LIGHT AND SHADOW FOR SOCCER
The attempt to merge the National Professional Soccer League and the United Soccer Association has failed, and something less than a feeling of friendly rivalry prevails. The NPSL is suing the USA and FIFA (International Federation of Football Associations), soccer's international governing body, for $18 million. FIFA recognizes the USA, and does not recognize the NPSL, which feels slighted.
On the other hand there is, here and there, a bright spot. The Atlanta Chiefs of the NPSL, for instance, were considered least likely to succeed since Atlanta's population is without ethnic interest in the game. But the Chiefs, in this first season of professional soccer, in a city with no substantial background in the sport, attracted an average attendance of 7,000 to their 15 home games for a total draw of 107,000.
Operators of the Las Vegas gambling parlors are shaking like a crapshooter's fist as the American League pennant race draws to a close. Sammy Cohen, who operates the Santa Anita Race Book there, says, "If them Boston Red Sox win that flag we get hurt real bad.
"We were offering Boston, along with Washington and Kansas City, for 100 to 1 at the start of the season," he explains, "and there were quite a few guys who took some action on that one."
A Boston victory, he said, would mean an outlay of $30,000 to $35,000 for the book and his net loss would be between $15,000 and $20,000.
College football's new punt-return rule, which restricts the number of players who can go downfield once the ball is snapped, will cause some innovations this year, especially in the Southwest Conference.
Texas Tech, for instance, has two of the country's finest place-kickers in sophomore Jerry Don Sanders, who has kicked a field goal from as far out as 59 yards, and Ken Vinyard, with a 55-yard record to his credit. Now Coach J. T. King has been experimenting with the idea of having them place-kick out of bounds in punting situations. Six out of seven of their kicks went out of bounds in one session, and the other traveled 59 yards.