MUMBO-JUMBO IN THE GUMBO
After days of unpublished rumors about a gambling scandal, Loyola University of New Orleans revealed on April 14 that it had placed three basketball players on "disciplinary probation," dropped them from the squad and canceled their athletic scholarships. On orders from Loyola's president, the Very Rev. Andrew C. Smith, Bill Gardiner, basketball coach and athletic director, refused to give the reasons for dismissal. Father Smith would not discuss the subject. The three players were told to keep quiet.
In this silence, questions were inevitably raised. Had the boys accepted bribes? Bet against their own team? Or missed practices? Nothing but innuendo bubbled to the top of a pot of secrecy as thick as gumbo creole.
The mother of one player confirmed last week at least part of what has been whispered about. The players had been betting on basketball, she conceded, but never on Loyola games. "It's so unfair," she said. "They bet among themselves. These boys have never broken the NCAA rules." (The NCAA recommendation regarding gambling and bribery says, in part: "Institutional regulations should provide that a student shall be expelled if he becomes an agent of the gambling industry through the process of distributing handicap information or handling bets.")
If Loyola is trying to hush up the matter to protect the players, it is being absurdly naive in a day when suspicions of college basketball are hard to squelch. If it is trying to protect the reputation of the school at the expense of the players, silence is reprehensible. And if the players' offenses are more serious than even their parents have been told, the university is still more obligated to divulge what universities supposedly seek—the truth.
There is growing concern on the Pacific Coast, among both sport and commercial fishermen, about the depredations of Japanese fishing trawlers outside the three-mile limit. But only in Alaska has it reached the stage of hysteria. In the 49th state Governor William Egan is threatening to dam the sockeye salmon-producing rivers that discharge into Bristol Bay.
Egan's plan is to build a series of low dams at the mouths of Bristol Bay's spawning rivers early next year. This, he pointed out, would prevent the salmon from going out to sea and into the nets of the Japanese. "I have been assured that this is feasible and would create a vast inland fishery," he said.
What it would create, in fact, is a vast fishery of stunted fish. Deprived of saltwater pasturage, the sockeyes deteriorate immediately. In one generation they become "kokanee," dwarfed images of their old selves. Averaging under 10 inches, they are totally unsuitable for cannery operations and of no use to sportsmen. We suggest that Governor Egan learn a bit more about his state's prime resource, which within Alaska is second in income only to federal expenditures for national defense.
NO HEALTH RESORT
All sports have their "occupational" hazards—from calcified elbows to cauliflower ears—but an editor of the Health Bulletin, a weekly newsletter that reports on medical topics, was surprised to learn in Las Vegas recently that gambling is not without its health dangers, too.
There for a medico-legal conference sponsored by the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association, the editor learned in chatting with Las Vegas doctors that certain ailments are endemic to the town. For instance, crapshooters develop circulatory problems in their legs from standing around the tables too long. Others are troubled with dependent edema, which is a sort of water-logging of the legs from prolonged standing. Then there is "blackjack dermatitis," caused by a skin sensitivity to the chromate salts used in dyeing the green-felt tables. Some players are allergic to nickel and, though in their day-to-day activities they do not handle enough coins to draw a reaction, in Las Vegas they hang around for hours on end with coins in their hands. Pretty soon they have to visit a doctor.
Finally, there is "slot-machine arm," a bursitis that is just as painful (and 10 times as expensive) as tennis elbow.
GUYS AND GULLS
Down on Hatteras Island, jutting out into the Atlantic, seagulls rank as a leading road hazard, well ahead of drunks. The offense? Using the highway between Avon and Salvo to crack clams and scallops. The gulls gather their grub at low tide, head for the road, draw a careful bead on the center line and unleash their scallops. Lunch over, they leave the razor-sharp shell fragments for motorists.
The highway department first used, road sweepers but, like picking up trash at a company picnic, it was a losing battle. Then someone had an idea. These seagulls are close-knit family types, he pointed out. They wouldn't think of dropping a clamshell on a relative, would they?
Highwaymen painstakingly painted snow-white spread-winged seagulls on the road. The paint wasn't dry before the first gull swooped down and fired a clam at a painted bird. The bombardment is still going on.
One of the heartwarming stories of the crew season concerns Northeastern University's debut in the sport, thanks to the generosity of Boston's Chandler Hovey, internationally known yachtsman. Hovey put up the money for Northeastern to buy a rowing barge, a launch, two shells and the services of Coach Ernest Arlett, a former professional rower from Henley-on-Thames, England. Arlett coached Finland's Olympic team in 1948 and America's Jack Kelly Jr., when he competed in the Diamond Sculls at Henley. Later he coached Rutgers' freshmen and put in three years as sculling coach at Harvard.
He faced a tremendous job at Northeastern, which has no rowing background. His varsity is made up of eight men with no previous racing experience. But when the season opened, Northeastern came on like a rookie homering in his first time at bat in the major leagues. It won its first regatta, defeating previously unbeaten Marietta of Ohio, which had won five straight and was considered a major power among the smaller rowing schools.
Then, on the following Saturday, Northeastern rowed in the Marist College President's Cup Regatta at Poughkeepsie, where it swept both the varsity and junior varsity races, beating six other colleges in both contests.
As Jack Frailey, coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said after watching them, "It's a crew with a future."
And, already yet, a past.
BOX OFFICE √úBER ALLES
Before the 40th Kansas Relays, Bill Easton, University of Kansas track coach, spent $60 for two plastic pole-vault boxes to replace old ones that did not conform to NCAA rules. Wade Stinson, athletic director, sent them back to the express terminal marked "Return to Sender." Easton recovered them and put them in place for the relays. Two days after the meet, which he directed, Easton was fired.
It was a shocker. In his 18 years at Kansas, Easton's teams had won two NCAA track and field championships, one NCAA cross-country championship, 11 Big Eight indoor championships, 11 outdoor championships and 16 cross-country titles. He had developed such Olympic champions as Al Oerter, Bill Nieder and Billy Mills, as well as Miler Wes Santee.
A man like that might be expected to have earned tenure, but Stinson, an insurance man hired a year ago though he had no previous athletic administration experience, said he fired Easton because they could not agree on how the Kansas track program should be administered and financed. It has been no secret that Chancellor W. Clarke Wescoe instructed Stinson to emphasize financial solvency.
"Stinson has told athletic board members that there is no place at Kansas for a sport that doesn't pay," Easton said after he was fired. "I disagree. There are only a couple of things on our campus that pay their way. I thought we were supposed to be an educational institution rather than an outfit interested only in something to make a profit on, and my philosophy of coaching has always been to make it a part of the education process.... I would not care to be associated with a group that apparently does not wish to adhere to the quest for excellence which I and my teams have always tried to do."
Now Easton is out of a job at 61. And one of the great track traditions in America seems about to founder in a sea of parsimony. If track could not pay its way under Easton, it is not likely it will under his successor. Meanwhile, led by Wes Santee, a pro-Eastern alumni faction has been formed to protest his discharge, but obviously too late to be effective.
Thanks to 30 years of successful research by Dr. Lauren Donaldson, professor at the University of Washington's College of Fisheries, trout fishing around the world is seeing some changes made and more are in prospect. Even two Iron Curtain countries are cooperating.
By selective breeding, Dr. Donaldson has produced a supertrout, one which grows to staggering size, matures early and produces eggs copiously. Using rainbows and steelheads (sea-run rainbows), he has developed fish that mature in their second year, instead of the fourth or fifth, and at three years weigh from 13 to 17 pounds. Females turn out 5,000 to 17,000 eggs a year starting in their second year, as against 400 to 500 in the fourth year for ordinary trout.
The supertrout have been distributed widely in suitable waters throughout the U.S. and are being grown in Japan, Poland, Norway, Ireland and Canada. After some dickering, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia have exchanged native trout species for some 120,000 supertrout eggs. Yugoslavia air-shipped 100,000 Ohrid trout eggs to the Manchester National Fish Hatchery in Iowa. An offshoot of the brown trout, the Ohrid is named for a lake on the border of Albania and Yugoslavia, and, since it requires cold water, will be planted experimentally in remote lakes of Minnesota's Superior National Forest. Czechoslovakia's gift will be 50,000 Hucho Hucho eggs. The Hucho Hucho is a troutlike species of the same genus as the brown but is structurally like a char. A warm-water fish, it is prolific in the Danube River and grows to great size. The largest recorded was 130 pounds, and 50-pounders are not uncommon. Its habitat niche is pretty much that of the catfish.
No word yet on what lures attract the Ohrid and the Hucho Hucho.
THE ECUMENICAL SPIRIT
The Marx Brothers would have loved such a day at the races, but track officials and fans at San Francisco's Golden Gate Fields did not. Persistent rain had soaked electric cables, causing a short circuit that blew out the tote board. Lights also were out in the sellers' and cashiers' room and, though an unaffected line was put into service so that an announcer could report changing odds, it could, not be used for the lights.
When all seemed lost, and it appeared that the day's card would have to be canceled, help arrived from on high. Track scouts had dashed over to St. Ambrose's Catholic Church in Berkeley and returned with 500 candles.
In his three years of incident-filled life, Poncho, a beagle owned by the Alvin Davis family of Duluth, had been taken to the North Shore Veterinary Hospital many times for shots and treatment of minor ailments. On one occasion he was there three weeks after a rumble with a bigger dog.
Poncho had a run-in with a porcupine the other day and came out of it with quills in his head and chest. He trotted two miles to the veterinary hospital, scratched for admittance, had the quills removed and was taken home.
THEY SAID IT
•Gene Mauch, Phillie manager, on the wretched early-season weather: "We had three days off in a week, and I would have given half my pay for a day off during the last 10 games of last season."
•Ralph Jordan, Auburn football coach: "We have had to change the name of our little delayed pass that once beat Georgia Tech from 'Selma right' to 'Wetumpka right.' 'Selma right' has been declared unconstitutional."