A chance at the majors
The new baseball and football leagues are bringing the promise of big-time professional sports to cities which never had such teams before. Conspicuously absent from the widening athletic map, however, are the cities of the South. One little-discussed but vital reason: segregation.
By law, policy, or a chilly reaction at the gate, major southern cities have shown they will not accept integrated athletic events, and no professional team would care to leave its Wilt Chamberlains, Willie Mayses and Jim Browns at home.
Last week, however, an Atlanta lawyer named Eaton Chalkley forced his city to face its sports future. He obtained an American Football League franchise for Atlanta, added it to the Continental baseball league franchise he already holds and turned to the city government. Either convince Georgia of the city's right to hold integrated events in a state-owned stadium, he told the city fathers, or build a stadium of our own with no racial barriers restricting the choice of players.
If the council does neither, the franchises will likely be lost, and Atlanta will remain in the minor league Solid South.
Colors of the cloth
For most people, the big race was at Churchill Downs last week, but for the Rev. John Gibson it was in Fort Erie, Ontario. The 84-year-old Anglican clergyman fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he saw his filly, She's a Gem, win her first start. Reverend Gibson's colors: black with white collar, white halo on left shoulder.
Joke on Frank?
Faculty representatives at a meeting of the Atlantic Coast Conference were informally talking last week about possible new restrictions on football scholarships. The thought horrified Frank Howard, Clemson's football coach. He planted his tongue firmly in his cheek and told the professors he had a six-point program for football de-emphasis entitled: If You Gotta Kill the Grand Old Game. The program:
1) Make the ACC an 11-member conference with each team playing a 10-game schedule against the other members. Post-season games would be banned.
2) Pool all gate receipts, and divide them up at the end of the season.