BLACK ON WHITE
One of the more cheerful stories in sport the last few years has been the reverse integration going on in parts of the South. White athletes were playing football (and other sports) at hitherto all-black colleges. Now one of the sadder stories in sport is coming out of at least one of those schools, athletically renowned Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Fla. Reverse integration apparently can bring on reverse bigotry. Joe Jewett, a white placekicker from Miami, has quit A&M because of the harassment he was subjected to by a small but vociferous element of the largely black student body. The harassment—in the campus cafeteria, in the dormitory, between classes—included name-calling, insults and threats. "You can take only so much of that," says Jewett. "I finally left.
"My relationship with the team was one of the best I ever ran into. I got along with the coaches real well, and the players were just great to me. I used to talk over my problems with a player they called Blue Pete. I never did learn his last name, but he would always ask how I was doing in class. But I never let him or the other players know about the difficulties I was having because I didn't want to bring any trouble on them. They're a great bunch of guys."
Jewett had a black roommate. "His name is Henry Lawrence. He's real nice and we got along fine. He agreed that what I was going through was bad and that he wouldn't have taken it, either."
A man named Peter Shurr has come up with an idle-hour pastime that may keep sports fans wide awake to all watches of the night trying to come up with variations. This is a name game, and it involves working out a two-for-two player trade. At least one of the four must be a baseball player, but the other three can come from any other sport. Ready now? Boog Powell and Bailey Howell for Woodie Fryman and Jack Twyman. Tony Taylor and Elgin Baylor for Tony Perez and José Sanchez. Larry Hinson and Vada Pinson for Tom Seaver and Earl Weaver. Gaylord Perry and Don Cherry for Billy Haughton and Jim Bouton. A particular favorite of Shurr's is Dave May and Laffit Pincay for Coco Laboy and Mike McCoy.
Sounds easy enough, but now suppose your owner has told you to trade Merv Rettenmund? Or Bert Blyleven? Mel Stottlemyre? Peter Shurr?
People around racetracks—both thoroughbred and standardbred—are becoming more and more disturbed by the increasing instances of horses being doped with tranquilizers. Since a story appeared on the subject in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED on Oct. 12, three more cases have been reported. Four sluggish horses had to be scratched from an eight-horse field at Canada's Greenwood track and three from an eight-horse field at Roosevelt Raceway in New York (which was made a nonbetting race), while at Hazel Park in Michigan a race had to be canceled outright. The drugged horses all had the same symptoms, and several had obvious needlemarks where injections had been made. Track officials were at a loss to explain how anyone could combine an accurate knowledge of where horses entered in a certain race were stabled with an ability to approach the horses and inject the drug or drop it in their feed without being detected.
Uneasy suspicions are curling around the stable areas at many tracks. Worst of all is the feeling that the discovered druggings may be only the top of the iceberg—instances where the dosage of the tranquilizer was too great and therefore detectable before the race. How many races, people are asking, have been fixed successfully? No one knows, but two facts are evident: someone has drugged horses, and no one has been caught.
Racetracks have long prided themselves on their security measures, but pride goeth before a fall, usually because it covers up inadequacies. Dick Beddoes, a columnist for The Toronto Globe and Mail, says he and a friend were waved casually into a track in the summer of 1968 (the year of the Dancer's Image Kentucky Derby scandal), even though they had adopted broad Southern accents and had loudly identified themselves as two men then persona non grata at tracks in the U.S. and Canada. Last week Beddoes asked a horseman if security people around the tracks were competent. The angry horseman replied, "They're so bad they couldn't find the trail of an elephant with a bloody foot in four feet of snow."
At the Sugar Bowl tournament last winter, Johnny Dee, the basketball coach at Notre Dame, had some fun with hyperorganized football coaches by introducing some of the boosters who had accompanied his team to New Orleans as "my free-throw coach," "my center-jump coach," and so on. Rudy Feldman, head football coach at the University of New Mexico, wouldn't have batted an eye. Feldman has a movie-scout coach. No, not somebody who scouts the opposition via film. This is a coach who picks out a movie for the players to watch. Feldman likes to take his team to a film the night before a game, partly to keep an eye on his players, partly to keep them in a proper frame of mind. He therefore sends Reed Johnson, an assistant coach, on a scouting mission ahead of time to select the proper film. Johnson's job is not easy because Feldman does not want a movie with a great deal of sex in it; he feels sex is not conducive to the proper frame of mind for playing football the next day. Violence, on the other hand, is just fine.
Don't laugh at New Mexico's Coach Feldman. Paul Brown, one of the most successful of all football teachers, has somewhat similar views. Whenever he has taken one of his pro teams (the Cleveland Browns in years past, the Cincinnati Bengals today) to the Pacific Coast, he has tried to delay departure until the last possible moment. He flies his troops West the afternoon before a game, has dinner with them at the hotel, then takes them to a movie. Attendance at the movie is mandatory. Brown then tucks them into bed, wakes them in time for the kickoff and afterward beats a hasty retreat to Middle America.
"All football players are young and healthy," he says. "You get them out there early and it just gives them time to wear themselves out. There are women out there who are devastating, really just devastating. A trip to the Coast can do funny things. We like to get our guys out there late, then home again as soon as possible to see their families."
The University of South Carolina has taken an adamant position in its attempt to force the Atlantic Coast Conference to lower its academic requirements for incoming athletes (SCORECARD, Sept. 7). Rather than wait for a decision to come out of the league's winter meeting next month, the school's trustees have authorized its athletic department to begin recruiting under the NCAA's 1.6 grade rule. If the ACC stands by its minimum College Board score requirement (a total of at least 800 in verbal and math aptitudes), South Carolina, a charter member of the 17-year-old conference, will become an independent by default.
There is no intention to pick on racing this week, but here is something that seems eminently worthy of note. It has been traditional, for as long as anyone cares to remember, for Churchill Downs to announce each year that the crowd at the Kentucky Derby was "in excess of 100,000." Precise figures were never available. However, it develops that accurate attendance figures have had to be filed with the Kentucky Department of Revenue for admission-tax purposes. A little digging has uncovered the interesting intelligence that, even including the 4,000 or so complimentary passes that are issued to horsemen, the press and so on, total attendance at the Derby has been in excess of 100,000 only twice, this year and last year. Indeed, although growing year by year, it did not get as high as 80,000 until 1963. Here are figures for the last decade:
The abrupt falloff in 1967 was the result of bad weather and a threatened demonstration. The big jump in 1969? That was the year everyone came to watch President Nixon watch Majestic Prince against Arts and Letters.
Texans, thinking big, have taken a major step to resist pollution. According to the Christmas gift catalog from Houston's Sakowitz department store, you can have a transparent dome erected over your house. The hemisphere is described as a "totally air-supported vinyl dome" that is designed to "provide the protected grounds with a year-round, pollution-free, air-purified, controlled climate." Cost to enclose a two-story house on a one-acre lot: $322,500. How much would one cost to enclose Houston?
THINK AND WIN
The University of Chicago, traditionally a school for intellectuals, was one of the first big-time football powers to abandon the sport. Amos Alonzo Stagg made his reputation as a coach at Chicago, and in 1935 its sterling back, Jay Berwanger, was the first winner of the Heisman Trophy. Then, under the influence of University President Robert M. Hutchins, who is supposed to have said, "Whenever I feel the urge to exercise, I lie down until it passes over," football was de-emphasized and finally abandoned. Last year Chicago revived the game in an informal way and this year is beginning to feel pretty chesty about it, especially after beating Marquette 13-6. (Marquette, too, is dabbling in the sport after scratching its big-time schedule some years ago.)
"We kid about our football," says Coach Wally Hass (Chicago's recruiting policy: if a boy is willing to jog once in awhile, he can come out), "but it's no joke. Football can't be a joke if you really want to play. It's hard work."
But hard work can be helped by brainpower, which is Chicago's forte. Before the Marquette game, the demands of classroom time prevented the coach from getting his team together to practice kickoff returns. No problem. As the squad dressed for the game, Hass handed out mimeographed copies of the formations to be used. It took the players a few minutes to absorb the details, but by the beginning of the second half they had them down pat. They took Marquette's kickoff and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown. What else you got in that mimeograph machine, Coach?
Conservationists will be shocked to hear that Thoreau devastated Many Farms. Or maybe not. Thoreau is a town in New Mexico, and all that happened is its high school beat a high school from Many Farms, Ariz. 46-0.
THEY SAID IT
•Bowie Kuhn, baseball commissioner, in Detroit when the Michigan gubernatorial contest was still undetermined because of a foul-up with computerized-voting punch cards: "They're probably using my All-Star ballot."
•Jack Price, owner of 1961 Kentucky Derby winner Carry Back and headmaster of Dorchester Equine Preparatory School for young thoroughbreds at Ocala, Fla.: "We have yet to experience our first demonstration, but I must admit that most of our students are fond of grass."
•Bill Fitch, coach of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, an expansion team, after their 13th loss in 13 games: "We're better than the Mayo Clinic. Atlanta came into Cleveland with four straight losses, and we made them well again. We went into Philly when the 76ers had lost two straight, and now they're well again. You just keep going in this league. Like the verse in the Bible says, 'I was a stranger and you took me in.' "