SI Vault
November 26, 1962
LOVE BY FIAT After long intransigence, the AAU and the NCAA now seem (see page 49) to have arrived at a less than cordial but nevertheless effective rapprochement that will permit proper representation of the U.S. in international competition. It is a little sad, just the same, that it finally became necessary for sport to work out its problem under the gavel of the Attorney General of the U.S., whose responsibility is more in the field of crime. Still, Robert F. Kennedy did bring the AAU and the NCAA together—twice, no less—and by force of personality (which includes a genuine love of sport and a practical understanding of the international propaganda value of athletics) fashioned a victory for common sense.
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November 26, 1962


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Now 23 colleges have been in touch with him, including several from the Big Ten. Recently he spent a weekend at Indiana University, where his coach, Roosevelt Gilliam, did graduate work. In the upper 20% of his class since elementary school, Blocker will have no trouble getting into college.

To Gilliam he is "a coach's dream."

"Bennie is a good basketball player and track man, too," says Gilliam, "but the thing he was born to do in this life is play football and he can do that better than anyone I've ever seen."

One other thing. He took up punting this season and averaged 39.7 yards.


The national sport of Finland is track and field. Though its latter-day runners have hardly been burning up the cinders in the style of Paavo Nurmi, the Finns do have a national hero in Pentti Nikula. And now, five months after this former glassblower soared 16 feet 2� inches, the Finns are assessing the results.

The main result is that Finnish youth has gone mad about pole vaulting. Within a week of Nikula's record not a single pole could be bought in Helsinki at any price. One Finnish firm rushed a desperate order to Japan for bamboo, enough to make 500 poles, and sold out in advance even before the raw material landed on its doorstep. Even so, undaunted boys from Turku to Oulu were vaulting anywhere, from backyards to roadways, with any piece of wood they could fashion into a makeshift pole. At last count, more than 200 young arms and legs had been broken.

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