THE MOB AGAIN
We thought the New York State Athletic Commission had a valid point when it refused to license Ernie Terrell as an opponent for Cassius Clay (SCORECARD, Feb. 28), and recent events have strengthened that opinion. New York based its refusal on Terrell's association with Bernard Glickman, himself a pal of the Chicago mobster Anthony (Big Tuna) Accardo. Now it develops that Glickman was badly beaten early last month in his suburban Chicago apartment, allegedly by the hoodlum Felix ( Milwaukee Phil) Alderisio, on underworld orders. Glickman subsequently sought the protection of the FBI.
No one knows for sure why Glickman was mauled, but there are hints that he angered the mob by flying to New York with Terrell, thus openly exposing his continued association with the challenger—and bringing on the commission ban. This supposition rests on the notion that, for reasons not disclosed, the underworld was urgently desirous of having the fight held in New York. A federal grand jury in Chicago has begun digging into this steamy situation and a number of boxing people, including some with underworld ties, have been subpoenaed to testify.
This new development is vastly more important to boxing than the furor created by Clay's puny protestations against reclassification by his draft board and his expressions of apathy about the war in Vietnam. Instead of worrying about the political opinions—repugnant or otherwise—of professional athletes, the authorities should concern themselves with the serious matter of the reemergence of the underworld as a power in boxing. We welcome the federal intervention.
THE USTFF BACKS DOWN
The United States Track and Field Federation, a group closely allied with the NCAA, announced last week that it was offering a "peace gesture" in its current administrative battle with the Amateur Athletic Union. The gesture was to change the date of the USTFF national championship meet from June 24-25 to June 10-11, thus taking it out of conflict with the AAU's meet on the same weekend—the slot the AAU has occupied for 20 years. Chick Werner, USTFF executive director, was vague concerning why his organization had chosen the conflicting date in the first place, except to say that it was "convenient for us." What it looked like, however, was simply an attempt at harassment.
Unfortunately for the Federation, the AAU holds all the cards. Teams for this July's dual meets with Poland and Russia will be chosen on the basis of performances in the AAU's championship, in New York City, and it is doubtful if the USTFF could have mustered much of an entry list on the original date.
"This is a gesture of good faith to the arbitration panel that is attempting to settle the overall dispute," said Werner when he announced the change in dates. "We don't want to do any favors for the AAU."
Maybe not, but it is certainly a favor—if a grudging one—to the college athletes who might have been pressured into bypassing New York for a trip to the Federation championship.
GOLF'S GREENER PASTURES