A FOUNDATION FOR REFORM
In an editorial on college sports in its March/April issue, Foundation News, a magazine for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, called for an end to athletic scholarships, off-season practice, freshman eligibility, large-scale recruiting and huge coaching staffs.
While its wish list may be unrealistic, the magazine floated an additional idea that would put some clout behind the reform of college sports. It urged the foundations and corporations that give money to colleges and universities to make the integrity of a school's athletic program one of the conditions for providing grants. Concluded Foundation News: "That kind of pressure would in fact make life easier for reform-minded presidents."
How much clout are we talking about? Last year higher education received more than $3 billion in corporate and philanthropic grants.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
This is from a statement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: "College sports have been developed from games played by boys for pleasure into systematic athletic contests for the glory and, too often, for the financial profit of the college." Those words were written in 1929.
Last week Brian Tribble was acquitted by a jury on charges connected with the cocaine-induced death last year of University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias (SI, June 30). In the aftermath of Bias's death, Terrapin basketball coach Lefty Driesell and athletic director Dick Dull resigned, and the university restructured its academic guidelines for athletes. Maryland also began a major initiative aimed at curbing drug abuse among students. After the verdict in the Tribble case was announced last Wednesday, the university's vice chancellor, A.H. (Bud) Edwards, said, "We think the legal system has done its job, and it's over."
Or is it? While questions remain as to who did supply Bias with his fatal dose, the basketball star's mother, Lonise Bias, continues her one-woman crusade against drugs, a campaign that has seen her make more than 60 antidrug speeches from Washington, D.C., to Hawaii.
PUTTING ON THE DOG
It may be true that every dog will have his day, but P's Rambling isn't just any dog. Perhaps the fastest greyhound of all time, "the Ram" was given a retirement party on Saturday at the Delray Beach, Fla., home of his owners, James and Sheila Paul. Cake and champagne were served, although the Ram and his friends stuck to more traditional chow, and various dog dignitaries from around South Florida offered toasts. "The biggest heart of any dog I've ever had," said trainer Clarence Connick, who has been involved in greyhound racing for 60 of his 72 years. Following the party, the Ram was whisked by limousine to Biscayne Dog Track in Miami, where he was honored at a special ceremony. After resting on his laurels for a day, the 68-pound, 3-year-old brindle was flown by private jet to a greyhound farm in Abilene, Kans., where he will spend many of his remaining days at stud.