SI Vault
June 12, 1967
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June 12, 1967


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Epps charged that it is common practice for white colleges to raid signees from Negro colleges and described Negro high school coaches who promote athletic scholarships for their athletes at white colleges as "flesh peddlers."

Said Epps: "The letter of intent and gentlemen's agreement does not seem to hold true when Negro athletes are being recruited. What I mean is, if a Negro signs with a Negro school, white coaches pay the letter of intent no attention at all."

Said Oglethorpe Basketball Coach Bill Carter: "They've been clamoring at schools in the South to integrate. So when we do, they want the white schools to leave their boys alone. Let me tell you this, we're going out to get the best athletes we can. That's all we're trying to do, and we'll continue to do it."

If this is the new, new era that's going to emerge, what say we get together, gentlemen, and hold back the dawn.


For the second time in two years the players on the professional golf tour are threatening to pull out of the PGA and set up their own ball game. In 1966 the skirmish was serious, but the players were eventually mollified by certain apparent (not real) concessions that the PGA made concerning the running of the tour.

In the ensuing year the pros smartened up, and this time the confrontation has reached the showdown stage. The pros are demanding that the PGA give them operational control over the tour and its affairs by June 15 or they will boycott the PGA Championship in July and then presumably seize control by quitting the PGA and putting on their own tournaments. In the last few days the pros have been quietly searching around for executive talent to run such a new tour.

Does this mean that if the PGA refuses to give in to the pros' demands for control of schedules, television and tournament income that the golfers will really walk out? Hardly. Whether the majority of the players like it or not, no revolt is going to be successful unless the stars of the game are leading it. And as of now, the pro tour's biggest names are not eager to desert the PGA—though they strongly oppose its policies—until they are convinced that any new tour is going to be an assured improvement.

The very cause of the present rebellion suggests how much trouble the pros might have in running their own affairs. The brawl has exploded over an offer by Frank Sinatra to hold a $175,000 tournament in Palm Springs, Calif. within a month of the long-established Bob Hope Desert Classic at the same site. A majority of the touring pros, governed by the most predictable of all reactions, greed, wants the tournament scheduled, and their players' committee so voted. But the PGA, recognizing the fact that the Hope tournament—and all tournament sponsors—deserve some protection from such direct competition, vetoed the proposal. The PGA was absolutely right to do so.

For the past few years the PGA has been singularly inept in the handling of its burgeoning, multimillion-dollar tour. But the one group that might run it even worse would be a small-minded committee of touring professionals. The sport deserves something better.

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