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EDITORIALS
May 23, 1960
A POOR MEMORIAL
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May 23, 1960

Editorials

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A POOR MEMORIAL

Bowing to popular sentiment that was ineluctable though largely unreasoning, the faculty of the University of Wisconsin last week voted to abolish boxing as an intercollegiate sport. This action resulted from the tragic death of Wisconsin's 22-year-old intercollegiate champion boxer, Charlie Mohr, of injuries received in the NCAA championships at Madison (SI, April 25). We believe that this decision is an injustice both to boxing and to the young boxer himself.

Charlie Mohr's father urged the Wisconsin authorities not to make his son's death an excuse for outlawing the sport he loved. Many of Mohr's teammates echoed the wish. Had Mohr's death been characteristic of the sport that caused it, such pleas might be dismissed as mere sentiment, but there are no statistics to prove that college boxing is any more dangerous than other contact sports and many to indicate just the opposite.

All sports are based on the relative factors of skill and endurance, the ability to "dish it out" with effect and to "take it" more or less with impunity. Because boxing exhibits these factors at their most elementary level—the direct application of force by and to the human frame—it is thought of as a roughneck and suspected of delinquency regardless of its record or intentions.

Actually, intercollegiate boxing is hedged about with more medical supervision, protective devices and precautionary rules of play than any other sport of comparable roughness. An impressive record of intercollegiate competition without serious injury over the years testifies to the efficacy of these measures. The fact that Wisconsin plans to continue its program of intramural boxing indicates that danger was not a serious factor in its decision.

Charlie Mohr was one of Wisconsin's most able and enthusiastic proponents of boxing. To banish intercollegiate competition in that sport from the campus where he helped make it thrive seems to us a poor memorial to a fine young athlete.

A MAN FOR SQUAW

Unless she can find a man of her own to cherish and care for her, the sporting world's most successful debutante is in serious danger of falling apart. Planned and built specifically as a site for the 1960 Winter Olympics, California's Squaw Valley, by a combination of good luck and good planning, turned out in the brief moment of its intended use to be one of the world's finest winter sport playgrounds. The excellence of the competition it made possible spread the popularity of winter sports far beyond the mountainous walls of the valley. Evidence of this new enthusiasm was apparent in the crowds of visitors (an average of 22,000 a week) which kept flocking into Squaw even after the Games were over.

Once in the valley, however, these thousands of visitors found little to keep them there or to lure them back. The big show was over. The valley's custodian, the California Department of Beaches and Parks, was leasing its various fine facilities to whatever concessionaire would take them on. The unifying sense of purpose which made Squaw Valley briefly great was dissipated like the winter snows. It became obvious that by the time the snows returned Squaw would be just another Sierra ski resort.

With $20 million of its taxpayers' money invested, the State of California is well aware that this would be a poor fate for Squaw Valley, but a government agency is not equipped to do much about such a problem. What Squaw Valley badly needs and what California wants it to have is an imaginative, enthusiastic, well-heeled and public-spirited promoter who would be willing to take over the whole of Squaw on a long-term lease arrangement. Along with Californians, we urgently hope such a man will step forward to aid a worthy lady in distress.

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