Specialists in the Interior Department, meeting with representatives of sport and commercial fishermen, addressed themselves to the urgent problem of long-line ocean fishing (SI, Jan. 31) at an all-day conference last week, and emerged burning for action. The trouble is, action takes money, and since the Administration is slashing departmental budgets these days, both to redeem Great Society promises and Vietnam commitments, that money is scarce.
First of all. Interior wants to make a definitive study showing precisely how many of the tuna and billfish now being hauled in indiscriminately by the long-liners can be harvested without endangering the supply. American commercial and sport fishermen are united in their desire for the study, but estimates of its cost range as high as a million dollars. Interior is likely to have a rough time getting the money. "It's an emergency," a department spokesman said, "but then most of our conservation projects are."
Many Congressmen have become concerned (Senator Brewster of Maryland entered the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED article in the Congressional Record). More should be concerned—and will be if readers write them urging action.
THE TWIRLERS' REVOLT
Frontline dispatches from the University of Maryland indicate that it will be a long war between the marching band and the seven-girl majorette corps. The girls were told by Band Director Acton Ostling Jr. that they will be dropped from performances at football games next fall. He wants a band marching with military precision and feels that the twirling of batons by majorettes would be at odds with the new image. Linda Davis, majorette corps captain, charges that the band wants to get rid of them simply because they are girls. Ostling, according to Miss Davis, keeps girl musicians out of the band and has it in mind eventually to do away with—by nonviolent means, of course—the girl color guards. The majorettes have considerable support on the campus—both from other girls and from boys, who like looking at girls at football games or anywhere else. Student leaders have hinted that help from the student government funds may be withheld for band activities unless the girls are included. Ostling thinks that baton twirlers are a distraction from the manly business of football. He has, however, agreed to allow two twirlers at basketball games—but only if they wear long pants.
PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE FOULER
April unfailingly brings intimations of spring, the anticipation of baseball and suggestions for changing basketball's personal foul rule. This year is no exception. Kermit Anderson, assistant executive secretary of the Minnesota State High School League, comes forward to propose that the player who commits the foul must take the foul shot. If the fouling player sinks the shot, the opposing team gets one point; if he misses, they get two. Sink or miss, his team then gets the ball out of bounds.
"This shifts the pressure to where it belongs," says Anderson of his wonderfully simple idea. "Under the current rules it is the innocent man who has been fouled who is on the spot. This new plan puts the pressure on the player who committed the foul and would certainly cut down indiscriminate fouling."
It might at that. Now all someone has to do is figure out how to work all these points-in-reverse into the box score.
TURNABOUT AT NORFOLK STATE