DEATH THREAT FOR SMU
Seventeen months ago, fed up with repeated rule abuses at certain schools, the NCAA membership voted to establish a "death penalty." Henceforth, any college found guilty of major rule infractions twice within a five-year period could be barred from competition for two years in the second sport cited. On paper the measure was strong. But more than a few observers questioned whether the NCAA would ever have the nerve to apply it.
Last week SMU's football program may have stumbled toward the gallows. Already in the second year of a three-year NCAA probation—its sixth since 1958, a college football record—SMU was hit by new allegations. The Dallas Morning News reported that Mustang tight end Albert Reese has been living for the past six months in a rent-free apartment provided by a local developer. This could be considered an improper extra benefit under NCAA rules. Meanwhile, former linebacker David Stanley told Dallas television station WFAA that school officials paid him $25,000 to come to SMU in 1983 and gave him and his mother $750 per month thereafter. These monthly payments, Stanley said, continued even after SMU was put on probation in August 1985 and did not end until he dropped out of school in December of that year.
NCAA enforcement director David Berst said that if the allegations against SMU are proved—the NCAA has indicated that SMU will be investigated further—then the school could become the first death-penalty victim. In which case, SMU will have outdone even itself in showing either stupidity, arrogance or both. That's no mean feat.
CHANGING HIS PINSTRIPES?
Propped up against a cowboy boot in the window of Billy Martin's Western Wear store in New York City is a Mets cap.
HALLOWED TRIBUTE TO CALLOW YOUTH
On Sunday, Atlanta quarterback Dave Archer got the bad news: The shoulder separation he suffered in the 13-10 loss to the Bears had ended his season. But back in Archer's hometown of Soda Springs, Idaho, some good news awaits him. Archer, only 24 and only in his third season in the NFL, is to be commemorated by a 10-foot-high block of granite that will stand forevermore next to the soon-to-be-rededicated David Archer Field at Soda Springs High. That's quite an honor, especially for a guy who "had just a fair arm," according to the school's principal, Gerald Jolley.
The tribute came about through the efforts of people in both Georgia and Idaho. Joe Fendley, the owner of a quarry in Elberton, Ga., has recently become quite a fan of Archer's. "He said that since Soda Springs gave the Falcons Dave Archer, he wanted to give something back," says Jolley. Fendley gave the granite, and the William Walker Monument Co. of Pocatello agreed to do the engraving; it does tombstones in the area and is good at this sort of thing.
The unveiling is planned for next spring. The 4,051 souls of Soda Springs hope Archer can come back from his injury because there is concern that his sudden fame may be fleeting, and that people may forget who the monument is for. But Jolley says, "The thought locally was that here's a young man who has accomplished a great deal. He worked hard to accomplish his goals. We felt it was just something to indicate that if a person works hard and reaches the top, well, even if he never plays another game of football, at least he's reached the top."
LETTERS FROM HOME
The story is told in Detroit that when left wing Petr Klima defected from Czechoslovakia last year to play for the Red Wings, he took an eye exam as part of his physical. The doctor asked Klima if he knew the second line of the eye chart. "Do I know him?" exclaimed Klima. "I used to play hockey with him."