JUDGMENT DAY COMING
This is an article from the April 8, 1963 issue
Commissioner Pete Rozelle's investigation of the betting scandals in the National Football League will be finished within two weeks. Criticized for the length of time he has spent on this case, Rozelle replies that he had to be sure of what he did before he made any announcements.
The strong likelihood is that penalties will consist only of fines, with no-suspensions. Betting uncovered, involving two or three players on the Detroit Lions as well as players on one or two other clubs, was minor. No player's fine will be very big; indeed, the biggest fine will be against the Detroit club itself, for not taking action when warned of the situation by Detroit Police Commissioner George Edwards, who turned up evidence that Detroit players were associating with mobsters. The theory seems to be that as the club goes, so go the players.
Spring has come once more to Nashville and brought with it a problem that arose at this time two years back when Negroes began to press their legal right to use the city's swimming pools. The city had desegregated its other recreation facilities but allowed no togetherness in the pools. When six small colored boys showed up at a previously all-white pool one morning, city employees proceeded according to plan. They emptied the pool. They emptied pools all over town, in fact. "An economy measure," park commissioners explained blandly.
It turned out to be good for business. Privately owned pools (segregated) had a boom. ("It costs me $5 just to get my kids wet," a parent complained.) Private swimming clubs (family initiation fee $250, plus dues of $100 a year) sprang up. Housing development contractors hastily included provision for community swimming pools in their plans.
A few of the kids whose parents could not afford swimming-pool fees sneaked off to the unguarded lakes and sloughs. A couple of them drowned. Now Mayor Beverly Briley has come up with a plan. "If asked to," he said, he will recommend that the city pools be reopened on a "sexually segregated" basis—for girls only on one day, for boys the next, but with the races mixed.
The color segregationists are not appeased by this. Some have thought up a plan of their own. It would provide for Negro use of the pools one day, white use the next, with the water changed every night.
The city council of Kansas City, whose municipal government is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, has discovered that once you start dispensing favors you have established precedent.
In order to attract the American Football League's Dallas Texans to Kansas City in 1963, the council offered them the use of the Municipal Stadium for two years at $1 a year. But Charles O. Finley, owner of the Athletics, has been paying $120,000 and $140,000 for the same stadium for baseball purposes. Citing the fact that he had spent $400,000 of his own money improving the stadium, Finley now asks that he get it for $1 a year, too. Then came the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, which has its headquarters in Kansas City and holds a week-long basketball tournament in the Municipal Auditorium every March. The NAIA has announced that it would dearly like to get the arena for a week for a buck, though it has been paying more than $1,000 a week. To bolster its argument, the NAIA is making noises about moving headquarters and tournament to Tulsa if it doesn't get it all for $1.
And now Big Eight officials are discussing the possibility of asking the city for a token rental at the auditorium, scene of the Big Eight's annual Christmas basketball tournament and the conference indoor track meet.
THE MYSTIC WORLD OF THE USLTA
The magazine World Tennis, which has been ruminating dourly on the plight of amateur tennis in the U.S., and in the world, for that matter, was struck in its April issue by a sudden thought. What, World Tennis asked itself, would it be like if big business were run like the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association?
"Ford Motor Company—or Shell Oil or Pepsi-Cola," the magazine decided, "would have a new president every two years. He would be a part-time president since his main function would be dentistry or advertising or the stock market. He would be selected primarily on the basis of being a Californian or a New Englander or a Middle Westerner. His chief assistants would be representatives from every section of the country who could give only four days a year to Ford."
And so on. The magazine found many teasing analogies between the USLTA and a mystically mismanaged big business enterprise. The one we liked best went like this:
"Workers in the Ford plant would give the officers their biggest headache. After all, the officers were not getting paid so why shouldn't all Ford employees also work free? However, if the rambunctious workers simply insisted on receiving some sort of compensation, they would be given the sum of $28 a day. Any worker going over to General Motors for $35 a day would be declared a 'pro.' "
BIG DAY FOR SHELLEY GAYE
The night before Abilene Christian's dual track meet with the University of Colorado, Abilene Sprinter Dennis Richardson dutifully went to bed at 10 o'clock so that he would be in shape for the next day's competition. At midnight his wife awakened him. Better get her to the hospital, she said, the labor pains had begun. At 8:20 a.m. a 6-pound 4-ounce daughter, Shelley Gaye, was born to them.
What was father's reaction? To start matters off he anchored Abilene to a 41.2 victory in the 440-yard relay. Then he breezed through the 100-yard dash in 9.3 seconds, with the following wind measured at only 3.66 mph, giving him an acceptable time only 1/10th of a second off the world record. Minutes later he ran the 220 around a full turn in 20.9, a time 6/10ths of a second off the record set by Henry Carr of Arizona State three days earlier. He topped off the day with a 49.8 on the Wildcats' winning one-mile relay team, which clocked 3:14.1. All the new father needed was a little inspiration and, maybe, less sleep.
THE IMMORTAL COOZ
The passing of Bob Cousy from professional basketball to take up his new post as coach at Boston College has created a certain problem. What can be done to perpetuate the memory of the man who helped so much to establish pro basketball as a big-league sport?
Germaine Glidden, who dreamed up the National Art Museum of Sport, braced Walter Brown, Celtic co-owner, for $5,000 to commission a painting or sculpture of the immortal Cousy. Brown came up with it out of TV proceeds from the Bob Cousy Day celebration on March 17 at Boston Garden. Now Glidden's problem is: Should it be an oil painting or a sculpture? Cousy himself, though appearing to favor a statue, has been reluctant to decide.
There have been some suggestions. Phil Elderkin, basketball writer for The Christian Science Monitor, would have Cousy bronzed "just like you do with a pair of baby shoes." And there are longtime opponents who would just as soon see him encased in a barrel of cement.
When Rod Laver turned from amateur tennis to the professional game last January he was, to the surprise of some, clobbered by the likes of Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall. Playing in Australia and New Zealand, he dropped eight out of eight to Hoad and 11 of 13 to Rosewall, who looks to be the next world's professional champion. He didn't do much better in the U.S., where he arrived in February and lost the first three matches of his American tour and had only two wins after eight matches.
But now, at about the halfway point of the tour, Laver has begun to achieve professional form and has 15 victories against 13 defeats, which means that he has won 13 of his last 20 matches. He is, in fact, in third place on the tour, though well behind Rosewall, who has beaten him five times in five matches. But Earl Buchholz, in second place, was only two games ahead of Laver last week as the newest pro, the second man ever to achieve tennis' Grand Slam, sprawled on a Kansas City hotel bed and estimated his prospects.
"I think that just now I am coming up to my Forest Hills form of last September," Laver said. "What many people overlook is that just before I turned professional I had been playing very badly in Australia as an amateur."
Laver grants that, playing Hoad and Rosewall, he often was discouraged by the discovery that they hit the ball harder than amateurs, never missed an easy shot and often hit "fantastic" shots ("but to them they were not fantastic"). Now he feels he has a better chance against such opposition.
Rosewall does not agree that Laver was off form at the start of his pro career. "What those who expected him to sweep the pro ranks didn't realize," Rosewall said, not too diplomatically, "is that lots of amateurs have fake reputations. If they were thrown into open competition the truth would come out."
The truth, says Rosewall, is that Laver has a chance "to be one of the great professional players of all time."
THEY SAID IT
•Willie Mays, after his first look at Houston's hard-throwing catcher, John Bateman: "It hurts my arm just to watch him throw."
•Chena Gilstrap, Arlington (Texas) State College football coach, on the Wally Butts-Bear Bryant affair: "We were called into one of those five-party telephone conferences the other day. The man who called the meeting said, 'Gentlemen, we want to fix the basketball schedule.' There were four quick clicks."
•Emil (Dutch) Schroeder, Baylor baseball coach, complaining of a disabling leg injury: "It's awful. I can't even go out and argue with the umpires. Maybe I should. They might think twice if they see me come out swinging a pair of crutches."