AMENDMENT FOR THE FIFTH
Basketball, says John Nucatola, supervisor of officials for the Eastern College Athletic Conference, is the only sport in which a player is permanently banished from a game for his mistakes. Nucatola equates basketball fouls with baseball errors and points out that a baseball shortstop can boot a dozen ground balls and a football lineman can commit any number of violations without getting thumbed out by an official. But in college basketball a player who is guilty of his fifth personal foul is waved to the bench for the rest of the game. This, Nucatola insists, is grossly unfair, and he thinks that something should be done about it.
He has a plan. It is simple enough: when a player commits his fifth personal foul he would remain in the game, the opposing team would get its normal allotment of free throws for the violation and then be awarded possession of the ball out-of-bounds at mid-court. On any subsequent fouls by the same player, the procedure would be repeated.
An informal poll by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED indicates that such highly esteemed basketball men as Pete Newell, former University of California coach, Jack Ramsay of St. Joseph's, Joe Mullaney of Providence College, Fred Taylor of Ohio State and Adolph Rupp of Kentucky feel that Nucatola's idea has merit. The Philadelphia Public Schools League and the State University of New York Athletic Conference have been using it this season, and a majority of the coaches report that they like it, too.
Nucatola thinks that his proposal is worthy of consideration by the men who make the rules and should be given a fair trial on an experimental basis. We agree.
ANYONE FOR GOLF?
We have always felt that both golf and tennis should be in the summer Olympics, because they hold more world interest and have more participants than many other sports. Now it seems most likely that tennis indeed will be on the program at Mexico City in 1968 as a special concession of the International Olympic Committee, which sometimes gives to each host nation the privilege of selecting a particular sport that it would like to see included in the Games. Thus judo was part of the Tokyo Olympics last October. Mexico, you see, has some pretty fine tennis players.
Fine. But how about making tennis a permanent part of the Olympics? And how about golf? More than 20 nations are capable of sending representative amateur golfers to Mexico City, which may be more nations than will have good tennis players. And what a lovely and testing course they would play: Mexico City's lush Club de Golf, one of the world's best!
The most desirable format? That is simple. Four-man teams from each nation to go 72 holes of stroke play. Aggregate totals would determine the medal-winning team; and individual medals could also be given for the three low-scoring players.
Quite aside from the color and interest golf and tennis would add to the Olympic program, both sports would gain immeasurable prestige in the amateur realm.