The Department of the Navy's decision to let Ensign Napoleon McCallum play this season for the Los Angeles Raiders (page 43) may have been partly motivated by a desire to give Navy recruiting a boost. After all, McCallum's visibility as an NFL player figures to make him what amounts to a hard-running "I Want You" poster. But McCallum is by no means the only athlete used for such purposes by the armed services. Since 1983 the Army has featured footage of Larry Bird, Joe Theismann, Walter Payton, Moses Malone and 70 other pro football and basketball players as part of its "Be All That You Can Be" TV recruiting campaign. And now it turns out that the Army never bothered to get any of those athletes' permission to use the footage.
An article in the August issue of the magazine The Progressive reports that the film is provided gratis by the NFL and NBA film departments to N.W. Ayer, the New York ad agency that handles the Army campaign. "That's an implied endorsement," Lee Fentress, Malone's agent, told The Progressive. "They may be taking advantage of Moses. His name's being used without permission."
Ayer disagrees. "I don't see how it can be looked on as an endorsement," Dave Clark, an account executive at Ayer, told SI last week. "The athletes don't talk about the Army at all." For their part, the leagues say they are promoting sport, not the armed services, by providing the film. Standard player contracts in the pro leagues allow an athlete's image to be used in promoting a league when such use doesn't, as the NFL contract has it, "constitute a promotion of a commercial product."
In addition to the pro athletes, last year two Notre Dame football players, tailback Allen Pinkett and defensive tackle Greg Dingens, appeared in a "Be All That You Can Be" commercial. Notre Dame cooperated in the filming, and now the NCAA is looking into the possibility that the school might have violated NCAA rules prohibiting college athletes from promoting commercial ventures. "If the Army thinks that putting a famous football player on the screen isn't a promotion of the Army, they're crazy," said an NCAA official who asked to remain anonymous. "If it's a violation, the NCAA isn't going to turn its head just because this is the Army."
BET YOU CAN'T DO THAT AGAIN
They called Bob Tway's hole-out from the bunker on the last hole in the PGA championship a once-in-a-lifetime shot. They were probably right.
Tway himself proved how difficult that shot was when he returned to the Inverness course in Toledo last week and tried to duplicate it. Golf Digest magazine had its cameras trained on Tway, ready to record the reenactment to show readers how it's done. Tway's first try came cleanly out of the sand and stopped a mere eight inches from the pin: Clearly he was a master of this particular shot and would have no trouble putting the next one in. However, that next effort landed farther away, and the next one farther still, and farther and farther.... "It started going pretty badly, although he came close a couple of times," says Dave Lancer of the PGA Tour. "After 20 shots they just said. The hell with it.' "
So Tway's shot remains a feat that has not been duplicated, which is just as it should be.
TOO MUCH HEAT IN VANCOUVER