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January 23, 1967
THE ROAD TO THIBODAUX
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January 23, 1967

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THE ROAD TO THIBODAUX

A couple of weeks ago the NCAA put the University of South Carolina on two years, probation for recruiting and admissions violations and ruled the athletes involved ineligible. Although the NCAA didn't say who the athletes were, presumably one of them is Mike Grosso, the basketball player previously declared ineligible by the ACC (SI, Nov. 7, 1966). What the NCAA did say was that a prospective student athlete was admitted contrary to regular published entrance requirements and that his educational expenses were paid by a corporation upon which he was neither naturally nor legally dependent. This verbiage fits Grosso.

Grosso will quit South Carolina next month and transfer to a school where he will be eligible for the second half of the 1967-68 season. At week's end more than 50 schools had expressed an interest in Grosso. Among them are LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Western Kentucky, Tampa, Alabama and Nicholls State College in Thibodaux, La.

MONGRELS FOR PROGRESS

As has been extensively reported, to obtain medium-size dogs for laboratory use, medical researchers must purchase, from pounds, dogs of unknown genetic background, age and health—and ownership. The result is the costly use of many animals to obtain questionable data and, as an iniquitous corollary, dognapping.

But dognapping may soon be as obsolete as simony. The University of Oregon Medical School, with the support of the Ventura County ( Calif.) Dog Fanciers Association, is breeding a dog specifically for use in gastric physiology, shock studies and organ transplantation. The Oregon researchers wanted a dog weighing 35 to 40 pounds with genetic uniformity, large litters, early maturity, stress resistance, short hair, light skin (for dermatology studies), a short or curly tail (for grooming and cage cleanliness) and, moreover, a dog that was quiet, gentle and tractable.

They started out with Labradors. Unlike certain other breeds, Labs have been bred for strength, endurance, temperament, intelligence and tractability, as well as conformation. The Lab, however, barks and has a long tail. It was therefore crossbred with the Basenji, which doesn't bark and has a curly tail. To retain size, get curlier tails, broader chests and lighter skin, the Samoyed was introduced into the line. Lastly, the greyhound was added, mainly because it has large blood vessels, which are advantageous for medical research.

The puppies on the school's 180-acre farm near Portland are now-in the fifth generation. They bark very infrequently, their hair is short, their skin fairly light, their tails are beginning to curl, and as Animal Care Director Allan Rogers says, "Their socialization with humans is good." Rogers hopes that in another four generations—or about six years from now—the new variety will be breeding relatively true.

The Ventura County Dog Fanciers Association has donated both funds and dogs. "I've had kooks and cranks ask me how I can do such a thing when I say I love dogs," says Jim Henderson, a professional handler and Basenji breeder, who is the VCDFA president. "It's because I do love my dogs that I can do such a thing."

BY THE THROAT

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