SERMON ON THE MOUND
Evangelist Billy Graham told a Washington, D.C. crowd of 17,000, including Vice-President Nixon: "Mr. Nixon has asked me to pray for the Washington Senators, and I told him I would—if they get two more starting pitchers."
One more facet of the many-faceted Bud Wilkinson flashed into view last week at a coaching clinic in New York. Everyone, of course, knows Wilkinson the Master Builder, molder of University of Oklahoma football powerhouses which went undefeated in 74 straight conference games. But not everybody knows Wilkinson the Scholar, fighter for higher academic standards.
"College athletes should be college men in something other than name," the man said. The trouble with college football today, he went on, is not the prevailing notion that cash-and-carry recruiting techniques are harmful. "I don't believe fancy inducements are the lures in recruiting," said the coach, whose own recruiting staff sweeps Oklahoma and Texas like a giant vacuum cleaner. "After all, everybody has pretty much the same package to offer. It's in the scholastic requirements where the differences are. There are schools which can offer scholastic acceptance to the scholastically unqualified boy, and this is where their advantage lies."
There is also the matter of colleges that offer "meaningless" courses for athletes. It is inequitable, said Wilkinson, for a studious player carrying 22 semester hours in subjects like Greek and calculus to bump heads on a Saturday afternoon with a competitor majoring lackadaisically in water skiing and fly casting.
To solve this problem, Wilkinson would have the Princeton testing service make up a comprehensive achievement examination covering a broad area of subjects. Each athlete would take the test at the end of his freshman year. Those who flunked would be dropped from their athletic squads. "This," said Wilkinson, "would assure some degree of uniformity."
It would, indeed. It also would assure every star athlete at least one year of education.
GREEN GROW THE GATORS
Television's Pat Harrington Jr. ("Guido Panzini") is fond of describing a hazard on the Tanganyika Country Club course—a colony of pygmies, equipped with blowguns and poison darts, positioned in front of a green. "If your drive is short," Harrington explains, "pooooof! You're finished.'
Well, Tanganyika has nothing much on a new (and real) course at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Twenty alligators, some of them 15 feet long, live in the water holes. They are fed chunks of horse meat, which will have to suffice until something better—say a golf shoe with a foot in it—comes along.