WARM BLAST IN THE SENATE
Even more than the expectable amount of hot air has been generated by the current Washington hearings on the AAU- NCAA dispute. First of all, the dispute itself is hardly the national tragedy it is said to be. Here is a simple case of one group with all the power wanting to keep it, while a second group lacks power and wants to acquire it. It happens all the time, Senator, it really does.
Sport has a way of surviving its own maladministration. Track and field is doing very well, thank you—so well that a great deal of money is being earned by its promoters, a fact that is not irrelevant to the present quarrel.
The moaning and tearing of hair that goes on over the prospect that the feud might lead to the barring of some athlete from some Olympic competition with Russia and thus to defeat and national disgrace strikes us as childish. None of this is going to happen, and in any case we prefer a more dignified concept of what constitutes national honor or disgrace.
The real reason the AAU- NCAA dispute drags on is that there is no pressure of public opinion to resolve it. The public is bored by the battle of initials.
THE CHARACTER BUILDERS
An unsuccessful rival of Paul Dietzel (when Dietzel was football coach at Louisiana State) once made this rueful observation during the annual college recruiting scramble: "If Dietzel ever gets his feet under the same dinner table as the boy he's after, the rest of us might as well go home."
Now head coach at the U.S. Military Academy, Dietzel still knows how to play footsie. He seems to have got his feet under the dinner table of Ron Esmann, who had already signed a grant-in-aid athletic scholarship to the University of Florida. Esmann does not yet have a West Point appointment and while awaiting one will be farmed out for a year to Bordentown ( N.J.) Military Institute. This will give him an extra year to mature and play football, making him that much more valuable to Army when he does matriculate.
To Ray Graves, the mild-mannered Florida coach who had previously lost another Florida-bound player to Dietzel, this was a gross breach of recruiting ethics. To which Dietzel replied that for five years he had been a member of the football coaches' ethics committee.