SI Vault
Events and Discoveries of the Week
August 22, 1960
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
August 22, 1960

Events And Discoveries Of The Week

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue


There was no room for doubt in Weikko Ruuska's mind—pep pills had enabled some girls at last week's Olympic swimming trials to set records "30 seconds faster than their best previous times." The stimulants had been found in the locker room, he said, and the AAU was investigating. Since Ruuska is a swimming coach of some renown (his Berkeley, Calif. team won the 1959 national championship), his accusation reverberated throughout sports.

The unnamed but obvious target of the charges was Olympic Swimming Coach George Haines, whose own Santa Clara Swim Club girls had set most of the records. "Ruuska needs to go to a doctor," Haines replied impulsively. "He's being ridiculously jealous." The times at the trials, Haines said, were the result of hard, rigorous training.

At the end of the week, the AAU revealed its findings. The single, lonesome pill found in Detroit had been analyzed and found pepless—a harmless vitamin pill prescribed for an iron deficiency. One of the pill's users: Ruuska's daughter Sylvia, who qualified at the trials for her second Olympic team.


Pacific College is a small (95 students), respected (founded in 1903) theological (Free Methodist) school near Los Angeles, but it wanted a football team anyway. So last year the Pacific Panthers—minus free-spending alumni, high-pressure recruiters and weak academic courses—took to the gridiron. The first practice session was held after school hours—at night—by the glow of automobile headlights. (Not much light was needed; only six candidates showed up.) And although the Panthers eventually suited up 24 men, only 14 were players; the rest were on the bench to impress the opposition. But camaraderie ran high (a father and son played side by side on the line), and the Panthers ended the season with an honorable record of three wins, two losses.

This year, in the words of Coach Jim Brownfield, Pacific College has "a fantastic schedule" that lists Imperial Valley College, Bismarck ( N.D.) College, California Western, China Lake Missile Center, Azusa College, Southern California College, California at Riverside and Fox College of Oregon. And how does Brown-field think Pacific College will fare? Well, he says, prospects range from not playing the games at all (if he fails to find enough players) to winning as many as seven of the eight. "Our game against California Western is a dead loss, though," Brown-field admits. "After all, Cal Western beat Pomona and Occidental last year, and how many schools can claim that?"

Win, lose or cancel, we take our helmets off to the Pacific Panthers. They make us yearn for those archaic days when college football was a game.


"It's no great fun to melt away," said Amos Alonzo Stagg, celebrating his 98th birthday this week. But who's melting? A football coach for 56 years, Stagg still mows his own lawn at his home in Stockton, Calif., tends a small fruit orchard, handles his own correspondence. And he will serve again this fall as an advisory coach at Stockton Junior College. "I plan to attend a few games, too," he said, "although I go home at intermission."

Continue Story
1 2 3 4