THE IMPORTANT SIDE
Last week Coach Adolph Rupp kicked a boy named Bob Tallent off the University of Kentucky basketball team. Rupp said it was no big deal, and in one sense we agree with him; it wasn't, but only because it was simply one more example of what is too often so rotten about collegiate sport.
The Tallent case flared up last month after Kentucky lost another game and Rupp said, "Tallent can't stand the pressure" and began referring to him as his "error boy" and "no-talent Tallent."
Last Monday at Tennessee, Tallent, who had been playing since late January with an injured ankle, passed to Louie Dampier, who didn't see the ball coming and it went out-of-bounds. Rupp yanked Tallent, who went to the bench and said, "Oh, hell."
February 27, 1967
"What did you say?" said Rupp.
Tallent repeated it, was chewed out and then told Rupp, "I'm tired of being a puppet."
The next day the equipment manager told Tallent that Rupp had said not to issue anything to him and that he was off the squad. Rupp next threatened to take away his athletic scholarship, but Tallent, a strong B student in engineering, apologized and therefore was allowed to retain his grant for the remainder of the semester.
"Tallent told Coach Rupp that he was sorry for what he did," said Athletic Director Bernie Shively. "Bob also stated he had no hard feelings toward Coach Rupp and that he had been treated fairly and squarely."
When The Kentucky Kernel, the school paper, suggested it was Rupp who should have apologized, Rupp snorted: "What? The guy admits he's wrong and says I was justified in doing what I did. And that sure makes the [Louisville] Courier-Journal and Times look like a bunch of heels for criticizing me. By God, they picked on the wrong man."
Rupp wasn't through with the press. "Why don't you guys forget this thing?" he asked Billy Reed of the Courier-Journal. "Why make an issue of it? Just say he's dropped from the squad and forget it. Go out and find some news. You newspapermen are the ones who stir up these things. You're the ones who cause all the trouble. You write, write, write, trying to build a mountain of a molehill."
And Shively was quoted as saying—before he said he was misquoted—"This is the only place I know...where this sort of thing happens, where the papers go and ask the boy's side of things."
The Courier-Journal replied: "Actually, 'the boy's side' is the only important side of the incident. If the welfare of the individual student is not served by the university, and by the teams which represent it, they have lost their purpose."
When a Welsh golfer put in a claim for a broken golf club, his insurance company pointed out that the damage had been caused by 20 years of wear and tear, and declined to pay. The golfer, in turn, pointed out that he had had a life policy with them for 40 years, and he hoped they weren't going to take the same attitude. The company settled.
Eight months ago Bob Leder, head of RKO General Sports Presentations, said he would never televise a fight involving Cassius Clay. Last week Leder announced that RKO and its partner, Madison Square Garden Attractions, will show the Clay-Zora Folley fight in more than 150 cities. That's show biz.
Clay-Folley will be the first heavyweight title bout in the U.S. to be seen live on home TV since 1959. The last was Floyd Patterson-Brian London, which helps explain why. In any case, the popularity of ABC's telecasts of Clay's fights abroad, as well as RKO's six televised title fights in other divisions, indicates that home TV and boxing may once again be profitable partners.
The RKO fights generally compete with the networks' prime evening shows. Yet, according to the ratings, the fights have often got more than 40% of the viewers. "People obviously still want fights," says Leder, "if you give them good ones." And for free.
But theater TV may well be a dying art form. Mike Malitz of Main Bout, Inc., which handled the last three Clay fights shown on theater TV, says he didn't want any part of Clay-Folley. "The money's not there," he says. "It's not going to be a fight that is going to excite people." In fact, Malitz doesn't think Clay's forthcoming bouts will be worth showing in the theaters. "I honestly believe," he says, "that by paying more attention to collecting the money from the exhibitors of the Clay-Terrell bout, I can make more for the champ."
Neither exploration nor baseball is what it used to be, according to O. C. S. Robertson, a retired Canadian commodore who is serving as scientific observer to Expo 67, Montreal's World's Fair.
"You just can't get away anymore," Robertson said last week. "Even at the North Pole you're not immune to a telephone call."
Robertson was aboard the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Seadragon on its historic voyage through the Northwest Passage to the pole. During one surfacing he stepped out on the ice intent on getting some exercise. He had just organized a baseball game when he was called to the ship's radio.
"I was stationed in Washington then," Robertson recalled, "and an admiral there had called to find out how the voyage was going. He then asked if I would like to talk to my wife. Before I could answer, she was on the line asking where I had left the car keys."
Robertson didn't mind the call as much as the interruption of his ball game. "Home plate was the North Pole," he said. "First base was in the Eastern Hemisphere, third base in the Western Hemisphere and the international date line went between home and first. When somebody hit a pop fly on Sunday it was Monday by the time the first baseman caught it."
In their first meeting of the season Muhlenberg lost to Lehigh by 13 points, 73-60. Last week Muhlenberg played Lehigh again, and Coach Ken Moyer had each player wear an adhesive strip with REMEMBER written on it below his jersey numeral. Muhlenberg lost by 13 points—74-61. Said Moyer: "Could be they remembered too well."
NO GREATER LOVE
On St. Valentine's Day, Texas schoolboy football players became eligible to sign letters of intent, and, as always, the wooing was hot and heavy.
It was also hither and yon. In the space of 17 hours Gene Stallings of Texas A&M flew to Dumas to Vernon to Abilene to San Angelo to Fredericksburg to Sweeny to Houston, signing nine players, or about one every 150 miles. Darrell Royal of Texas boarded a Falcon jet and signed nine players in Houston, touched down at San Angelo for a tackle, went on to Odessa, where he nabbed a halfback, then flew to Amarillo, Dallas and Beaumont for eight more signatures.
But the most ardent recruiter was Joel Brame, a Texas linebacker. Brame asked his girl friend to line up a blind date for a visiting prospect. When Brame and the boy went to pick up the girls Brame noticed that the blind date was a couple of inches taller than the prospect, so when the girl asked who her date was Brame piped up, "Me."
The prospect signed with Texas.
Undoubtedly the tallest singing group in the country is The Big Three and Me. The Big Three are Earl Seyfert, 6'7"; Fred Arnold, 6'7", and John Shupe, 6'6". Me is Larry Weigel, 6'3". All four are members of the Kansas State basketball team. The group was formed one day this month to relieve the boredom of a bus ride to Norman, Okla. and made its off-the-bus debut that night when it substituted for Coach Tex Winter on his TV show: Winter had gotten so hoarse yelling from the bench he couldn't go on. The Big Three and Me's big hit is an original composition entitled: Get Your Hands off Him Don't You Dare Touch Him, He's Going to Call a Foul on You.
The French village of Chamrousse, venue of the Alpine skiing events for the 1968 Winter Olympics, is by no means an elegant resort. With the exception of the Hotel Saint-Christophe, the rooms are, as innkeepers say, small but clean. But when the Austrians, Swiss and West Germans—who were in town last week for the pre-Olympic championships—saw their accommodations they were apoplektisch.
While the favored French team was basking at the Christophe, the Austrians were shivering beneath the eaves of the Hotel L'Ourson. There were 12 skiers and one washbasin in the attic, and the bathroom was—how you say?—down the hall; some said as far down as Paris. The quarters for the Swiss were equally cramped. The West Germans were four to a room in an unfinished barracks, but they had glass in their windows. By way of protest, Austrian Coach Fritz Huber stopped shaving, which was to the point since there was no hot water.
Once again it was the Olympic Committee that was in hot water. The week before, the bobsledders had staged a walkout at Alpe d'Huez because of the hazardous run (SI, Feb. 20). Now, just prior to the women's slalom, the disgruntled Austrians, Swiss and Germans, ruefully declining a peace offering of free champagne, announced they were pulling out.
"When we put up the French we lost money," said Franz Hopplicher, the Austrian chef de mission, "but we put them in the finest rooms in Innsbruck. We knew the minute we came here and saw our quarters that we would leave, but we wanted to see the downhill course. Now we have seen it. So we have played the comedy for three days."
World Champion Jean-Claude Killy and French Coach Honoré Bonnet agreed that they would have left, too, if they had such barbarous lodgings. The Italians said they had been ordered to race, but, in sympathy, they might stop halfway down the hill. The French sports daily L'Equipe, in a front page editorial entitled Noblesse Oblige, called the affair a scandal. "This incident must at least show that a great deal of effort remains to be made," L'Equipe said.
"You must understand, it is difficult to lose," said Hopplicher in parting, "but it is much more difficult to win. The Austrians have learned to lose. And now the French must learn to win."
Each year since 1954, the Kentucky Club pipe tobacco people have been giving away a 2-year-old Thoroughbred to the lucky person who dreamed up the best name for it—or, more precisely, the name Kentucky Club decided was best. And they picked some lulus: Hopepharoil, Fillequine, Delphidessa, Fildihil, Ali Hurry Bhai, Aurecolt—which, perhaps, served them right. Only one winner, Aurecolt, ever amounted to anything at the races: he earned $42,479 and still holds the American record for 7½ furlongs—1:29.
This year, Kentucky Club is giving away a Summer Tan colt, but—glory be!—they've given up on the names. Now all you have to do is send in a box top; the winner will be chosen by blind draw. If you win, you may call him Dobbin, for all anyone cares.
THEY SAID IT
•Paul Hornung, asked why he got married at 11 a.m.: "Because if it didn't work out I didn't want to blow the whole day."
•Art Shamsky, a pinch hitter honored for four homers in one game: "I'd like to thank my manager—but that would be kind of senseless, he never played me."
•Floyd Patterson, before knocking out Willie Johnson: I don't know if I am as fast as I was, but I don't think I'm any slower."
•Steve Belko, Oregon basketball coach: "I told my team before the UCLA game that these guys put their pants on a leg at a time just like we do. It's just that one fellow has a little bit bigger pants."
•Theodore W. Kheel, New York lawyer and labor arbitrator, on his efforts to resolve the AAU-NCAA dispute: "These people make the Teamsters look like undernourished doves."