In his own curious defense, Knight invoked what he called the John 8:7 Rule: "Let him who is without sin cast the first reprimand." Knight noted that seven of the tournament committee's nine members—including Kentucky athletic director and longtime Knight pal C.M. Newton—represent or have represented schools once guilty of NCAA rules infractions. Implicitly referring to the "purity" of his own program, Knight intoned, "I would cheerfully rescind this reprimand immediately if those on the committee in violation of the John 8:7 Rule will honor their pursuit of purity by stepping down."
While no one disputes that Knight has run a clean program during his 24 years in Bloomington, an unblemished record with the NCAA potentates is no bulwark, as Knight would like to believe, against his boorish, bullying behavior.
No Guts, No Glory
Baseball memorabilia collector Barry Halper (SI, May 22), whose cache of curiosa includes a lock of Babe Ruth's hair and an autographed photo of bone chips extracted from Ted Williams's elbow, has been emphatically denying that he covets Mickey Mantle's recently removed liver. "I've got Ty Cobb's dentures," he says. "That's as far as I'll go."
Reaction to the announced homecoming celebration for New York City native Mike Tyson has sent the former heavyweight champ's supporters reeling as if they'd been hit by a Buster Douglas left. The local Amsterdam News reported in early June that a "gala festival" for Tyson, featuring a parade and a musical tribute, had been planned for June 20 in Harlem. Event organizer Sylvester Leaks boasted that the celebration would "surpass anything ever accorded any sports figure in New York or the entire nation."
The counterpunching began almost immediately. The idea of feting a recently released rapist was condemned by columnists, mayor Rudolph Giuliani and a civic group that billed itself as the Committee for Rational African Americans Against the Parade (CRAAAP). Even the usually staid New York limes ran the tabloidlike headline on its op-ed page: WELCOME HOME, CONVICTED MOLESTER.
Gala backers, most notably New York congressman Charles Rangel, backed off. Even the normally mouthy Al Sharpton, another of the event's organizers, found himself against the ropes. In the end the occasion was scaled back to a couple of press conferences. That such a celebration was even proposed reflects Tyson's enduring appeal. But it's one thing to allow him to put his past behind him, quite another to extend a hero's welcome suggesting the civic credo Be Like Mike.
The Latest Fling
When we last left the International Hurling Society (SI, Jan. 9, et seq.), the Texas-based organization dedicated to the art, science and sport of throwing things was designing the world's largest trebuchet. Dubbed Thor, this medieval-style catapult will be capable of hurling a Buick across two football fields. In recent days, however, the IHS (1-800-HURL-R-US) has suffered numerous setbacks. On March 25 the prototype, Baby Thor, became incommoded while slinging a toilet. And in the latest issue of the IHS newsletter, Heave, an indignant Buick owner wrote, "It is one thing to catapult dead cows or pigs, but to think of hurling such a beautiful make of car really makes my blood boil."
Unbowed, the society will soon begin to recruit runners for a proposed 750-mile Tour de Thor that will culminate in the Buick launch later this year. Participants from around the country will run 10-mile legs while holding aloft the Torch of Thor. The torch will eventually wind up in Fort Worth and, in the tradition of Rube Goldberg, light the rope that trips the spring that throws the ball that hits the target that ushers in a new era of hurling.