1.6 AND ALL THAT
For years the Ivy League colleges and other members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association battled against the 1.6 rule, which required that a student have established that he could do a minimum of 1.6 academic work (equal to a C-minus—4.0 is A) before getting an athletic scholarship. Furthermore, he had to maintain it. At last week's NCAA convention the colleges voted to eliminate the latter requirement. That still left Rutgers University, which normally requires a B-minus grade, in a dilemma.
On last year's Rutgers freshman football team was a student who had been admitted on a "need" scholarship with indications that he could do only 1.542 work, though educators believed he would improve. A Negro, his background was culturally disadvantaged, his mother was widowed and a college education was out of the question without financial help. Suspension followed.
Now Rutgers must choose whether to stand by its policy—and thus be barred indefinitely from NCAA championships—or abandon it. Walter Byers, executive director of the NCAA, who takes his orders from the colleges, says, "Rutgers has its fate in its own hands."
The 1.6 rule was a step, though an inadequate one, to ensure that athletes representing NCAA schools are really bona fide students. In fact 1.6 does not bar a college from admitting a dubious student and feeding him courses in dancing and knitting for four years, while he plays football. Rutgers feels that some students from poor secondary schools should have a chance at college "with full rights and privileges to participate in all undergraduate activities," as Dr. Mason W. Gross, president, put it. Otherwise, he said in a letter to the NCAA convention, "it would be an act of cruelty that "I can never condone."
Indications are that dear old Rutgers, willing to die for a principle, will stick by its guns. We sympathize with the college and with the student. Perhaps, next time around, some flexibility could be written into the 1.6 rule so that colleges of high standards, like Rutgers and the Ivy schools, could give aid to the deserving disadvantaged and allow for improvement without running into a wall of legalisms.
BAD SERVE FOR WIMBLEDON
It might be a very good Wimbledon at that, despite the announcement by Giorgio de Stefani, president of the International Lawn Tennis Federation, that Great Britain is suspended, as of April 22, because of its decision to make tennis as "open" in competition between amateurs and professionals as golf has been for years.
For one thing, not a few amateurs have said they are going to ignore the ILTF ruling and compete at Wimbledon—among them Roy Emerson, Arthur Ashe, Charles Pasarell and Pierre Darmon, who is France's top-ranked player—and, for another, professionals like John Newcombe, Rod Laver, Lew Hoad and Pancho Gonzalez have signified their intention of competing. Amateur ladies who are thinking it over, with a favorable leaning toward the British position, are Billie Jean King, holder of the Wimbledon title for the past two years, Francoise Durr of France internationally rated No. 3, Mrs. Margaret Court of Australia (two-time winner as Margaret Smith) and Maria Bueno of Brazil, three-time champion.
The ILTF announcement seemed designed to put pressure on the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association, which meets February 3 to consider what its stand will be, and the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, which has scheduled a conference for January 30. Unfortunately, no one expects either to give wholehearted support to the British, but out of it all there may come a compromise along the lines of the "authorized player" proposal: some players would be permitted to accept payment openly while retaining "amateur" status.
Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of true amateurs around the world will continue to play tennis just for the fun of it while wishing that their beloved game was ruled by integrity rather than hypocrisy.
Odds on baseball's 1968 pennant races have just been issued by Bill Dark, oddsmaker at the Del Mar Race and Sports Club, Las Vegas. And here they are:
National League—Cardinals 8-5; Pirates 5-2; Giants 3-1; Cubs 4-1; Reds 5-1; Phillies 1-1; Braves 8-1; Dodgers 15-1; Astros 75-1; and Mets 200-1.
American League—Twins 2-1; Orioles 5-2; Tigers 3-1; White Sox 5-1; Red Sox 6-1; Angels 8-1; Indians 15-1; Yankees 50-1; Senators 75-1; Oakland 100-1.
SHERLOCK STALKS AGAIN
The Swiss Alps, customarily a show-place for skiers in the latest Ernst Engel parka or Mich√®le Rosier stretch pants, soon will be assailed by 150 visitors clad in quite different costumes—the legendary sleuthing gear of Sherlock Holmes. The checked capes and deerstalker caps will be worn by members of worldwide Sherlock Holmes societies drawn from such aficionado clubs as the Baker Street Irregulars and the Sons of the Copper Beeches. Dedicated to the conviction that Holmes is still alive, they will gather in April for a pilgrimage across Switzerland. In solving a crime-puzzle competition they will traverse the very route taken by their detective hero on one of his chases after the archvillain, Professor Moriarty, "the Napoleon of crime," as Holmes once called him.
The tour is basically a tribute to Holmes's inventor, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose contribution to Switzerland was something rather more substantial than a few brief references in his books. According to the late William S. Baring-Gould in his recent The Annotated Sherlock Holmes (published by Clarkson N. Potter, 2 vols., boxed, $25), Sir Arthur was a diversified sportsman. Besides his excellence in cricket, billiards, motor racing and boxing (in 1910 he was invited to referee the Jack Johnson-Jim Jeffries heavyweight title fight, but declined), Doyle crossed an Alpine pass on skis in 1894, thereby becoming one of Switzerland's first sporting skiers.
YEAR OF DECISION
Prancing about E. P. Taylor's Windfields Farm in Ontario is a small, chunky 2-year-old colt, whose name, Northern Myth, suggests his ancestry. He is, of course, the son of Northern Dancer, Canada's greatest Thoroughbred, and one of 22 such colts and fillies who can claim that lineage. They reached the 2-year-old classification on New Year's Day, and before 1968 is out the racing world will know whether Northern Dancer can transmit to his progeny the qualities he gained from his dam, Natalma, a Native Dancer mare, and Nearctic, his sire.
Such quality is a lot to ask. Northern Dancer won 14 of his 18 starts, among them the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and always finished in the money. A bowed tendon forced him to stud, but not until he had earned $580,806. Now his stud fee is $10,000, and one of his sons sold for $240,000 as a weanling.
The one who most resembles his sire, in conformation and disposition, is Northern Myth. This year will tell whether the Myth, or any of his brothers sisters, can run like daddy did.
LITTLE MAN STANDS TALL
Its reputation for academic excellence is shining, but little Kenyon College, an all-male liberal arts school of 809 students situated in central Ohio, seldom has been noted for its prowess in sport except, perhaps, tennis and swimming. And once, in the dim past, it used to beat Ohio State at football. In another era, though, it went through its gridiron schedule without scoring a single point. Now John Rinka, a sophomore, has come upon the scene.
A brash youngster with every shot in the basketball book, Rinka stands only 5'9" high, but on a recent three-game road trip he showed that victory is not necessarily only to the tall. Kenyon won two games in St. Louis, 99-81 over Missouri's St. Louis branch, 91-77 over Washington University, with Rinka scoring 34 and 30 points. On the third night, in Louisville, the little fellow went berserk against Kentucky Southern. He succeeded with 21 of 33 field-goal attempts, 17 from long range, and made 13 free throws without a miss. Of the 133 points Kenyon scored to Kentucky Southern's 94, Rinka accounted for 55, the most ever scored by an Ohio Conference player in any game. His team's total was a record, too. The spree made his average 34.5 points a game, tops among the nation's small colleges.
The explanation is to be found in dedication (perhaps obsession). Rinka averaged six hours of basketball a day last summer. He carried a basketball around the Kenyon campus all fall. During the season he averages between 500 and 600 long shots a day.
LABOR RELATIONS A LA SKI
In the middle of mountains of slag, in the flat and foggy coal-mining country of northern France, sits the Duhamel Textile Company at Harnes. The factory owner, Léon Duhamel, was born into a working-class family and has not forgotten it.
As it is everywhere, the coal-mining country around Harnes is ugly and depressing. But when they took their vacations practically all the 500 employees, mostly girls, used to stay in Harnes. Duhamel decided that They should all be able to see a healthier, more agreeable part of France each year. His son, Léon-Claude, a skier, remembered France's classes de neige (snow classes) for school children, in which they study half of the time and ski half of the time.
Now the Duhamels have built a handsome modern chalet, mostly glass and pine, at Saint-Sorlin-d'Arves, 25 miles east of Grenoble at an altitude of 4,900 feet. There are five ski tows that take skiers up to 7,500 feet. The chalet's workshop looks out on a lovely Alpine landscape. In a second section are a restaurant and recreation room, and in a third there are living accommodations for 40, who arrive in groups for a four-week stay. To pay for transportation, food, ski lessons and ski-tow tickets, the factory's employees enthusiastically voted to work an extra half hour a day every working day in the year without pay, except when they are at Saint-Sorlin, where ordinarily they sew from 7 to 10 a.m., then ski until 4 p.m., then work three hours more.
Now everybody in Harnes wants to work for Duhamel.
BIG DEAL IN BIG D
The owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Clint Murchison Jr., wants to build the world's finest football arena—Texas Stadium—in the Dallas suburb of Irving. The stadium, complete with "acres of carefully planned, well-lighted parking...safe, silent escalators to whisk spectators to the Upper Concourse...comfortable theater-type seating...and a partial dome to protect spectators from exposure to rain or sun or wind ..." would seat 58,000 fans in facilities matched only by the Astrodome in Houston.
Texas Stadium would be financed by $250 revenue bonds. The purchase of one or more would entitle a fan to buy a $48 season ticket to Cowboy home games.
Naturally, there is opposition. J. Erik Jonsson, mayor of Dallas, says the 75,000-seat Cotton Bowl—present home of the Cowboys—will be renovated, splintery seats and all. Murchison says the Cotton Bowl still will be obsolete despite renovation and, if Cowboy fans will purchase $10 million of the $15 million worth of bonds needed to build the new facility, he will proceed with construction.
A sportswriter studied an architect's drawing of the stadium, which showed only the playing field uncovered.
"Would you," he asked Murchison, "call this a half-Astrodome?"
Murchison conceded that he might.
THEY SAID IT
•Howie Dallmar, Stanford basketball coach, objecting to the rating of UCLA as No. 1 college team: "I don't think they deserve to be better than No. 4, behind the Philadelphia 76ers, San Francisco Warriors and Boston Celtics."
•Sam Snead, hinting he may retire from golf soon: "The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish."