Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments Act has athletic directors the country over in a state of panic. Many of them fear that the Department of Health, Education and Welfare will now interpret it to mean that colleges receiving federal aid must spend as much on women's athletics as they do on men's and they envision the end of big-time college sports. According to Maine Congressman Peter N. Kyros, the only mention of athletics in the legislative history of Title IX occurs in a colloquy between Senators Peter Dominick and Birch Bayh in which Bayh says that "What we are trying to do is provide equal access for women and men students to the education process and extracurricular activities in a school where there is not a unique facet such as football involved." The courts, which have decided several cases against schools that denied women any opportunity in athletics, most likely will give strong weight to the Bayh view.
This is the conclusion of Representative Kyros, who last month brought extraordinary sense to the discussion of women's athletics in a talk before the Maine Athletic Directors Conference. Among his points were these:
There should be equality of opportunity not because it is the law but because it is morally right. It would be a mistake, however, to push for it too fast. The concern should be for equal opportunities rather than equal expenditures. The best guideline is fairness.
Many cringe at sanctioning the "separate but equal" approach, but it may become necessary. Because men generally are superior athletes, compelling schools to offer competitive team sports on a coeducational basis could result in unequal opportunity for women. But exceptions must be made for the gifted woman athlete, such as Billie Jean King.
Money is the big bugaboo. Obviously, if the fairness test is used, more will be expended on women's athletics as directors ask themselves such questions as, is it fair that men have locker rooms and women do not; that men can use the field with artificial turf and women cannot; that men fly to the big game and eat steak the night before while women hold bake sales to pay for their bus tickets and brown-bag lunches?
Finally, women directors and coaches should receive equal pay and responsibilities and enjoy equal working conditions. They should not have to teach three phys ed classes and coach while the men only coach.
GOOD DEAL IN CARDS
If kids seem unusually frantic about baseball card collecting this year, there is a reason. Anticipating a move that never came about, Topps bubble gum identified 14 San Diego Padres as playing for Washington. Thousands of the cards were distributed before Topps gummed up the works and stopped the presses, and they have become collectors' items selling for $2 apiece. The error is a hit.
PASSING THE BUCK
One of the benefits promised New Yorkers before the state legalized off-track betting was the summary disappearance of the bookmaker. He would starve, the theory went, while New York and its tracks thrived on a whopping 17% cut from the bettors' winnings. As is usual with such roseate predictions, this one did not quite pan out. Attendance at the tracks dropped and bettors began wandering back to their favorite bookies.
But if these were signs, the politicians, who cannot look a horse in the mouth without seeing gold, were ignoring them. Faced with a massive deficit in his proposed budget, New York City Mayor Abraham Beame asked for—and received—approval from the state for a 5% surcharge on OTB betting. If the City Council adopts the measure, the surcharge will be on the winners' pool at the betting offices and will become statewide after 60 days.
Balancing the books at the expense of the bettor is an age-old ploy that, on balance, has always played into the hands of the bookmaker. Pass the legislation, guys, and Nathan Detroit is back in deep clover.
SEAL FOR APPROVAL
Andre, we are pleased to report, has not slowed down, but he was a while getting over his latest trip and he looked, well, grizzled. Gray had mottled his once sleek dark skin, his whiskers were touched with white, and while his big, inquisitive eyes snapped smartly at visitors there was no snap in his appetite for alewives and herring. Andre, you may have guessed, is a seal (harbor variety) and traveling fool.
Harry Goodridge, a tree surgeon and skin diver, found Andre, an abandoned pup, 13 years ago and raised him to become one of the country's most photographed and televised performing seals. Andre summered in a pen moored in Rockport harbor off the Maine coast. Twice a day the pen was pulled ashore and the 240-pound ham showed off to the delight of tourists and Down Easters. Winters, Andre was on his own, swimming freely in harbor waters and sometimes straying as far south as the bottom tip of the state before turning north for another season in summer stock.
This winter, though, Goodridge decided to take Andre to Boston to show off his tricks to the aquarium people there. As a fillip on the way home—and to prove Andre's intelligence—he deposited the seal in the Atlantic at Marblehead, with the parting shout, "See you in Rockport, Baby."
That was at two p.m. on April 26. Four days and 168 miles later Andre, who has been clocked at 15 miles an hour, popped up in Rockport, a pooped traveler if ever there was one. He flopped into the skiff of Leonard Ames, a part-time lobsterman, and rocked off to sleep. Now fully recovered, the old trouper will be back this summer performing and posing for pictures. If there is one thing Andre likes better than a fine kettle offish, it is a loaded Kodak.
Y'R OUT! WAY OUT!
All of Becky Dooley's troubles seemed finally behind her. Permitted to work out with the Chaffee, N. Dak. high school boys' baseball team, the 18-year-old proved talented enough to take her place in center field. There had been a problem with the North Dakota High School Activities Association, which ruled Chaffee would have to forfeit its game with Sheldon if Becky played, but that was disposed of in the seventh inning when Coach Keith Snortland decided to put her into the game and dashed out to the umpire with a temporary restraining order. Becky donned her glove and trotted to her position. In the bottom half of the inning she came to bat. Swack! She smashed a foul ball. Swack! Another foul ball. Then it happened. She was called out on two strikes. Seems that in all the confusion nobody on the Chaffee team thought to tell the umpire of the lineup change. When he woke up to the technicality, he ruled that a rule was a rule, and sent Becky back to the bench. Pioneering never was very easy in the Plains States.
The United States is not the only country wrestling with its sports conscience. French sportswriters, like their American counterparts, have become vexed over the rise of professionalism and commercialism, insisting it is swamping the "true sporting spirit in France." Without fear of mixed metaphor, one Paris newspaper headlined, THE GOLDEN CALF HAS INFILTRATED AND IS CREATING A GROWING MALAISE.
The arguments are familiar. Basketball, which has prospered during the last five years with the importation of American players, is a culprit because "success has turned the heads of the players and those of the French club directors. A phony amateurism is now solidly installed." Matters have reached such a turn, one journalist says, that the French Basketball Federation may insist on its players filing income-tax returns.
Tennis is another offender, the "dollars racket," a second writer charges. "Dollar tennis is killing real tennis," he says. Efforts to maintain the traditional semiamateur tennis organization "cannot stand up to the lures of the World Team Tennis."
Money is also spoiling the distinction between amateur and professional cycling, writes still another journalist. "The amounts in prizes and bonuses paid to amateur cyclists sometimes largely exceed the prize money earned by professionals. Further, the pros are alarmed because most of the sponsors' money goes to the top stars, leaving the rank and file with the national minimum, or no work at all."
Blinkers often are conducive to better horse racing. Moral blinders never are. When he learned that Angel Cordero, Laffit Pincay and Miguel Rivera were "saving" in the Kentucky Derby, Steward Keene Daingerfield said, "Obviously Cordero couldn't have thought there was anything wrong with it, or else he wouldn't have talked about it. It was a tactless thing for him to say." But presumably all right to do.
Saving is an arrangement jockeys make among themselves to ensure that all will earn some money if one of them wins, thus saving themselves from a shutout. Cordero, Pincay and Rivera, each on Derby favorites, agreed that if one of them won he would give $3,000 apiece to the other two out of his 10% share of the $270,000 purse. Daingerfield admitted that a rider finding himself on a mount who was tiring could move over to give racing room to one of his syndicate coming on, hardly reassuring to bettors on other horses in the race.
The stewards at Aqueduct in New York took a far less liberal view of the practice. Last week they assembled all the jockeys riding at the Big A and informed them that saving was not allowed unless the jockeys were competing as an entry owned by the same stable. While there was no rule in the book about it, Steward Francis Dunne told the riders, "That does not matter. It just will not be permitted." He said that the jockeys agreed and he implied that the Kentucky Racing Commission would, too. Last week officials at Pimlico banned the practice. Which is fine as far as it goes. But there should be a rule in everybody's book.
BEWARE THE ODD ONE
Doberman pinschers and German shepherds have a public image as fierce guard dogs and occasionally even killers. But when that friendly Saint Bernard turns murderous—as one did recently on Long Island, killing a boy of six—most people are incredulous.
"You can find a lemon in any breed," one dog woman said after the Long Island tragedy. "When you get one in the big breeds you have real trouble. And for some reason, many big-breed dogs, while placid as youngsters, get crosser as they age. An irritable dog of, say, 150 pounds can do lots more damage than a piqued Chihuahua."
The case of the slain child is not an isolated one. Despite the Saint Bernard's background as cask-carrying rescuer (although there have been times when the dogs were saved by human beings in heavy snowstorms), over the years members of the breed have killed adults as well as children. Even the celebrated dogs of the Great Saint Bernard Hospice in Switzerland have had killers among them.
Happily, such Saint Bernards are rare, but prospective buyers of a cuddly puppy of any large breed should bear in mind cave canem.
THEY SAID IT
•Sparky Anderson, Cincinnati Red manager, explaining why he likes the latest bubble-gum cards: "They've taken my playing record off and put my managerial record on."
•Ernest K. Gann, writer and pilot, on the lack of risk in flying: "It's virtually gone from the commercial airlines. Flying has become completely automated. That's why I turned to sailing and to writing. They cannot be computerized."
•Alex Hannum, who was dismissed as coach of the Denver Rockets a month after he and Owner Frank M. Goldberg had agreed the club should get off dead center: "Frankly I thought his first move was rather dramatic."
•Elmo Langley, driver, after learning that NASCAR had further restricted the size of carburetors: "I've been left with $100,000 worth of boat anchors."