Buddy Harris, a 6-foot 6-inch center for Roxborough High and the leading scorer in Philadelphia's Public League, committed his fifth personal foul in a game last week against Olney High in the first minute of the second quarter.
Ordinarily, Harris would have fouled out and been limited to seven points, far under his 32-point average. But Harris kept on playing—and fouling.
By the end of the game, which Roxborough won 66-64, Harris had scored 34 points, had been whistled for walking with the ball seven times and had committed six offensive fouls, five defensive fouls and one technical foul.
The Public League, you see, is playing under the much-praised Nucatola Rule, suggested by Johnny Nucatola, supervisor of officials for the Eastern College Athletic Conference. It allows a player who has committed his fifth foul to remain in the game; the penalty for any foul after the fifth personal is loss of the ball after the foul shots.
One of the most vehement opponents of the Nucatola Rule happened to be at the game. He is Bucky Harris, a well-known former Philadelphia coach who is also Buddy's father. "It's ridiculous," the elder Harris fumed. "The rule gives kids a reason to foul. They can do anything and still play." As for his son's 34-point performance and Roxborough's win, Harris said, "It was horrible. I've seen a million basketball games, but nothing as ridiculous as that."
CROSSCURRENTS IN SAN DIEGO
Whether the San Diego Chargers get to keep Ernie Ladd and Earl Faison or not, the team seems to be in trouble. Despite two successive division championships, the Chargers have only once drawn a capacity crowd in San Diego. The team this winter has lost 16 of its first 20 draft choices. Further, its refusal or inability last summer to give Ladd and Faison raises totaling only $7,000 prompted that dissatisfied pair to play out their options and create the opéra-bouffe situation that exploded last week (Faison and Ladd were traded to Houston and then returned to San Diego after Coach Sid Gillman's claim that Houston had "tampered" with his players was upheld by Commissioner Joe Foss). Now reports persist that local stockholders are disenchanted and are trying to dispose of their stock.
The one big thing still going for the Chargers is the new stadium the city is about to build. Rumors that it was being shelved are not true, and work is supposed to begin in the near future. The stadium could save the Chargers.
PLEASED AS PUNCH
Stuck for a center last weekend when Wally Boyer was sidelined with a pulled muscle, Toronto Maple Leaf Manager Punch Imlach had to rummage around in his minor league affiliates for a replacement. The best available, he decided, was an 18-year-old high school student playing Junior A hockey with the Toronto Marlboros. This was slightly sticky, since Marlboro Center Brent Imlach happens to be Punch's son.
"What am I supposed to do—not call him up just because his name happens to be Imlach?" asked Imlach. "I just said to myself, 'Pretend his name is Smith.' "
So Smith got his chance. He showed hustle, he showed future, but he didn't show off. In fact, what with youngsters getting brasher and brasher, his modesty was rather refreshing. "In the warmup before the game the kid didn't take one shot on the net," Imlach said, and it was true. The boy just sort of skated around looking embarrassed at being good enough to make the NHL.
You get a tot to like with a Marlboro.
A Spokane 16-year-old with more initiative than most citizens is sponsoring a proposal to outlaw no-deposit nonreturnable bottles in the state of Washington. Since Randall Dahmen is not 21, his father will actually file the initiative, but Randy himself is rounding up the necessary 100,670 signatures and the $20,000 to cover the cost of printing and circulating petitions. He already has almost enough support, he says.
Young Mr. Dahmen was impelled to act by two recent incidents: his dog was badly cut by a broken beer bottle "clear out in the wilderness" and he found a beach "so cluttered with glass you couldn't get to the lake." A lot of people shared his anger, and he felt encouraged to start his petitioning.
The senior Dahmen, incidentally, owns a store, and it sells beer—but only in returnable bottles.
There is more to a slot machine than losing your quarter. It's those sounds: you know, clink, krump, chung, and then, after the whirr, the final awful clung, clung, clung. Fascinating. But when you think of it, all that sound and fury, usually signifying two cherries and a lemon, does not test the athletic skills of the player.
In Europe, however, slot machines offer more for your pfennig. Granted, they do not chug like the domestic models, but a man with a deft touch can come up a winner. Guenter Schmidt of West Germany has that touch. So adept has he become, in fact, that even though the machines accept only 10-pfennig pieces (2½¢), Schmidt wins $15 a day Desperate innkeepers around the Ruhr Valley have taken to removing a fuse from their machines when they see him coming.
And Herr Schmidt is not through yet. He bought a slot machine of his very own and each day, under the watchful eye of Frau Schmidt, his two sons, Heinz and Lothar, ages 11 and 6, put in long practice sessions.
SCALP 'EM, INSURANCEMEN!
In the colorful world of basketball, palefaces often show a fondness for labels like "Braves," "Utes" and "Chiefs."
But what do we find in the NIT?
No, stupid, not the National Invitational Tournament in Madison Square Garden, where the St. John's University Redmen will be defending champions. We refer to the other NIT—the Navajo Invitational Tournament.
It's taking place this week (Jan. 24-29) in Window Rock, Ariz., and players from a dozen neighboring tribes are competing. The real Utes, you will be fascinated to learn, call themselves the Raiders, and the real Hopis are Demons. As for the other 22 teams entered, 21 of them are called things like the Merchants, the Insurancemen and—God save the memory of Chief Crazy Horse—the Cowboys.
BEYOND REACH OF ANY FREEWAY
Would you believe that a chain of completely unspoiled large islands lies only 20 miles off the coast of the most populous part of southern California, an easy sail from swarming Los Angeles? Does it seem possible that these quasi-Mediterranean islands, sole home of near-extinct wildlife like the elephant seal and sea otter and little changed since Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's caravels landed there 50 years after Columbus, should still be obtainable as a national park?
Believe it quick. The Channel Islands are there. But not for long, unless this badly needed outlet for seaward recreation is rescued soon. The Navy plans to use the western end as a test range for live bombs, the offshore areas have been opened to extensive oil operations and the largest island (Santa Cruz) is the projected site of subdivisions, apartment buildings and shopping centers.
The Channel Islands, described by a federal survey of the entire Pacific Coast as the best remaining area for a national seashore, are called "a high priority" by the Department of the Interior. But time is now short. Even before federal action, the Santa Cruz subdivision scheme—not the least of the threats—can be stopped by usually farsighted Santa Barbara County. It need only refuse to change its judicious designation of the islands as agricultural, a zoning that satisfied the landowners only five months ago. The islands were economically good only for ranching, they said, an assessment supported by a description of Santa Cruz as "isolated" and foggy, with "below freezing" temperatures and "alien and inaccessible" terrain.
Now, 150 days later, the subdividers speak of the islands' "unusually benign weather," with "frost unknown" and summer heat "tempered by sea breezes"; "unexcelled views"; "many natural recreational facilities"; rich soils; incomparable fishing, and "excellent shelter for small craft."
In short, the ideal national seashore.
CREEPING SCENT ON THE 18TH GREEN
You can believe this or not, as you choose, but it's true nonetheless. Walter Winstell of New Orleans, slicing his drive off the 12th tee on the No. 3 course at City Park, saw a strange and wonderful thing happen. His ball dropped into a lagoon along the right side of the fairway, then bounced back onto terra firma. Suddenly the water in the lagoon began churning. Rushing to the scene, Winstell pulled a 4½-pound black bass out of the water, dazed and flapping. The fish still bore the mark where the ball had struck it. Winstell wheeled his golf cart around the last six holes of the crowded course with his catch tied firmly to the top.
The occasion was a chamber of commerce dinner in Kalispell, Mont. Maury Wills was to be the main speaker, and Father Edward McGowan was to deliver the invocation. We reprint Father McGowan's invocation in its entirety: "Bless those who are gathered here tonight. Bless the food that has been put before us. Bless him who steals."
THE WORD IS HURRY, NOT HARA
When Billy Kidd entered the Hahnenkamm Festival at Kitzb√ºhel last weekend he was the toast of Europe, a sort of student prince with rumpled hair and a surprise new racing threat. Austria's Karl Schranz and France's Jean-Claude Killy, favored to sweep the early season, were being regularly knocked off by Kidd, at Hindelang, at Adelboden—almost at Lauberhorn (SI, Jan. 24). At the Hahnenkamm, Kidd wowed them again with a slashing third in the downhill and moved into a spot to beat the world in the slalom, his best event.
Then, on Sunday, amid cries of "Bravo, Willi," Kidd took two spills. On the second, he hooked a ski in the gate, crashed forward, sprained an ankle and his European tour was over.
Out of it for now, Kidd expects to be right again when the Europeans come to the U.S. in March for the next wave, and his early form indicates it will be a wild, fast season.
If there was a jarring note on the tour besides Kidd's spill—and every racer does that—it was a catchphrase that the press invented to describe Kidd's furiously controlled style. Hara-kiri, they called it, meaning suicidal. To which we say: nuts. There is nothing suicidal in the way Kidd attacks a hill, no touch of hara-kiri. It is, instead, exactly what U.S. Coach Bob Beattie has been teaching, a resurgent new form of All-America charge. Kidd deserves credit, not denigrating catchphrases. It is experience and skill and vast determination, not reckless luck, that is making this his season. Bravo, Willi.
The NBA's All-Star Game luncheon featured, in addition to the Most Valuable Player award, a number of door prizes. Holder of a lucky number was Wilt Chamberlain, who had missed out on the car given to the MVP. Chamberlain's prize: a book called Play Better Basketball, written by Oscar Robertson.
THEY SAID IT
•Dean Martin, on the wagon during the Bing Crosby Golf Tournament, asked for his autograph on the 18th green at Cypress by a woman with green hair: "Lady, I knew something like you would show up the minute I quit drinking."
•Keith Lincoln, San Diego halfback, on why he played in the AFL All-Star Game despite an injured knee: "A low IQ helps."
•Toe Blake, coach of the Montreal Canadiens, on substitute goalies' grumbling over the new rule that requires them to be on the bench in full regalia during games: "They say it makes them stiff and sore. I've seen these same guys sit in a card game on a train for five solid hours without budging from their seats. They don't complain about being stiff and sore then."