Few athletes can hope to attain the levels of financial success now open to the very best golf pros. Nicklaus scoffed the other day at a published report he would make $ 100,000 a year. But he will. Gary Player grosses more than that, and Arnold Palmer makes twice that much out of tournament winnings and a seemingly endless variety of golf-associated businesses. These are the big two of the U.S. golf circuit. The big two will become the big three in January when Nicklaus goes to California to join them.
Although we feel a twinge of nostalgia for the passing era of the amateur, we applaud Nicklaus' decision. A lot more people than before are going to be able to see and appreciate both the tremendous talent and engaging personality of young Jack Nicklaus. He shouldn't be sorry he turned professional. The vast majority of golf fans aren't.
Recent revelations on muscle building without movement (SI, Oct. 30) have brought a spate of ideas across our desk. An Englishman comes up with the theory that worry is the route to strength and health. Get in there and worry hard, he advises, and watch the muscles grow. A youthful character in English literature—whose name now escapes us—spent long hours in a supine position to conserve his muscles. He believed that he thus would become the strongest man in the world, but his father kicked him into action before the test was complete. But we are most titillated over a historical vignette submitted by one of our London correspondents. "There was a Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma," he writes, "who meditated for nine years facing a wall. Then he turned around and taught his followers boxing."
FRIEND OF EDUCATION
Usually it is the rah-rah alumni who push the overemphasis of football on the American campus. They slip $10 bills into the hands of star players, provide them with plush part-time jobs and fight for special privileges for chowderheads whose sole qualification for college is their ability to play football. But at Ohio State—of all places—there is an alumni secretary who is the precise opposite. For years John B. Fullen has used his acid pen to battle for reason and sensibility. Last week he was tilting again. Ohio State University's Faculty Council had put through a new athletic scholarship program. It went through, said Fullen, under false pretenses. Among other things noted by Fullen in an acerbic article in the campus newspaper: aided athletes must maintain only a 1.7 grade average as freshmen, 1.8 the second year, 1.9 the third and 2 the fourth. The university average is 2.5, but students on academic scholarships lose their financial assistance once they dip below 3.
Then Fullen took on the school's football coach, Woody Hayes, famed competitor and staunch advocate of three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust football. Noting that Hayes had observed that the job of OSU football players was, to some extent, football, Fullen said: "The job of these boys is 'to some extent' getting an education." If OSU is so hell-bent to win games, Fullen went on, it should hire a professional football team and control it under a Bureau of Football. Some cynics say, of course, that this already has happened.
THE BIG O (CONT.)
When Charles O. Finley bought control of the Kansas City Athletics in 1960, they were an eighth-place team. When the American League expanded to 10 teams this past season, however, the A's proved that they had the ability to finish in a tie for ninth. Next year, who knows?
Finley, of course, did shuffle some of his office personnel around. Among those shuffled were General Manager Frank Lane (fired), Field Manager Joe Gordon (fired), Farm Manager Hank Peters (fired), Assistant General Manager and Farm Director Bill Bergesch (resigned), Director of Player Personnel George Selkirk (resigned) and seven of the A's scouts (resigned). Currently, Finley is enforcing a directive that bars any member of the A's front office from speaking to any reporter from the city's best paper, The Kansas City Star (circulation 337,482). The A's attendance last season, even with two more home games than they had in 1960, fell 91,127.
Finley, in discussing the firing of Lane, said, "At no time did I find Lane knew as much about baseball as I did, and that's not saying much." That's saying quite a bit.