ABOUT WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT
Interviewed between halves of the Kansas-Colorado basketball game at Lawrence last week, Dr. W. Clarke Wescoe, chancellor of the University of Kansas, described a Sunday morning when he picked up Coach Ted Owens, who had returned from a victorious road trip, drove him home, and found Mrs. Owens and the two children setting out for Sunday school. "That," said Dr. Wescoe, "seemed to me to sum up what intercollegiate athletics is all about."
In the second half of the Colorado game, which Kansas won 66-59, the partisan crowd of 14,500 showered the court with debris when the officials' calls went against Kansas. When Colorado's Pat Frink was called for charging, a Kansas cheerleader bounded onto the floor prepared to assault him. And when Frink left the game after a magnificent 27-point performance, he was loudly booed.
We do not mean to single out Kansas here; in fact, crowd behavior at Lawrence is quite mild compared to that at other schools—Colorado for one. However, we do suggest to Dr. Wescoe, with less piety but rather more relevance, that this is not what intercollegiate athletics is all about, and that he, as well as others of his station elsewhere, must speak out. In this instance, during the second half would have been a good time.
FUN IS FUN
When Frank Austin came to Phoenix 11 years ago he was a man of immediate distinction: he was the only hockey referee in the state of Arizona. Last week Austin earned yet another distinction: he was the first member of the Arizona Umpire Association to give the heave-ho to a major leaguer.
Austin, 50, and an elementary school math teacher, was working a Chicago Cub intrasquad game in Scottsdale between the Pete Reisers and the Joe Amalfitanos. Before the game Manager Leo Durocher pulled Austin aside and advised him: "Don't let Reiser or Amalfitano get away with anything. But if they want to have a little fun...."
"I knew what he meant," Austin explained later. "We do it a lot out here. The people enjoy seeing an argument with the umpire. We go along with the gag and help put on the act. It makes the game more interesting."
In the seventh inning, with the score tied 1-1, Austin called a balk against Bill Connors, who was pitching for the Reisers. Out charged Reiser, protesting vigorously. Austin replied with appropriately angry gestures, all the while telling Reiser, "You're doing this very good, but don't shout so loud."
Then it dawned on Austin that Reiser wasn't kidding—he was using dirty words—so Austin threw him out.
Later Austin was told he may well have set a precedent, as no one could recall a major league player, coach or manager being ejected from an intrasquad game.
Durocher and the crowd thought the incident was kind of a gas, but Austin was not amused. "I don't take that from anyone," he said proudly.
Good for you, Frank.
NO KICK COMING
Last week we told you how the Oakland Raiders signed Ron Chesterton, an employee of the Bank of America, after discovering him kicking field goals on a TV show. Now get this. Not long ago a Browns fan came across a piece of paper in a Cleveland phone booth on which was written Vince Lombardi's name and telephone number and the comment, "Can kick 100 yards—easily."
Before you could say Garo Yepremian the message was in the hands of Cleveland Coach Blanton Collier, who put Personnel Director Paul Bixler on the case. Bixler tracked the note to a restaurant. The man there said the reference was to his brother, who had come over from the old country, played high school soccer in New York, and wanted a try-out as a kicker.
The Browns, who could use one, gave the lad an audition. Club Owner Art Modell himself held the ball. The lad kicked and kicked and kicked, but little happened, even when he backed off for a 25-yard running start. And when he switched from soccer-style to the good old American way, he did even worse.
Said Collier: "We had to try it."
Said Modell: "He kicked two of my fingers farther than the ball."
HE SHOULD OF STOOD IN BED
The town of Pe Ell (pop: 787) in southwest Washington is named after a French wagon trader who worked the territory. His name was Peschelle, which the Indians mispronounced. The other day the Pe Ell high school basketball team was playing Klickitat (pronounced Klickitat, which is the name of an Indian tribe meaning "beyond") in the state class B tournament in Spokane. But the Pe Ell coach, Alan Allie, was in bed in his motel room with tonsillitis and a 102° fever.
Through the assistance of tournament officials, Allie got a direct telephone line from his bed to the team bench, where he stationed an old buddy, Mack Arrington of Salem, Ore., to relay information to Assistant Coach Warren Land.
"I listened to the game on the radio and kept a chart on what was happening," said Allie. "I could tell pretty well who was getting the rebounds, what boys were getting the job done, who was scoring, etc., from the announcer. I would make substitutions accordingly."
With Pe Ell leading 58-54 and about three minutes to play, Klickitat went into a pressing defense.
"I called a time out," Allie said. "I told Mack to tell them how to break the press and then go into a stall. They made a couple of buckets, but we made a pair of free throws when they fouled trying to get the ball and we won, 60-59."
The next day, with Allie back on the bench, Pe Ell lost to Liberty 78-54.
For those who may think that the pro football boom has crested, we offer the following: the first day the New Orleans Saints put season tickets on sale, they sold 20,000, or nearly $1 million worth.
THE VIRTUE OF PLASTIC
In 1965 Justice Douglas wrote in a Sierra Club book, The Wild Cascades:
"Several years ago, while sitting atop Plummer Mountain and looking to the whiteness of Glacier Peak and to the greenness of the Suiattle forests, I wondered whether the next generation would ever have the chance to experience the same feeling of serenity and composure that was mine at that moment...."
For a while it seemed the answer might be yes. In 1964 the Wilderness Bill became law, thereby enhancing protection for the great Glacier Peak volcano and its surrounding alpine wilderness. And this year the President himself proposed to Congress that a national park be created in the North Cascades, an area that a special committee of the National Park Service once said will "outrank in its scenic, recreational and wildlife values any existing national park and any other possibility for such a park within the United States."
It appears now, however, that before Congress can safeguard Plummer Mountain and the Suiattle forests through the creation of a national park, both may be disfigured forever by the gargantuan scars of an open-pit copper mine, its mill, tailings dump, access road and reservoir. Government-owned Plummer contains a small, low-grade ore body that rising copper prices suddenly promise to make marginally profitable. A subsidiary of the Kennecott Copper Corp. had the foresight to buy a claim on the ore in the '50s and steps toward exploitation may begin this summer.
Fortunately, a group of Seattle-area Paul Reveres known as the N3C (for North Cascades Conservation Council) has undertaken to cry the alarm and is calling on Congress and/or the Forest Service to protect the Glacier Peak area against the miners. A hike we once took along Plummer Mountain's shoulder convinces us that the next generation will lose far less if it has to use plastic coins, say, instead of copper than if it can never enjoy the serene vistas of Glacier Park from an unravished Plummer.
THIS IS A BALL. THE BALL IS ROUND
When the United Soccer Association and the National Professional Soccer League begin play next month, readers of the daily sports pages will be able to enjoy knowledgeable accounts of the games—God, and the Associated Press, willing. In a memo to bureaus and member newspapers the AP states in part:
"Because soccer is unfamiliar to virtually all American sportswriters, John Farrow of the AP's London bureau, a recognized authority on the game, has prepared a simple primer on the rules with suggestions on how to write soccer.
"Farrow's helpful hints follow:
"Soccer is played with 11 men on each team. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball. The others must kick it or bat it with their heads.
"The object of the game is to get the round ball into the net of the opposition...."
Baseball is as slow to change as the elephant is to mate, but the American League is experimenting with a new rule: using the same pinch hitter twice in a game as long as he is designated beforehand. Despite the fact that Eddie Stanky thought it up (presumably to get a little more mileage out of ol' Smoky Burgess), the idea may well have some merit. And it also serves to recall the time Casey Stengel was managing Brooklyn and sent Babe Phelps up to pinch-hit for the pitcher in the fourth inning with the bases loaded, two outs and the Dodgers trailing 4-0. Phelps homered to tie the score. Then, in the eighth inning, with the Dodgers behind 8-4, bases loaded, two outs, this Dodger fan shouts down to Casey: "Stengel, you jerk, why didn't you save Phelps for the eighth?"
DOWN WITH THE BOURGEOISIE!
A good and necessary plan for a stable and two rings in New York's Central Park may have been doomed by typical dim-bulb thinking in the City Council. Sports now permitted in the park include tennis, boating, lawn bowling, cycling and ice skating, as well as our national pastime. Splendid bridle paths are there, too, but only one of the stables that once lined the park's edges remains. Councilman Robert A. Low feels the new facilities would merely be for the amusement of the rich. Polo will be played there, he cries. So maybe New Yorkers would like to come and watch. In his grave concern for the welfare of the masses, Low forgets that the rich can always go out of town to chase foxes, but not the middle-class equestrian. At week's end Park Commissioner Thomas P. F. Hoving said he would eliminate one ring, "so that those fools who call it a polo field can put an end to this mendacious piece of talk."
FIT TO BE TIED
Last November Michigan State tied Notre Dame 10-10 in football and wound up No. 2.
Last December Michigan State tied LIU 2-2 in four overtimes in the semifinal round of the NCAA soccer championship but lost on the basis of the number of corner kicks.
Last week Michigan State and Indiana tied for the Big Ten basketball title. According to conference rules, the team that most recently competed in the NCAA tournament stays home. State last went in 1959, Indiana in 1958.
Students in a probability class at Northwestern recently tossed more than 319,-020 pennies in the air to see which way they came down. Exactly 160, 136, or 50.2% turned up heads. The theory is that the design on the back of the penny has slightly more copper, making it fall downward. Just a tip to those who will be calling the coin-tosses before next season's football games.
THEY SAID IT
•Bill Veeck, asked what he would do if he owned the Cleveland Indians again: "I'd sell them."
•Pete Duranko, Denver Bronco rookie, asked what position he would like to play: "Defensive line. On offense you've got to be good."
•Bobby Bragan, former major league manager, affirming his decision to remain out of uniform this year: "I find it difficult to join the mod crowd. Today the trend among athletes is 'Here I am. Love me.' "