THE INSIDE TRACK
?Far Westerners are furious because Minnesota accepted the Rose Bowl bid in fact but insisted it would continue to oppose bowl participation on principle at Big Ten meetings. An official of the group that invited Minnesota says off the record: "I am appalled and shocked at the bad grace. We wanted Minnesota but we didn't expect a left-handed acceptance. It's like saying, 'We'll approve now but please tell those Rose Bowl people not to ask us again.' "
? Kansas may lose the Big Eight title it has just won when the conference meets next week. If Jayhawk Halfback Bert Coan is ruled ineligible (SI, Nov. 28), Kansas will have to forfeit six conference games.
? Mississippi All-America Quarterback Jake Gibbs, drafted by Bud Adams' Houston Oilers, will be given a trial with Houston's prospective major league baseball team as well as with the Oilers and will then decide which sport he prefers.
HOW THEY PLAY THE GAME
In 1984, when Harvard's computers play Yale's computers in the annual Calculus Bowl, and MIT and Cal Tech are the sports giants of the collegiate world, one constant will remain. Little knots of fans will gather and debate the bromide: Is it whether you win or lose that counts, or how you play the game? Even contemporary literature sometimes addresses itself to this perennial question. In John Updike's current bestseller, Rabbit, Run, a drunken old coach says, "Give the boys the will to achieve. I've always liked that better than the will to win, for there can be achievement even in defeat."
Indeed there can: witness two events of last week. The University of Virginia ran its consecutive losing streak to 27. The alumni, predictable as Pavlov's dog, demanded the firing of Coach Dick Voris. University President Edgar Shannon replied, Nothing doing, and Voris' three-year contract will be honored. Similarly, President William Friday of the University of North Carolina thumbed his academic nose at alumni who were after the scalp of Coach Jim Hickey. Friday extended Hickey's contract through 1964, despite a Tar Heel record of 3-7.
Does this mean that sanity is returning to campus athletic programs?
Not necessarily. Cornell has just fired George (Lefty) James for not winning. In 25 years on the football staff, 14 as head coach, Lefty James had tried to instill "the will to achieve" in his athletes, had watched with satisfaction as they won four Ivy League titles and compiled an over-all record of 66-58-2. But this year Lefty's backfield went to the hospital almost en masse and the team wound up winning only two games. Goodby Lefty. Said Cornell Athletic Director Robert J. Kane: "He did a good job for Cornell.... Cornell is indebted to him for long, faithful and dignified service." Or, in the words of almost any dedicated football alumnus: what had he done for us lately?
TOMORROW THE WORLD