PUT THE MONEY IN THE POT
CBS bid a record high of $5.1 million a year for the right to televise college football games for the next two seasons, a delightful figure to money-conscious minds in the big schools that appear fairly regularly on fall football telecasts. ( ABC, which aired the games last season, paid only $3,125,000 for that privilege.) But then the NCAA television committee made a gesture to smaller schools that never make TV but whose gate receipts are hurt by the televised games. The committee recommended that 200 of these schools be granted $5,000 each from the bubbling TV pot. This did not please the big schools. Like Al Capp's General Bullmoose, they have a simple, small ambition—to get all the money in the world. The Big Ten in particular is supposed to be chafing under the NCAA's paternal hand and is said to be contemplating talks with other money-minded major conferences about the sad situation.
OF FLIES AND FISH
The movement to allow only fly-fishing in certain areas has reached New Mexico, which joined about 18 other states when it recently set aside some trout waters for nothing but fly-fishing (actually, flies and artificial lures). Angry bait fishermen reacted predictably: "I paid $3.50 for a license and I want to fish anywhere and any way I want to!" Bill Humphries, an area supervisor for the state, gave cogent arguments for the restriction: "It was apparent that our streams and trout could not stand the increasing fishing pressure. Trout stocking helps, but the state [was] planting hand-fed trout in streams and lakes where fishermen stood shoulder to shoulder catching them before their backs were covered with water. Other states and countries had this problem years ago. New Zealand for decades now has had fly-fishing only, with a 14-inch minimum on all trout. Needless to say, their fishing is fabulous. Maine has more than 150 miles of trout streams where bait fishing is prohibited.
"The strongest argument against this holds that restricted fishing will help only the minority group of advanced or 'pure' fishermen, those who spent years learning their art and who own very expensive equipment. But fly-fishing can be very inexpensive, and it's easy and fun to learn. And most bait fishermen will admit that fly-fishing is a more sportsmanlike way to take trout. We have felt an increasing need through the years to stress the sporting or esthetic value of fishing rather than the quantity or 'meat' value that so many fishermen seem to think is the most important thing. We feel that most fishermen can experience as much, or more, satisfaction in catching one or two big ones as they can from taking a bag limit of six-or eight-inchers."
At the Arnold Palmer press conference in the Augusta National clubhouse after the Masters, a news photographer removed his shoes and climbed up on a table to get a better angle. After several minutes of shooting pictures, he climbed down and discovered that a porter had picked up his shoes and given them a glistening shine.
The American Basketball League tried hard all season to put itself in the category of a major professional league and then just about nullified the few good notices it had by the way it conducted its championship playoff. For one thing, the third game of the final series between the Kansas City Steers and the Cleveland Pipers was started after 11 p.m. so that a game between the Harlem Globetrotters and the so-called U.S. Stars could be played first.
Then, with the teams tied in victories after the first four games—two in Cleveland and two in Kansas City—there was a mean wrangle over where the fifth and final game should be played. Abe Saperstein, commissioner of the league, owner of the Globetrotters and president of the Chicago entry in the ABL, assured the Cleveland Pipers, or so the Pipers thought, that the fifth game would be played either in Cleveland or on a neutral court.
But shortly before the fourth game Saperstein informed both team presidents that any fifth game would be played the next night, Sunday, at Rockhurst College in Kansas City in a gymnasium seating approximately 1,500 people. George Steinbrenner, Cleveland president, declared his team wouldn't show up for a Sunday night game in Kansas City. And Saperstein said he was going to see his lawyer about that. Then the Steers, while changing planes in Chicago on Sunday, were offered the option of playing the final game in St. Louis on April 14 as part of a doubleheader with the Globetrotters and U.S. Stars, or of just sharing the championship with Cleveland. The Steers turned down both offers. Saperstein then announced the playoff would occur Monday night in the Rockhurst College gym. The Cleveland players voted to go to Kansas City, and they won the championship, which by that time had diminished to a minor honor.