Shouldn't Walter Byers or Don Regan or somebody do something about coaches who blatantly ignore the 15-player limit on scholarships as they go about stockpiling recruits? N.C. State's Jim Valvano and Kentucky's Eddie Sutton are not the only offenders, just the most visible. Add these schools' recent signees to their current underclassmen and redshirts and each comes out with at least 16.
"It's very simple. I certainly can count," Valvano says. "I would never do anything without, obviously, having full knowledge that we will have 15 players on scholarship next September. Obviously, I'm intelligent enough to realize that I wouldn't give a scholarship unless I knew I probably would be having one to give. As I said, I know how to count."
Nothing like a little mysterious lasagna poisoning to get a Wolf to keel over and think about transferring, right, V?
Then there's "I'll sign 50 if I can" Sutton, who is still entertaining potential recruits for next season after having already signed six. "I'm going to sign all I can. There are a lot of options and I don't have to declare anything until next fall," he says. "I'm not going to violate any rules. Remember, every scholarship is a one-year commitment." Kentucky guard Ed Davender said he didn't think any veteran Cat "had reason to be nervous."
"Ed isn't the coach," said Sutton. "I'll make that determination. If I wanted to, I could have a new team every year."
Meanwhile, Sutton is keeping his usual low profile—he tools about in his Mercedes in blatant disregard of AD Cliff Hagan's unwritten policy that department employees not drive ostentatious cars. What about ostentatious titles? The team's official poster features dime-sized face shots of the players and a postcard-sized photo of Sutton. Beside it is the caption AMERICA'S COACH.
And all along, the nations of the Third World thought Dale Brown of LSU was our coach. Of course, Brown has a problem, too. Last week the NCAA dropped a one-year miniprobation on Tiger Town. LSU can still be on TV and go to the tournament, but Brown's scholarship allotment for next season has been cut by two to 13. With the standard come-and-goers, hideaways, flunk-outs, never-ups-nor-ins and general ratatouille at Baton Rouge, however, Brown will find a way to make do. "I don't want to sound holier than thou or like Mr. Puritan but I do feel good," Brown said of the three-year-plus investigation that cited booster irregularities but absolved the coach. "I'm damned glad it's over. It's been like an anvil around my neck. I'm going to work in the system now."
Anyway, Brown has obviously thought better of his notion to resign and become a TV announcer. He had been talking, he says, with three networks, which, after much prodding, he identified as CBS, NBC and ESPN.