HE ALWAYS WAS SECRETIVE
On the front page of the Oct. 30 St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch, a photograph showing the world champion Minnesota Twins during their visit to the White House ran with this caption: " President Reagan proudly displays his Twins uniform shirt as Twins players and staff gather around on Thursday. Onlookers, from left, are Frank Viola, Howard Fox, ah unidentified Secret Service agent in dark glasses, Sal Butera, Kent Hrbek and Steve Lombardozzi."
The unnamed Secret Service agent in dark glasses was actually mysterious future Hall of Famer and current Twins pitcher Steve Carlton.
TIGER ON THE LOOSE
On the field, Auburn quarterback Jeff Burger is a straight drop-back passer, but the way he has been avoiding suspensions off the gridiron makes him one of the great scrambling quarterbacks of all time. During the summer Auburn revoked Burger's eligibility when assistant coach Pat Sullivan bailed him out of jail—he'd been arrested for illegally carrying a concealed weapon—in violation of NCAA regulations. Then, before the Tigers played their first game, the NCAA reinstated him. Burger also faced academic suspension for plagiarism, but he was saved by Auburn's vice-president for academic affairs, Warren Brandt, who overturned a decision by the school's Academic Honesty Committee.
On Oct. 11, Burger accepted a free airplane ride from a teammate's friend to go dove hunting, thus violating an NCAA rule against "extra benefits." Auburn declared Burger ineligible on Oct. 28—and asked the NCAA to restore his eligibility immediately, which the NCAA obligingly did the next day.
Auburn did impose four conditions on Burger: 1) He had to repay the teammate's friend for the airfare; 2) he had to write letters of apology to Auburn president Jim Martin and SEC commissioner Harvey Schiller for initially refusing to cooperate in the investigation of the hunting trip; 3) he must perform 40 hours of community service before Dec. 23; and 4) he could not start against Florida Saturday night.
Auburn coach Pat Dye turned the last condition into a joke when he sent Burger in to replace starting quarterback Reggie Slack after one play. Burger then led the Tigers to a 29-6 victory over the Gators.
In the meantime, an Iowa State freshman volleyball player, Tracy Graham, remains ineligible even to practice with her team because she took the ACT college entrance examination on a date not approved by the NCAA (SCORECARD, Sept. 28). Iowa State has so far made four separate requests for immediate relief to four different NCAA committees on behalf of this model student-athlete, but they have all been denied.
THE COURT'S MERCY