In 1990 New York Harbor and the Hudson River were on the receiving end of 1.4 million gallons of petrochemicals from 656 spills. One of the worst occurred when Amerada Hess's Hygrade 42, being towed by a tug with an inexperienced captain, hit Diamond Reef, a well-known river landmark, spilling 204,000 gallons of kerosene. This accident cost $850,000 in hull damage, $350,000 for cleanup, $200,000 in lost kerosene, $51,000 for Coast Guard response and follow-up, not to mention untold environmental costs.
The barge industry argues that a pilot is an unnecessary expense. In the Diamond Reef case, a licensed river pilot would have cost $500. The Coast Guard also argues that it strictly disciplines errant captains. Yet the captain in the Diamond Reef case got only a year's probation.
After the Diamond Reef case Tauzin promised change. But in three years little has changed, and the cost of waiting continues to mount.
Amid the controversy surrounding the threat by college basketball coaches to boycott games in protest of a reduction in scholarships (page 70), it is interesting to note that the nation's top 25 teams used an average of only 10 players in their games last weekend. Wisconsin, Vanderbilt and West Virginia used nine players each, while Temple, Syracuse and California used only eight. Massachusetts used the most, 13, and that was in an 87-60 blowout of St. Bonaventure.
At least when it comes to scholarships, college basketball is more in touch with reality than football. Basketball allows 13 scholarships, an average of 2.6 per position. Football has 85 scholarships for a sport that requires 24 players (including a punter and a placekicker), an absurd average of 3.5.
We can hear the football coaches harrumphing that their sport is rougher and that injuries are more common, etc., etc. So we'll give them 72 scholarships, an average of three per position.
Sure, hundreds of football players would not enter college on scholarship. But the dollars saved would provide funds for an equal number of wrestlers, gymnasts, swimmers and other athletes who for too long have been overlooked by the bottom-line college sports system.
Inspired by recent turn-in-your-gun-for-money programs in other cities, former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe and his manager, Rock Newman, offered $100 in cash for each gun brought to the Union Temple Baptist Church in southeast Washington, D.C., last Saturday. "In our wildest estimations, we thought 1,000 guns would be the max," says Newman. "We grossly miscalculated."