DEATH THREAT FOR SMU
Seventeen months ago, fed up with repeated rule abuses at certain schools, the NCAA membership voted to establish a "death penalty." Henceforth, any college found guilty of major rule infractions twice within a five-year period could be barred from competition for two years in the second sport cited. On paper the measure was strong. But more than a few observers questioned whether the NCAA would ever have the nerve to apply it.
Last week SMU's football program may have stumbled toward the gallows. Already in the second year of a three-year NCAA probation—its sixth since 1958, a college football record—SMU was hit by new allegations. The Dallas Morning News reported that Mustang tight end Albert Reese has been living for the past six months in a rent-free apartment provided by a local developer. This could be considered an improper extra benefit under NCAA rules. Meanwhile, former linebacker David Stanley told Dallas television station WFAA that school officials paid him $25,000 to come to SMU in 1983 and gave him and his mother $750 per month thereafter. These monthly payments, Stanley said, continued even after SMU was put on probation in August 1985 and did not end until he dropped out of school in December of that year.
NCAA enforcement director David Berst said that if the allegations against SMU are proved—the NCAA has indicated that SMU will be investigated further—then the school could become the first death-penalty victim. In which case, SMU will have outdone even itself in showing either stupidity, arrogance or both. That's no mean feat.
CHANGING HIS PINSTRIPES?
Propped up against a cowboy boot in the window of Billy Martin's Western Wear store in New York City is a Mets cap.
HALLOWED TRIBUTE TO CALLOW YOUTH
On Sunday, Atlanta quarterback Dave Archer got the bad news: The shoulder separation he suffered in the 13-10 loss to the Bears had ended his season. But back in Archer's hometown of Soda Springs, Idaho, some good news awaits him. Archer, only 24 and only in his third season in the NFL, is to be commemorated by a 10-foot-high block of granite that will stand forevermore next to the soon-to-be-rededicated David Archer Field at Soda Springs High. That's quite an honor, especially for a guy who "had just a fair arm," according to the school's principal, Gerald Jolley.
The tribute came about through the efforts of people in both Georgia and Idaho. Joe Fendley, the owner of a quarry in Elberton, Ga., has recently become quite a fan of Archer's. "He said that since Soda Springs gave the Falcons Dave Archer, he wanted to give something back," says Jolley. Fendley gave the granite, and the William Walker Monument Co. of Pocatello agreed to do the engraving; it does tombstones in the area and is good at this sort of thing.
The unveiling is planned for next spring. The 4,051 souls of Soda Springs hope Archer can come back from his injury because there is concern that his sudden fame may be fleeting, and that people may forget who the monument is for. But Jolley says, "The thought locally was that here's a young man who has accomplished a great deal. He worked hard to accomplish his goals. We felt it was just something to indicate that if a person works hard and reaches the top, well, even if he never plays another game of football, at least he's reached the top."
LETTERS FROM HOME
The story is told in Detroit that when left wing Petr Klima defected from Czechoslovakia last year to play for the Red Wings, he took an eye exam as part of his physical. The doctor asked Klima if he knew the second line of the eye chart. "Do I know him?" exclaimed Klima. "I used to play hockey with him."
CAN'T TELL THE PLAYERS WITHOUT...
A tip of our tweed deerstalker cap to Williams College student radio announcers Dave Paulsen and Jamey Gallop for their inventive broadcast of the Williams-Bowdoin football game last month in Brunswick, Maine. When Paulsen and Gallop, both seniors, showed up at Bowdoin's Whittier Field on game day they discovered that no game programs had arrived from the printers. Working from an alphabetical list of Bowdoin players, the two WCFM announcers found it impossible to match numbers and names fast enough. Then they got an idea.
Paulsen had received an L.L. Bean catalog in the mail the previous day, and he and Gallop had been joking about the proximity of Bowdoin to the Bean store, eight miles away in Freeport. They decided to use the catalog as their scorecard. "I guess I did it first," says Paulsen. "I said. That was a tackle by'—and I'm running my finger down the roster—'by Joe Chamois Shirt.' " Bowdoin substitutes became "Dick Thermal Underwear" and "Bean Boots." When penalties were called against the Polar Bears, Paulsen and Gallop said they were caused by such fictional infractions as failure to wear proper duck-hunting attire.
Williams won, 28-7, in a game rather dull but for the announcing. "When we broadcast a game we try to do as good a job as we can in telling what happens, but it is a college radio station," says Paulsen. "We like to throw in a little humor whenever possible."
A JOB ACTION IN LINCOLN?
For two years Dick DeVenzio, a freelance writer who played basketball at Duke from 1969 to '71, has crusaded against what he considers the economic exploitation of college athletes. He wrote a book on the subject, Rip-Off U., and is the founder of the Revenue Producing Major College Players Association (RPMCPA). "I'm not trying to pretend the organization is any more substantial than it is," DeVenzio says. "Basically it's a person with a cause and a pen."
Actually, a word processor. From his home in Charlotte, N.C., DeVenzio churns out pamphlets and mails them to basketball and football players throughout the country. The materials detail one central assertion: That athletes in big-money sports are making big money for everyone else—coaches, schools, TV networks—and should have an economic incentive for their efforts. DeVenzio would like schools to tie payments to academic progress. "The system right now amounts to robbery," he says.
To dramatize his complaint, DeVenzio has recently been trying to organize the RPMCPA's first job action. He has sent letters to all the players on the Oklahoma and Nebraska football teams, urging them to delay the start of Saturday's same between the two teams in Lincoln for half an hour. "I am asking you to consider delaying the game," DeVenzio wrote, "to send a message loud and clear across the nation that a new arrangement is coming, that negotiations with players must begin to take place." DeVenzio says the players he has contacted are "interested" but "fearful."
Oklahoma halfback Spencer Tillman told SI's Brooks Clark, "There has been a lot of talk about [the protest] among the players, and the coaches sympathize with our position, although it would be nothing short of a miracle to expect them to support it openly. I share the feelings of our whole football team: It's something that needs to be changed, but like any planned social change, it takes time." Tillman said he didn't expect the game to be delayed, but added that the team was discussing the possibility of wearing arm bands as a show of solidarity.
A MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR LINEUP
Here's Stephen Conway's dream team: Archie Griffin, Mickey Mantle, Bob Cousy, Bill Walton, Roberto Clemente and Terry Bradshaw. Strong lineup, but what's the game?
The game was California's Lotto 649, and Conway, a sports fanatic from Rohnert Park, played what he thought were the jersey numbers of his All-Stars (45-7-5-32-21-12) to win a jackpot worth $10.87 million. He was wrong on one: Cousy wore No. 14. Lucky Stephen! His payoff is more than any one of his players made in his entire career.
THE BANISHMENT OF BOBBY AND DANNY
The press box was the penalty box during Saturday's Bad Boy Bowl at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. For raging vigorously and vulgarly at officials during last year's game against Maryland, Clemson coach Danny Ford was spanked by the ACC: He received a year's probation and was told that he couldn't be on the field when the two teams met this season. And because he grabbed a referee after the 32-30 loss to North Carolina two weeks ago, Maryland coach Bobby Ross received a similar scolding: The ACC said he must not be on the sideline the next time the Terps played a league opponent. So, for the first time in college football history, both coaches were banished before the opening kickoff.
Ford suffered his penance in higher style. Shunning his customary orange baseball cap—what gentleman would wear a hat indoors?—he sported a natty tweed blazer and a bemused smile. "It's kind of funny," he said of his situation. Ross, bedecked in his usual Maryland sweater, was more solemn. When Maryland's acting athletic director, Charles Sturtz, called Ross's rampage "an embarrassment to the university," the coach shot back that the criticism was "unwarranted." Clemson wide receiver Ray Williams voiced the opinion of all the players when he said he would miss his coach "if I run the kickoff all the way back. But if I get a penalty or make a stupid mistake, then I'd rather have him up in the press box."
The press boxes—Ford's on the 30-yard line and Ross's on the 50—took on the look of mission control, with wires and headsets everywhere. Seven lieutenants surrounded Ford, and five kept Ross company. But life in the bunker did not make General Ford bold. On the last play of the game, with the ball on the Maryland four, the Tigers opted to kick a field goal that gave them a 17-17 tie and sewed up the ACC title.
THEY SAID IT
•Leon Wood, New Jersey Nets guard, introducing himself to the team's TV commentator, Steve Albert: "Are you any relation to your brother Marv?"
•Mike Tomczak, Chicago Bears QB, divulging the name of the new formation the team has added for quarterback Doug Flutie: "The sawed-off shotgun."
•Tom Heinsohn, on fellow former Celtic Chuck Connors, who left basketball and went on to star in the TV series The Rifleman: "Chuck went from the worst shot in the East to the best shot in the West."
•Pat Foley, Chicago Blackhawks TV announcer, commenting on the slow play during a game against Toronto: "If you've only got a day to live, come see the Leafs. It'll seem like forever."