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EYE IN THE SKY
Over the weekend it began to appear that next year's college football season will see increasing use of videotape instant playbacks to detect weak spots in offense and defense. The experience of Texas Tech in three games this fall is a vivid testimonial to the value of electronics in football.
Tech installed the system for its Kansas game, thanks to a past president of the Red Raider Club (a booster organization), who made $25,000 worth of Ampex equipment available. Two assistant coaches watched the television sets in the press box, a pair of portable video recorders beside them. The recorders can rerun any play. Another set was on at the Tech bench, and a player could be called there and shown the opponent's defensive spacings and secondary adjustments.
"You discover instantly," said J. T. King, Tech coach, with some amazement, "the things you normally would turn up in the film by Monday."
Tech won the Kansas game but could not take the bulky equipment to Austin for the following week's University of Texas game. Texas had a small Japanese set of its own that captured essentially the same images as Tech's bigger, more refined equipment. The Longhorns won.
Back to Lubbock for the Texas A&M game last Saturday, and Tech was trailing 10-0 after its first series of downs in the third quarter. Assistants in the press box saw how the Aggie linebackers were coming up to stop runs by Donny Anderson, All-America halfback. They told Quarterback Tom Wilson to fake to Anderson and pass to an end. Later in the quarter Wilson called the play for a first down and three plays later passed to Anderson for a touchdown. Still further use of the equipment resulted in another touchdown, and the final score was Tech 20, Aggies 16.
Cost has been a prohibitive factor for the colleges, but John Kane, an Ampex representative, says the gear that now sells for $25,000 may be available next season for as little as $10,000 to $12,000 because broadcast quality reproduction is not necessary.
FIT FOR GOLF