THE PROOF, PLEASE
Championship Sports Inc., the promoters, expect Floyd Patterson to defend his title against Sonny Listen in New York in September. It should be one of the most exciting fights in years and will make lots of money for all concerned. We deplore only the" assumption that the fight can take place before it has been demonstrated—beyond any question—that Liston is free of hoodlum control.
LUCAS TO NEW YORK?
Jerry Lucas, Ohio State's 6-foot-7 All-America who has maintained for a year that he is not going to play professional basketball, is the subject of some of the most intense negotiations ever conducted over an untried rookie. While the Cincinnati Royals, who own the draft rights to Lucas in the NBA, and the Cleveland Pipers of the rival ABL are each straining their bankbooks to woo him, Lucas has dropped out of Ohio State and gone on an extensive lecture tour in the Midwest. It is his plan to use the proceeds from his lectures to return to school with his wife next fall, and eventually work toward a master's degree.
But the latest and least-known development in the Lucas chase could make Jerry think twice. The New York Knicks carefully drafted Paul Hogue, a local hero in Cincinnati because he led the university there to two national championships. Now they are considering offering Hogue and a bundle of cash to the far less prosperous Royals for the draft rights to Lucas. The theory is that the Knicks, with all those high-priced Madison Square Garden seats available, can afford to give Lucas a huge offer he could not refuse, whereas the Royals would be unable to go high enough to get Lucas out of the classrooms.
THE INSIDE TRACK
?Talk is that former Dallas Cowboy Quarterback Don Heinrich, now a New York Giants' coach, is itching to get back onto the playing field and the West Coast. He may jump to Vancouver in the Canadian League or to San Diego in the American Football League.
? Quarterback Bobby Layne will probably report to the Pittsburgh Steeler training camp this summer but it's rumored he'll retire before the season begins. The Steelers plan to play Ed Brown as top quarterback next fall—otherwise why would they have traded their No. 1 draft choice to the Chicago Bears for him? Layne will hardly agree to play second fiddle at this stage of his career. Persistent reports that Layne's arm is dead seemed confirmed by his late-season performance last fall.
?Basketball's National Invitation Tournament, held every March in New York's Madison Square Garden, may be seriously hurt by the new National Catholic College Tournament, which will be held next year in Louisville in March. The NIT in recent years has relied heavily on Catholic college teams.
Crowds were generally sparse the first week as big-league baseball opened its season, but first-ball throwers were out in record numbers. The list included two presidents (Kennedy, of the U.S., and Harridge, formerly of the American League), three governors, 10 mayors (mayors are very large in the first-ball-throwing game), one senator, one representative, one judge, two baseball players (one a Hall of Fame star, the other a 17-year-old minor leaguer), two baseball club officials, one sports editor, two ladies and two little girls. Here's the breakdown: