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April 29, 1963
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April 29, 1963


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Tom Niemeier is 6 feet 9, a high school All-America basketball star, an honor student. He has a widowed mother, and he has a girl friend who wants to attend the same college as Tom. In short, Tom Niemeier is fair game. More than 70 colleges tendered him offers, but he pared the number to three. "I want to play close to home," he said. And since home is Evansville, Ind. he narrowed his choices to Notre Dame, Indiana and Purdue.

Last week Big Ten Commissioner Bill Reed sifted reports accusing Purdue and Indiana of illegal recruiting practices after Niemeier had signed a Purdue letter of intent. He was flown by Purdue to its campus and then to Chicago so that he could gel another plane and visit Bob Cousy, the new Boston College coach.

Even in the strange world of recruiting, this was something new and strange. It is legal to pay a prospect's transportation between university and home. Is it legal to pay his transportation to the Chicago airport, which is not home? "Yes," said Purdue Coach Ray Eddy, "but I would appreciate your keeping this out of the paper." Was everything legal at Purdue? "Everything on this end is legitimate," said Eddy, "but I would appreciate your keeping this out of the paper."

Niemeier's girl, Nancy Fisher, said a man from Purdue had assured her that she had a good chance of getting an academic scholarship at Purdue. But Indiana had at least as much to offer, including, of course, the scholarship to Nancy. In addition, said Niemeier, Indiana Coach Branch McCracken told him he could "earn $100 a month in a fraternity kitchen," and Dr. Charles Moehlenkamp, Indiana alumnus, said he would give him "$300 for clothes." McCracken says there is a misunderstanding about the kitchen deal, but Moehlenkamp admits he offered the $300. "With his father being dead, I thought he needed a little help," the doctor said.

Niemeier, confused and upset, says: "Maybe I'll go to Notre Dame, if they'll still have me." And Mrs. Niemeier is praying to St. Jude, patron of lost causes.


For the past several years the special nemesis of Fred Crawford, a five-handicapper and All-America tackle at Duke in the early '30s, has been the excruciating, hilly layout of the Capital City Country Club links in Tallahassee, where the branches of live oaks overhang the fairways and crowd the greens. Coming up to the 18th hole the other day, though, he was one under par. For a lilting moment he had visions of reaching the green, 540 yards away, in two. With this in mind he put all his 220 pounds into the drive. The ball hooked, hit one of the oaks, and ricocheted back onto the fairway. His second shot bounced back and forth off no less than three trees, landing in the rough. His third hit two more trees and left him still 200 yards from the green.

His hope of mastering par 72 shattered, Crawford turned to his playing partner, Dr. Don Veller, and observed: "It is obvious that Joyce Kilmer never played golf."

Sadly he took an 8.

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