THE ROAD TO THIBODAUX
A couple of weeks ago the NCAA put the University of South Carolina on two years, probation for recruiting and admissions violations and ruled the athletes involved ineligible. Although the NCAA didn't say who the athletes were, presumably one of them is Mike Grosso, the basketball player previously declared ineligible by the ACC (SI, Nov. 7, 1966). What the NCAA did say was that a prospective student athlete was admitted contrary to regular published entrance requirements and that his educational expenses were paid by a corporation upon which he was neither naturally nor legally dependent. This verbiage fits Grosso.
Grosso will quit South Carolina next month and transfer to a school where he will be eligible for the second half of the 1967-68 season. At week's end more than 50 schools had expressed an interest in Grosso. Among them are LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Western Kentucky, Tampa, Alabama and Nicholls State College in Thibodaux, La.
MONGRELS FOR PROGRESS
As has been extensively reported, to obtain medium-size dogs for laboratory use, medical researchers must purchase, from pounds, dogs of unknown genetic background, age and health—and ownership. The result is the costly use of many animals to obtain questionable data and, as an iniquitous corollary, dognapping.
But dognapping may soon be as obsolete as simony. The University of Oregon Medical School, with the support of the Ventura County (Calif.) Dog Fanciers Association, is breeding a dog specifically for use in gastric physiology, shock studies and organ transplantation. The Oregon researchers wanted a dog weighing 35 to 40 pounds with genetic uniformity, large litters, early maturity, stress resistance, short hair, light skin (for dermatology studies), a short or curly tail (for grooming and cage cleanliness) and, moreover, a dog that was quiet, gentle and tractable.
They started out with Labradors. Unlike certain other breeds, Labs have been bred for strength, endurance, temperament, intelligence and tractability, as well as conformation. The Lab, however, barks and has a long tail. It was therefore crossbred with the Basenji, which doesn't bark and has a curly tail. To retain size, get curlier tails, broader chests and lighter skin, the Samoyed was introduced into the line. Lastly, the greyhound was added, mainly because it has large blood vessels, which are advantageous for medical research.
The puppies on the school's 180-acre farm near Portland are now-in the fifth generation. They bark very infrequently, their hair is short, their skin fairly light, their tails are beginning to curl, and as Animal Care Director Allan Rogers says, "Their socialization with humans is good." Rogers hopes that in another four generations—or about six years from now—the new variety will be breeding relatively true.
The Ventura County Dog Fanciers Association has donated both funds and dogs. "I've had kooks and cranks ask me how I can do such a thing when I say I love dogs," says Jim Henderson, a professional handler and Basenji breeder, who is the VCDFA president. "It's because I do love my dogs that I can do such a thing."
BY THE THROAT
There's a commercial fisherman out of Clatskanie, Ore., Brian Davis by name, who can so faithfully reproduce the highball calls and feeding chuckle of wild ducks that he came within a quack of winning the World Duck Calling Championship, which was held last month in Stuttgart, Ark. The winner, by the margin of a single vote, was John Liston of Knoxville, III., who used a duck call.
So what did Davis use? Davis used his throat.
"I guess I was the first one to do throat calling in the championship since 1942," he says. "But it was the same back there in Arkansas as it is everywhere. People think I've got something in my mouth."
However, Davis is at a loss to describe how he does it. "I got this doctor friend who specializes in noses and throats," he says. "He keeps telling me he'd sure like to operate on my throat and find out what's going on in there. But it's there, and I know what to do. If I get a really bad cold it might knock me out for four or five days, but I can call all day and never get hoarse. I had a cold before I went to Arkansas, or I think I might have done better. Besides, people scare me in those contests. You kind of choke up a bit, especially on the feed call."
FROM BELFRY TO BATHROOM
"Cranbrook and bats have been a thing for years now," says the fourth Earl of Cranbrook. Several years back the conservation-minded peer disproved the hairy old tale about bats getting tangled in ladies' tresses. Next he set to work on a code to protect bats. Now he has come up with a recipe for the ideal dinner for bats: equal parts of the yolk of a hard-boiled egg, cream cheese and banana, seasoned with a dash of salt.
Lord Cranbrook exercises his captive bats in the bathroom of his 19th-century home, Great Glemham House in Suffolk. "I take them into the bathroom to fly because it is a low room and I can catch them," he says.
In the meantime, as chairman of the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland, Lord Cranbrook is heading a movement to get more space for animals in zoos. He recommends a system of "approved zoos"—Quality Courts if you will, with Michelinlike stars for food that is "well prepared and well presented." Great Glemham House should rate three stars.
The newest forum for us Americans seems, somehow typically, to be the automobile window. Recently, in the Southwest, where football is a year-round preoccupation, the question as to who is No. 1 has been raging on decals and stickers, with the University of Texas making the most forceful argument. Its decals proclaim: we're No. 1 or NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. In both cases the year—1963—is yea small.
This campaign irked Judge Abner V. McCall, a former second-string high school quarterback and FBI agent, who is president of Baylor University. At his suggestion, the Baylor bookstore has issued two decals. The first reads:
SOUTHWESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE DEBATE
WHAT'S COOKING? NOT MUCH
Like the recipe for seven-layer cake by George Blanda of the Houston Oilers? How about chicken supreme √† la Willie Brown of the Denver Broncos? Or chocolate fudge cake by Smokey Stover of the Kansas City Chiefs?
These are just a few of the recipes in Gridiron Gourmet, a cookbook compiled by the wives of the Houston Oilers. Alas, the book isn't selling like hot cakes—for which, incidentally, there is a recipe by Rich Michael of the Oilers.
To help the ladies sell some books, Oiler Owner Bud Adams has asked the other owners in the league to take 500 copies apiece.
Concluded Lamar Hunt of Kansas City: "This is not a classic example of the growth of professional football."
FAR FROM THE IVORY TOWER
To our knowledge, the Medford (Ore.) Giants of the Northwest League next summer will be the only baseball franchise operated by a professor of geology. He is Dr. Joseph Graham, 57, of Stanford, a Ph.D. in paleontology, who has been assured he will have the Class A club. Dr. Graham is not a parvenu: his father caught Rube Waddell in semipro ball, and Dr. Graham was a semipro shortstop himself.
"Joe is no ivory-tower bird," says Jack Schwarz, farm-system administrative secretary for the San Francisco Giants, who have a working agreement with Medford. "It wouldn't surprise me to see him taking tickets at the front gate."
"Don't make me appear to place baseball above my duties at Stanford," says Dr. Graham. "I'm a geologist. I'm just a plain fellow. I love baseball. I'm a bird dog for the Minnesota Twins, but they don't pay me. I guess I've always wanted to own a ball club."
Busy, busy Arnold Palmer paused long enough in Denver last week to predict that U.S. golfers are going to have their work cut out for them.
"We are going to see one of the greatest rushes of foreign players on the American circuit we've ever seen," said Palmer. "It won't be uncommon to find six foreign players among the first 10 in our tournaments five years from now. Boys from South Africa, England, Japan, Australia and New Zealand are willing to work and are working hard. Gary Player tells me he has two or three 19- and 20-year-olds in South Africa who will show better than he did. If that's true we've got to get our boys going. I don't resent the foreign players being on tour. What concerns me most is that our boys are not working as hard as they should. We have a number of players who have great potential. What will happen to them is another thing."
But for Palmer there was one reassuring note. "At least there are no new Nicklauses," he said. "And thank God."
BIZ SOCKO IN SOCK GAME
In the past decade boxing has been hit by three Congressional investigations (which revealed gangster control, a monopoly and fixed fights), two deaths in championship fights, a score of unsatisfactory title bouts and the loss of its two weekly national TV shows. By all rights, a pair of used boxing gloves should be on exhibit in the Smithsonian alongside Grover Cleveland's pince-nez, the 1903 kerosene-driven tractor and Warren G. Harding's golf ball.
Instead boxing is enjoying a modest boom. For example, last year Chris Dundee put on 31 shows in Miami Beach; in 1964 he had 12. In Las Vegas there are now two weekly shows, promoted by Bill Miller and Mel Greb respectively, and Miller's main events are televised into Los Angeles and taped for delayed showing in 14 other cities. (In turn, tapes of fights held in L.A. are seen in 26 cities.) In Portland, Maine, Sam Silverman staged 46 cards in 1966; in the 12 previous years Portland had 13 nights of boxing. And last year in Los Angeles Mrs. Aileen Eaton ran 51 shows, which drew 300,000 spectators who paid $550,000—double her 1965 business and triple 1964. This, mind you, without any title fights, which have largely accounted for the boxing revival in Madison Square Garden.
Curiously, what has helped revive boxing is what helped kill it—TV. Until she negotiated a weekly TV contract in 1965, Mrs. Eaton was on her way to bankruptcy court. "We decided to use TV to build up the game and young fighters," she says. "A nice new crop of fighters attracted a new breed of fans—the 20-to-30 age group." In fact, in Minneapolis last year, Wally Karbo put on a series of studio-TV bouts to "explain to a new generation what boxing was" before promoting six live shows.
The new breed couldn't care less about name fighters; what draws are good matches between fighters who come to fight, and imaginative promotions. Says Mrs. Eaton: "Now that we have the fans, we just have to keep them happy." Says Sam Silverman: "Sometimes I think I'm promoting vaudeville." The fighters comprise a new breed, too. As Ernie Terrell says, "They can talk for themselves." Perhaps the epitome of the breed is Ron Marsh, a Minneapolis heavyweight who very ably interviews his opponents on TV.
THEY SAID IT
•Willie Davis, Green Bay defensive end, on the $15,000 he earned in the Super Bowl: "It's kind of like putting sugar on top of ice cream."
•Lou Rymkus, Detroit Lion offensive line coach on Head Coach Harry Gilmer, who was fired last month. "Harry has a wonderful intellect for the game. His only fault is that he expects grown men to behave like grown men and not like babies."