A SMOLDER IN THE SOUTH
Football's Southeastern Conference is shaken by growing rumors of dishonorable collusion among high officials of the athletic staffs of rival colleges. The rumors bear on more than one game played in the Deep South last season. John Griffith, Georgia's young head football coach, has his suspicions and he's concerned. So is the University of Georgia's president, Dr. O. C. Aderhold. So is Governor Carl Sanders. So are other coaches, publishers, lawyers and as many inquisitive fans as there are with their ears to the ground around Athens, Atlanta and Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Walter Byers, executive director of the NCAA, is loth to investigate, no doubt hoping there's no fire under all that smoke. But he'll be a sorry man if he learns there is enough latent flame to destroy the whole Southeastern Conference and leave the good reputation of college football in sadly charred condition.
DISASTER ON THE ICE
In its European tour preceding the world hockey championships at Stockholm, the American amateur hockey team won only three of 17 games; in its opening game at the championships the U.S. was thrashed, 11-3, by little Finland, a country that has no inside rinks and only four artificial ones outside. The Americans looked positively pathetic. The Finnish manager said the only weaker team he had played against was Estonia's. One Swedish newspaper regarded the team as a joke, and Stockholm's Aftonbladet called it a "schoolboy gang."
The tragedy of this situation is that it reflects on the players when, in fact, the blame should rest on irrational cerebration back home. America simply does not field its best players in the world championships. Many of the best players just can't afford to play. Although payments for out-of-pocket expenses are allowed without limit, the Amateur Hockey Association has a problem even meeting minimum expenses. It has to pay the way of its team in the tournament by sending it first on an exhibition tour and this, for a start, is unattractive to married players with jobs to hold down. But topping that, the players were given, for a period of five weeks, the grand total of $20 for pocket money, hardly enough to pay for stamps on mail home, and a sum that made them the laughingstock of other nations.
At breakfast in Stockholm's Grand Hotel one day, Walter Brown, a vice-president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, observed that the American problem is to build up "some type of postgraduate competition" that will continue the development of college players after school. The colleges themselves, he felt, are not developing enough good U.S. players "mainly because our college powerhouses in ice hockey are loaded with Canadians, to the detriment of our own boys."
And, of course, there is that matter of expenses. Unfortunately, it is only in an Olympic year that the Amateur Hockey Association collects anything like the money it needs, because then contributions can be deducted from income tax. While the New Frontier is fiddling around with tax reforms, it might consider the need for reform here. Or else designate U.S. amateur ice hockey a disaster area.
The obvious aptitude of Valeri Brumel, the Soviet high jumper, for the decathlon has been pointed out in these columns before. Now he is going to attempt it. He plans to enter the annual Moscow- Leningrad- Russia- Byelorussia- Ukraine meet this May.