation."
•Norm Cash of Detroit, American League batting champion, accepting an award as Texas' professional athlete of the year: "If Uncle Sam will just draft a few more left-handed pitchers, maybe I'll be back here next year."
•Jack Price, trainer of Carry Back, after his horse was blocked on the stretch turn in the 12-horse Widener Handicap: "This is just like the Kentucky Derby—a cavalry charge—and a good horse can get beat easy."