A FOUNDATION FOR REFORM
In an editorial on college sports in its March/April issue, Foundation News, a magazine for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, called for an end to athletic scholarships, off-season practice, freshman eligibility, large-scale recruiting and huge coaching staffs.
While its wish list may be unrealistic, the magazine floated an additional idea that would put some clout behind the reform of college sports. It urged the foundations and corporations that give money to colleges and universities to make the integrity of a school's athletic program one of the conditions for providing grants. Concluded Foundation News: "That kind of pressure would in fact make life easier for reform-minded presidents."
How much clout are we talking about? Last year higher education received more than $3 billion in corporate and philanthropic grants.
June 14, 1987
BLAST FROM THE PAST
This is from a statement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: "College sports have been developed from games played by boys for pleasure into systematic athletic contests for the glory and, too often, for the financial profit of the college." Those words were written in 1929.
Last week Brian Tribble was acquitted by a jury on charges connected with the cocaine-induced death last year of University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias (SI, June 30). In the aftermath of Bias's death, Terrapin basketball coach Lefty Driesell and athletic director Dick Dull resigned, and the university restructured its academic guidelines for athletes. Maryland also began a major initiative aimed at curbing drug abuse among students. After the verdict in the Tribble case was announced last Wednesday, the university's vice chancellor, A.H. (Bud) Edwards, said, "We think the legal system has done its job, and it's over."
Or is it? While questions remain as to who did supply Bias with his fatal dose, the basketball star's mother, Lonise Bias, continues her one-woman crusade against drugs, a campaign that has seen her make more than 60 antidrug speeches from Washington, D.C., to Hawaii.
PUTTING ON THE DOG
It may be true that every dog will have his day, but P's Rambling isn't just any dog. Perhaps the fastest greyhound of all time, "the Ram" was given a retirement party on Saturday at the Delray Beach, Fla., home of his owners, James and Sheila Paul. Cake and champagne were served, although the Ram and his friends stuck to more traditional chow, and various dog dignitaries from around South Florida offered toasts. "The biggest heart of any dog I've ever had," said trainer Clarence Connick, who has been involved in greyhound racing for 60 of his 72 years. Following the party, the Ram was whisked by limousine to Biscayne Dog Track in Miami, where he was honored at a special ceremony. After resting on his laurels for a day, the 68-pound, 3-year-old brindle was flown by private jet to a greyhound farm in Abilene, Kans., where he will spend many of his remaining days at stud.
P's Rambling had a career record of 31 wins, 4 seconds and 3 fourths in 41 starts, but that hardly tells the story. On Jan. 24 he broke the 13-year-old world record for three-eighths of a mile. His clocking of 36.43 seconds meant that he was traveling more than 37 miles an hour. But the Ram also ran into some hard luck this year. His 11-race winning streak was stopped at Hollywood Greyhound Track on Feb. 20, when he was badly bumped. On April 4 in his last start, he broke his right ankle early in a race at Hollywood but still went on to win by three lengths.
When the Ram arrived at Connick's kennels last year, he and the trainer's wife, Dolores, hit it off right away. "It was just one of those things," says Mrs. Connick. "I'm afraid I've spoiled him rotten. I give him vanilla wafers, which he eats like candy, and sometimes we take a nap together. He loves my husband, too, and I really think that's why he raced so hard."
P's Rambling is not yet a sire, but he has already left a legacy to greyhound racing. Because of his success, trainers everywhere are feeding their dogs vanilla wafers.
HANG 'EM UP TIME
P's Rambling wasn't the only fine athlete who retired last week. Ken Anderson called it quits after 16 seasons as a quarterback with the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Raiders' Ray Guy retired after 14 years and 1,049 punts. Their announced departures were not greeted with a lot of fanfare, but then Anderson and Guy were never ones to seek the spotlight.
Anderson, who came out of small Augustana College in 1971, was a cool, analytical quarterback with an amazingly accurate arm. He leaves the game with four NFL passing records, a Player of the Year award from the Bengals' 1981 Super Bowl season and the universal respect of his teammates and opponents. In paying tribute to Anderson, broadcaster Bob Trumpy, a former Bengals tight end, recalled playing the 1974 season with a serious injury to his left elbow. "I couldn't button my shirt, and I couldn't brush my hair," said Trumpy. "I had about 15 degrees mobility in my elbow. Ken knew about it, and he'd throw to where I could bend my arm and catch it. That's how accurate he was. It was like he was saying, 'I know you can't catch with your left hand, so I'll take care of it.' And he did. I probably owe him that one year of my career."
Guy was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times and retires with 44,493 yards of punts, the third-highest total in history, behind Jerrel Wilson (46,139) and Dave Jennings (45,123 and still active). He was the first punter ever drafted in the first round—in 1973 out of Southern Mississippi—and while he wanted to play defensive back, Raider owner Al Davis saw him punt and said, "I'll kill the first man who lets him on the field." Guy's punts were so high that in 1977 Bum Phillips, then the Oilers' coach, swiped one of his punted footballs and had it checked for the presence of helium. "I can still remember the AFC championship game in San Diego in 1981," said Raider coach Tom Flores. ''We're on our own 30-yard line, Ray kicks it out of bounds inside their 10. That's where he was aiming. He's probably the best ever."
THE PUNTER MADE A PASS
Sean Landeta, the 25-year-old bachelor punter for the New York Giants, was celebrating at the Super Bowl victory party last January when a female guest caught his eye. "I asked for her phone number," says Landeta, "and she gave me her business card." Landeta tried without success to find her when he was in Miami. He kept the card, though, and checked it again when Gary Hart withdrew from the presidential race. Yes, sports fans, the card said DONNA RICE, WYETH LABORATORIES.
A FORE THOUGHT
Some phys-ed students at William Penn High, an inner-city school in York, Pa., were asked to write a brief description of golf. Here is the assessment of one 12th-grade girl: "All I know about golf is it's boring, but you have to put the ball on the tee and hit that sucker as hard as you can 'cause that hole's mighty far. Only rich people play this stupid, boring game."
THEIR CUP RUNNETH ALL OVER
LORD STANLEY WAS PROBABLY STIRRING IN HIS GRAVE AFTER THE EDMONTON Oilers beat the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 of the NHL finals. That's because his Stanley Cup was on stage with an exotic dancer at the Forum Inn, just across the street from the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton. The Oilers have a tradition of letting each member of the team spend some time with the Cup, and center Mark Messier laid claim to it first. So he took the Cup to various night spots and let fans drink from it.
The Oilers' three Finns are hoping to take the Cup to their native land for a week. Defenseman Craig Muni said he wants "to take a bath with it." Goalie Grant Fuhr wants to bring along the Cup on a golf outing. "Stanley might enjoy a day in the fresh air after some of the places he's being taken," said Fuhr.
THEY SAID IT
•Tommy John, Yankee pitcher, who has 270 career wins, making clear that he has no intention of sticking around until he wins 300: "I'm not a goal-oriented person. The only thing that burns inside me is Szechuan cooking."
•Chuck Hartenstein, Brewer pitching coach, on whether a rabbit ball is being used this year: "We don't have to buy baseballs this year. We just put 'em in the ball bag and let 'em multiply."