SANCTIONS AND SANCTIMONY
Last weekend the AAU conferred its highest honor, the Sullivan Award, on Jim Ryun and at the same time informed him that his 1:44.9 world record for the half mile, which he set at the United States Track and Field Federation Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. last June, will not be recognized unless the USTFF applies to the AAU for a retroactive sanction of the meet.
Intoned AAU President David A. Matlin: "We are confident that if the Federation applies in writing for the sanction and the Indiana AAU gives sanction—as its president, Dr. Miles Barton, indicated Friday—we can persuade the International Amateur Athletic Federation to accept Ryun's half mile as a world record."
March 6, 1967
So why did the AAU accept Ryun's mark as an American record and forward it to the IAAF for certification as a world record (SI, Feb. 13)? Who was IAAF Secretary Donald Pain kidding when he returned the application, saying it was "not in order"? And what was Colonel David Hull, AAU executive director, up to when he said the application would be routinely resubmitted to the IAAF "and we expect at that time it will be accepted"?
"The AAU apparently has evolved a new theory of control," explained Walt Byers, president of the NCAA, which is aligned with the USTFF. "Having failed in the enforcement of athletes' ineligibility, they now render their records ineligible. Last June the AAU attempted to scare Jim Ryun out of running at Terre Haute. Having been unsuccessful in that, they are taking out their spite by holding up his world record."
At week's end, Father Wilfred H. Crowley, USTFF president, said he would not accept the AAU's terms, leaving the 1:44.9 in bureaucratic limbo. "This shows who is victimizing the American athlete," Father Crowley added. "I just wonder if Mr. Ryun should have accepted that Sullivan Award."
The USTFF is not wholly blameless in this affair, but the AAU would be well advised henceforth to conduct its puerile business in a sandbox.
In recent years we have campaigned for the elimination of "tired baseball"—that brand of ball played by a team that is constantly on the road, hither and yon, fulfilling a schedule the owners have made far too long and devious.
For example, this spring the Cleveland Indians play in places like San Diego, Modesto, Stockton, New Orleans, Shreveport and Little Rock for 14 of their last 15 exhibition games. They then open the regular season in Kansas City, fly to Anaheim, fly to Minnesota and fly home to Cleveland for 13 games in the first 14 days of the season. Attendance has been dropping off in Cleveland the past few years. This looks like a perfect way to keep emptying Municipal Stadium.
A notable victory for conservation was scored last week when Northwest Aluminum, which had sought to build a $100 million aluminum-reduction foundry on lovely little Guemes Island in Puget Sound, abandoned the site in the face of legal action by a handful of small landowners who wish to preserve their island for residence and recreation (SI, Nov. 28 et seq.).
Recently, too, Georgia-Pacific, sensing public disfavor, decided not to build a gypsum-wallboard plant on the Hudson River opposite Storm King. So, literally from coast to coast, it is evident that people are increasingly aware of what is rather loftily termed their natural heritage, and are increasingly opposed to its devastation. Obviously, industry has to locate somewhere, but is it too idealistic to suggest that everyone should sit down beforehand and decide which areas are inviolate and which are suitable for industry? After all, we've been able to get together to solve such exacting problems as how many feet must separate saloons from public schools.
OPEN DOOR POLICY
A few college football and basketball coaches around the country have come up with a pretty nifty way to circumvent the NCAA regulations that strictly limit preseason and postseason practice sessions. Just because students happen to be members of the football or basketball team doesn't mean they are prohibited from gathering in the gym or field house if a coach isn't on hand to supervise. So what these coaches do is stand in the corridor and shout instructions through an open door. They're not breaking any laws, and it makes the molding of character so much easier.
Tom Nieporte and Julius Boros, who won golf tournaments at Palm Springs and Phoenix on successive weekends, both have seven children and both credited their wins to putting. One theory holds that a man with seven kids isn't likely to be distracted by sudden noises.
RUNNERS AND LOOKERS
How old must an object be to be an antique? One hundred years, says Public Law 89-651. Twenty-five years, says David R. Reinhartsen of Richardson, Texas, president of the Antique Outboard Motor Club, for to be registered with his club an outboard must have been built before 1942.
The AOMC was founded in 1965 and now has 250 members. "We have all types," Reinhartsen said last week, "from a draftsman to a retired colonel to a manufacturer of girdle snaps."
Reinhartsen categorizes members as "runners" and "lookers." The girdle snapper is a looker. He has 100 antique motors in his basement, but never runs them. Frank Johnston, a Gainesville, Fla. foundry owner, is a runner. He has the largest collection of antique outboards in the world—160—and uses them.
According to Reinhartsen, the first U.S. outboard was the American, which was built around 1896, and the rarest is the Strellinger. "It was an outboard device whose propeller was in the air rather than in the water," he says. "It was made between 1918 and 1923, and as far as we know there are none in existence. Then there's the John-T model, giant twin. There are three of those left. A real prize! A tremendous outboard motor!"
You won't get Reinhartsen to say he doesn't like new outboards; what he says is, "New motors lack character and experience. One of our greatest joys is to find someone on a lake with one of those big, beautiful new motors conked out on him. We ride up and gently ask, 'Can I loan you some tools?' Usually they don't know how to use them. Then we say, 'May I tow you to shore?' Of course, there are times we don't think we can make it. At times we haven't."
And then there's the drunk who staggered up to the AOMC display at the Dallas boat show, scrutinized the antiques and addressed Reinhartsen. "Say, fella," he said, "they'll never sew."
FOR LOVE OR MONEY
Ted Griffin, who owned Namu, the killer whale that died in its pen on the Seattle waterfront last summer (SI, July 18, 1966), is at it again. Two weeks ago a pod of killers was herded by helicopter into a cove of Puget Sound, purse seiners surrounded them with 600 feet of net—later replaced by steel-cable netting—and it was Griffin's intention to chivvy three large calves into a traveling pen. If he were successful, the trio was to be launched on show biz careers: one at the Portland Boat Show, two at Griffin's aquarium in downtown Seattle.
Griffin went two for four. The first whale he set after got entangled in the cables and drowned. When the second became similarly enmeshed, she was cut free. Next Griffin got hold of a nine-foot suckling, which nearly drowned when pulled away from her mother and had to be given artificial respiration. At week's end the suckling and a 13-foot male were being force-fed in the aquarium holding pen, but plans to provide a whale for the boat show had been abandoned.
Despite Griffin's courage and his great rapport with whales, he is being subjected to increasing criticism.
"I question whether he has the right to frighten and harry these magnificent creatures," said Dr. Victor B. Scheffer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. representative on the international whaling and fur-seal commissions. "Killer-whale hunters should be licensed, perhaps by the state fisheries department, with official representatives present at captures. Some suffering is bound to occur in the handling of rare animals for the first time. Some hazard to them is acceptable when the opportunity for scientific study is considered. When it is done for profit, that's something else again."
"I've never been able to accept that constant harassment of this animal served the cause of scientific research," said Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, associate professor of zoology at the University of Washington and director of Seattle's Pacific Science Center. "Certainly, I'm in favor of the careful study of all wildlife, of people knowing as much as possible for our better stewardship of the creatures of nature. But utilization of animals for study must require handling in the best possible way for their comfort and continued survival."
For his part, Griffin claims he lost at least $60,000 on Namu and is merely indulging a nonprofit passion. "I don't need to make money from whales," he said. "I love them. It's a challenge to pursue them, but for me it's just the beginning when I capture them. Then comes the greater thrill of training the whales to respond, to cooperate with me and to return my love for them."
HOT STOVE LEAGUE
One of the handful of male finalists in the 1967 Pillsbury Grand National Bake-Off in Los Angeles was Jim Buck, with a recipe for Lemon Twist Treat, which he describes as "a giant lengthwise tea ring." Buck also won first prize in the National Egg Cooking Contest in Chicago last August, with a recipe for Egg Dip.
Jim, who is 16 and lives on a 133-acre farm outside Oakland City, Ind. (pop. 3,016), learned to cook from his mother, a two-time Pillsbury finalist, and with his dad had the state champion rooster in the rooster-crowing contest at the 1962 Indiana State Fair.
Now Jim has a shot at yet another title. Oakland City is the only unbeaten team in the state high school basketball tournament. Jim, a 6'2" junior forward, is a top reserve. In fact, Coach Charlie Brauser ordered that he be back from the bakeoff "in time for our final game with North Posey." You might say that if the Oakland City Acorns become state champs, Jim will be having his cake and eating it—to say nothing of baking it.
NO BOLT FROM THE BLUE
Earlier this year Italy's Blue Team seemed destined to lose its chance for a ninth straight Contract Bridge World Championship. Carlo Alberto Perroux, its imperious nonplaying padrone, had decreed that the two oldest members would be replaced. In return, the team's most celebrated pair, Benito Garozzo and Pietro Forquet, declared they would not compete unless the team was kept intact (SI, Jan. 23).
Now, it appears, the king has been trumped. Last week Perroux resigned, and the Blue Team will defend en masse in Miami Beach beginning May 26.
EASY COME, EASY GO
A Londoner who got a rebate on his income tax noticed that the post office had franked the envelope with the invitation: "Come Racing at Musselburgh."
THEY SAID IT
•Ed (Moose) Krause, Notre Dame athletic director, suggesting a change in basketball rules: "Record all fouls on both teams but don't shoot any free throws during regulation play. Then, when the game's over, guys who like the game, as I do, can get up and go home. The others can wait around and watch the free-throw contest."
•Eddy Ottoz, Italian hurdler, asked why he competes unshaven: "Italian men and Russian women never shave before a meet."
•Ted Williams: "In my opinion, baseball is the hardest sport to play. To narrow it down further, hitting a baseball is the single most difficult thing that there is in sports. It takes more skill to hit a baseball than it does to do anything else."