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Cahn, who first made the allegation five months ago during an extensive investigation into a national gambling ring, was quoted last week as saying that the coach netted $11,000 on one bet. "He denies making the bet, but we have established that the betting of this coach changed the betting pattern throughout the United States," Cahn is reported as saying. Cahn has also pointed out that the placing of such a bet by the coach is not against the law.
But one of the things that Cahn has not done in his much-headlined investigation is name the man involved, and in failing to do so he has cast a shadow on all college football coaches.
Cahn could not care less. He is in the grand tradition of some New York district attorneys, one of whom not long ago got his full share of front pages by passing out subpoenas and hauling the great names of harness racing before a grand jury when he was actually investigating some relatively unknown drivers. "No football coach or NCAA organization is going to tell me how to run my office," Cahn says.
The right and the need for Cahn to conduct an important and complex investigation in his own way cannot be disputed. But his cavalier disregard for the professional reputations of men who are public figures is hard to excuse. It was he who revealed that he had caught a coach betting. He should accept the moral responsibility that goes with the revelation by naming the coach. Then the NCAA and the coach's own college, which might take a harsher view of such betting, could consider suitable action, and the public could stop playing the which-coach-is-it guessing game.
Cahn has said he will name the coach when he sees fit and not one minute before. A cynic might suspect that the fitting time will prove to be during the football season.
The birth last week of 8-pound 10-ounce Patrick Lyndon Nugent, President Johnson's grandson, was no blessed event to Brooklyn's policy racketeers.
When the baby's birth was broadcast Wednesday morning, numbers bettors, the world's most avid hunch players, plunged heavily on combinations of 8, 1 and 0. Brooklyn policy bankers pay on the last three numbers of the total mutuel handle at Aqueduct, and combinations of those numbers. If a number is hit directly, the payoff odds are 500 to 1.