The fact that the University of Mississippi has canceled two freshman basketball games with Vanderbilt is ordinarily not cause for national concern. However, this year the Vanderbilt freshman team includes Godfrey Dillard and Perry Wallace (SI, May 16), the first Negroes to get basketball grants-in-aid in the SEC.
The two games, which were to have been preliminary to home-and-home varsity games, were arranged last spring by means of a gentlemen's agreement between Coach Roy Skinner of Vandy and Coach Eddie Crawford of Ole Miss. This fall Crawford backed out, pleading "schedule conflicts." The conflicts, it seems, were of Crawford's own making, although he may only have done what he was told. On January 14 the two teams were to have met in Oxford, Miss., but Ole Miss's opponent on that date is now John C. Calhoun State Junior College of Decatur, Ala. The second game, scheduled for February 11 at Nashville, will not be played because, Crawford explains, his freshmen will be unable to make the 240-mile trip "on account of school work." Instead they will meet Clarke Memorial College at Newton, Miss., which is 175 miles distant.
Both Coach Crawford and Tad Smith, Ole Miss's athletic director, deny that Dillard and Wallace had any bearing on the rescheduling. Coach Skinner is reserving judgment, but he's unhappy to have lost the games, if for no other reason than that Wallace will have two less chances to show his stuff, and Wallace, who is 6 feet 5, looks like he's going to be a good one. In his first five games he has averaged 20.6 points, 24.8 rebounds and has shot 47.1% from the floor.
Florida's Orange Bowl-bound Gators came up with two solutions for winning football this season: Steve Spurrier and Gatorade, a beverage cooked up by Dr. Robert Cade, a University of Florida physician, to replace body fluids lost during practices and games. Dr. Cade had found that players lose 2.5 to 4.2 liters of perspiration in a normal practice—or as much as nine pounds per player. Indeed, Florida had only one bad second half—against Georgia at Jacksonville. Gatorade, which is mint-flavored and contains half a dozen ingredients including salt and potassium, can't be faulted, however. A truck carrying 26 gallons of the stuff from Gainesville was stolen before game time.
...FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER
A year ago the U.S. Forest Service awarded Walt Disney Productions the rights to develop California's Mineral King Valley as a $35 million ski resort and recreational area, complete with one chapel, 10 restaurants, 14 lifts, 7,200 beds and no cars—the parking lot would be adjacent to the valley. However, since Mineral King is bounded on three sides by Sequoia National Park, its development is contingent upon getting the permission of the National Park Service to build an all-weather access highway across park land. At hearings held in Fresno last month, the Sierra Club argued that the two-mile corridor required for the highway should be made part of a new wilderness area. "This fragile, narrow valley can't stand the impact of 2.5 million visitors a year," testified Michael McCloskey, the club's conservation director. "The Park Service should not aid and abet the destruction of this valley with a mountain Disneyland."
Although we are among the most fervent supporters of the Sierra Club, in this instance we feel they are protesting mostly as a matter of principle, and that their rhetoric is not wholly justified by the facts. The demand for more recreational facilities for California's growing population cannot be ignored, and Mineral King, which is ideal for skiing, is only 228 miles from Los Angeles, 142 miles closer than Mammoth Mountain, now the nearest major ski area.
And although some of Disney's productions do not happen to suit our taste, it is unreasonable to characterize him as a wanton defiler of nature. "When I first saw Mineral King," Disney has said, "I thought it was one of the most beautiful places in the world, and we want to keep it that way. It is going to be even more attractive and accessible, so that more people will enjoy its beauty. This will be a recreation project, not an entertainment center."
SY'S SWEET SOMETHING
We have long been awestruck by the contortions press agents go through to get a mention for their clients, but the following release, which was batted out by a PR man name of Sy Presten, nearly struck us dumb:
"Greek athletes carrying flaming torches 2,000 years ago were dispatched by Royalty to carry messages and gifts of perfume hundreds of miles to their Royal sweethearts. For the chore they had to train hard. Now on the double millennium anniversary, most athletes are still training hard....
"In order for athletes to cut down on their romancing time, a new service has been created. It saves hours of whispering sweet nothings, thinking of clever ways to make up after an argument, or contriving explanations of why they sign autographs for gorgeous, blue-eyed blondes. They can now spend more time and effort on their career.
"Perfume-by-Wire is the service, which, via telephone call to Western Union, can bring promptly coast-to-coast perfume and specially designed confidential telegram whispering sweet nothings or somethings. This will take the place of thousands of words and tens of hours when the star athlete should be studying plays or sleeping."
THE RED SHIRTS ARE COMING (CONT.)
The first NFL-AFL draft, which will be held next month, would make a capital editorial cartoon for The Worker: fat, cigar-smoking owners lolling on feed sacks stuffed with money, imperiously showing the poor, downtrodden college boys where to play with one ringed hand, while dispensing small change with the other. Of course, despite the merger and the common draft, pro football isn't about to become a sweatshop. Good players will still command $100,000 and up, but the days of extravagant bonuses are over, and owners who have been in the hole should start making a profit.
But not so fast already. The red shirts drafted last year still have to be dealt with (SI, Oct. 31). And just how much of a headache these hangovers will bring was not realized until recently. The owners knew they were going to have to go high for the Nick Eddys, Pete Durankos and Jack Clancys, but now they've learned that the price tags on the 54 red shirts drafted by both leagues may well be in a class with the bonuses paid Donny Anderson, Jim Grabowski and Joe Namath.
For instance, Bob Windsor—you know, Bob Windsor, 218-pound end from Kentucky—is reported to have agreed to a $250,000 contract with the 49ers. And one red-shirt quarterback, who is equally unsung but whose stats are impressive, could end up with more money than Steve Spurrier. Says the red shirt's lawyer: "I may just put my client up on a box after the East-West game, and invite the NFL team, the AFL team and the Canadian team which own the draft rights to look him over and bid. 'Look at that strong, supple arm,' I'll say. 'Those good, quick legs, that noble, intelligent brow. Note that there's not a surgical mark on his body. Now, gentlemen, let's begin this auction—and we'll try $300,000 for openers.' "
THE ART IN IT
"We usually chase a blonde named Paddy Earl," says William Allen, with great relish. "They go better, and we go better." Allen, who resides in Warwickshire, England, is master of the Wootton Hall bloodhounds—the aforementioned "they"—and a proponent of a burgeoning sport in Britain, namely hunting human beings rather than foxes. Naturally, the League Against Cruel Sports is delighted with the substitution and, according to one gentleman whose daughter had heretofore hunted foxes, "It's certainly better than coffee bars, isn't it? That's where the rot sets in, let's face it."
The bloodhounds comprising the four packs now hunting in Britain are not of the type seen at dog shows; the large head and heavy bones have been bred out, so that the dogs more resemble the black-and-tan St. Hubert hounds, which accompanied William the Conqueror. Moreover, bloodhounds such as Allen's are so fast that a galloping horse cannot keep up with them after a mile.
Allen generally hunts Miss Earl, an office worker, or Garth Caddock, a stable boy in his employ, or eager members of a local cross-country club. "I like it," says Garth. "I must have been hunted a thousand times. You get used to fooling them—turning sudden right angles as you run, wading through pools, jumping ditches, walking straight through cow dung. There's an art in it."
Allen is likewise fascinated by the nature of scent, about which Mr. Jorrocks, the fictional English fox hunter, observed there "is nothing rummer except a woman." Allen daily measures ground and air temperatures, wind velocity and humidity and is becoming convinced that there is no such thing as scent, or, at least, scent is not what the hounds actually follow. Allen believes that their tracking ability may instead have something to do with "a positive magnetic field or a negative one, or vibration." He points out that not long ago his hounds successfully followed Garth despite the fact that he donned new rubber boots a mile from the start, did a mile in them and then changed back to his shoes. To Allen, this feat plus others, such as being able to follow a right-angled track through water, is quite convincing proof.
Whatever the case, Allen knows that if the air temperature is two or three degrees above the ground temperature, there is always a terrific "scent" and he is in for a "screaming hunt." This, he adds, is a fox-hunting term and is not meant to denote in any way the possible reaction of the quarry. As Garth says, "You get bitten now and again, but only by accident."
THEY SAID IT
•Darrell Royal, Texas football coach, asked if the abnormal number of Long-horn injuries this season resulted from poor physical conditioning: "One player was lost because he broke his nose. How do you go about getting a nose in condition for football?"
•Vince Lombardi, Green Bay coach, behind 10-7 and needing a tie with Baltimore to clinch the NFL's Western Division title, asked if he wanted to try for a field goal, since the Packers were on the Colts' 23-yard line: "Hell, no. We're not looking to be No. 1. We're in this business for only one thing—to win."
•Ni Chin-chin, Red Chinese high jumper, after clearing 7 feet 5½ (a quarter of ah inch off Valeri Brumel's world record) at the Games of the New Emerging Forces in Cambodia: "If my leaps were as high as the thoughts of Chairman Mao, they would need a fireman's ladder to measure the crossbar."