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Around the world, basketball is fast approaching soccer as a truly international team sport, while the future of such American team sports as baseball and football in this regard is questionable.
The other points Mr. Boyle made are irrelevant, snide or just plain wrong. He quotes Richard Snyder and the National Sporting Goods Association to make one of them, but the N.S.G.A. is, quite properly, concerned with sports like billiards and boating, which require an investment of several hundred dollars before one can participate. Basketball requires only the purchase of a basketball. Hence Mr. Snyder is not interested. What he overlooks, however, is the millions of dollars spent annually to build basketball courts and arenas. The list of new college facilities alone would fill a page.
As for the statement about "glandular freaks," it is an insult to the players and demeaning to all fans. Size is an asset in basketball as it is in boxing, football and other sports. But the seven-foot nonathlete is no more able to play basketball than the 300-pound nonathlete is able to play the line in football. If you don't think so, try foot racing, high jumping, weight lifting or playing golf against Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, Wilt Chamberlain or Elgin Baylor.
Sure, basketball is vulnerable to the fix and has been fixed. But so has horse racing.
The one correct statement Boyle made is that pro basketball has been a comparative failure on network television. But it seems to me even more refreshing that a major sport can survive and grow in popularity without the degrading and corrupting aid of the boob box.
Because of the substantial stakes involved in the outcome of football games, both college and professional, I believe that the camera should be used for review of plays which could have a bearing on the final result of the game, and particularly where there is some question as to the correctness of an official ruling. Since it is now possible to do this within the span of an official's timeout, claims of an unjustly assessed penalty could be settled immediately and wrong decisions reversed.
No reflection is intended on the quality of the officiating we are now getting. However, the human eye has definite limitations and, with "10-second" men scampering all over the premises, it is not only possible but very probable that faulty decisions are occasionally made.
This is not to say that the use of the isolated camera for this purpose be made a commonplace thing. Most likely, it would be called upon only two or three times during a game and then only upon a signal from a member of the officiating team sitting in the stands. But I do not go along with those who believe that the only position from which a game can be impartially viewed with regard to conformity to all regulations is at eye level with the players.