The idea was cooked up between the Bangor (Me.) Daily News and the Fort Lauderdale ( Fla.) News, normally rivals for the winter tourist trade, since both states bill themselves as year-round vacation spots. Now if California will just send a delegation to Florida to investigate stone crabs and if Florida will send a group to California to look into abalone steaks, a whole new era of interstate amity may ensue.
THE INSIDE TRACK
?The Southwest Conference and the Big Eight will agree early next month on a letter of intent, with February 15th as the earliest date for signing football prospects. This may lead to similar agreements throughout the nation. Such agreements would force athletes who jump from one school to another to forfeit one or two years of eligibility.
?The University of Minnesota's athletic department will be reorganized after Ike Armstrong retires as athletic director in June. Three men will do the jobs he has been doing: an intercollegiate director, a physical education director and a budget and facilities director. Other Big Ten athletic directors are concerned that the same format may be adopted elsewhere in the conference, thus decreasing their stature.
?Hottest prospect in the American Hockey League is Dick Meissner, 22-year-old Hershey Bear winger, who scored five goals in five games recently. Meissner has one of the hardest shots in the league, is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 205 pounds. The fastest player on his team, he is a sure bet to return to the Boston Bruins, who sent him down for experience.
?Governor-elect William Scranton of Pennsylvania would like to change the state's harness racing act along lines suggested by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's Shep Tangles with the Boys (June 5, '61). He wants to make it illegal for politicians to participate in track ownership. Expect a move soon after he takes office.
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
One recent day a 6-foot-5, 17-year-old Negro stepped onto the football field in Lancaster, S.C. and threw a football into a stiff November wind. The ball traveled 70 yards in the air. The youngster apologized that it did not go farther. Hadn't warmed up, he said.
This is Bennie Blocker, who may yet be one of the finest football players ever produced in South Carolina. Playing for Barr High School the past four years, he:
Ran for 1,034 yards as a sophomore, scored five times and threw eight touchdown passes; rushed for 1,245 yards in eight junior-year games, scored eight touchdowns rushing and passed for 14 more; in 10 games this season ran for 1,505 yards, scored 14 touchdowns, passed for 11 touchdowns. The statistics would be more dazzling except that occasionally he caused himself to be removed from a game by scoring too many touchdowns. At halfback he sometimes fouled up plays by starting so quickly he got to the line before the quarterback could pivot and hand him the ball. He is a 10-second man in the 100.