As a college football official (10 years on the staff of the Southern Conference) and a former high school coach, I would like to bring out a point that I think could have been a tremendous factor in the final outcome of the Tennessee- UCLA football game in Los Angeles. One of the photographs accompanying your article ("One More Great Play," Sept. 25) shows UCLA Coach Tommy Prothro talking to Gary Beban on the playing field. UCLA, trailing 13-16, has the ball, fourth and two, on Tennessee's 27-yard line, with four minutes to play. From this discussion, Beban goes on to call the play that he runs for the winning score.
Now, NCAA Rule 3, Section 3, Article 8 states. "During a free time-out charged to a team one player is allowed to confer with one coach on the sideline at the team area." Coach Prothro is not in the team area, nor is he on the sideline and, therefore, he is in direct violation of this rule.
The penalty for this infraction is 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. This would have changed a fourth-and-two situation to fourth and 17, and certainly could have changed the outcome of the game. It is ironic that this should happen to UCLA and Coach Prothro, for he is the one who claimed that officiating did change the outcome of the 1965 UCLA-Tennessee game, which was played in the South.
GEORGE B. GASSER JR.
SPORT OF KNAVES
I was delighted to see how much Whitney Tower enjoyed the 1967 Woodward Stakes at Aqueduct ( Damascus by a Mile, Oct. 9). What a transcendent sporting experience it must have been—so cleanly decisive, so "fair." I was there, and what I saw was a tawdry performance worthy of a $75 nighttime handicap on a Midwestern carnival grounds.
Is it fair for two opposing jockeys to frighten a typically high-strung Thoroughbred into running six furlongs in 1:09 H on a drying strip by shouting at him for the first half of the race, rendering him rank and uncontrollable?
Is it fair, when a horse is forced to attempt the impossible, to call him a loser when he fails'?
Was it fair not to inform the betting public of the exact nature of the tactics to be employed in the Woodward? A lot of $2 bettors, the backbone of the sport, could have then been steered clear of the gallant Dr. Fager, the most inevitable of losers.
Do they still call racing the Sport of Kings?
New York City
Perhaps you already know that I was selected as one of the U.S. Olympic track coaches a few weeks ago. Coach Payton Jordan will be the head coach, and he has asked me to take charge of both relays and the sprinters and quarter-milers. It is with pride and humility that I accept this challenge to work with the athletes and to represent the United States before the world next October in Mexico City.
Being one of the coaches and knowing Tommie Smith as I do, I have become very concerned lately about articles that have appeared in the newspapers on the West Coast and in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (SCORECARD, Sept. 25) in regard to a possible boycott of the Olympic Games by the Negro athletes. My feeling is that a boycott would be a disastrous mistake, not only for the individuals who might boycott, but for the United States in general. We fail to realize that we are Americans first and Negroes second, and boycotting the Olympic Games for Black Power, White Power, Green Power, Yellow Power or any "power" is senseless and stupid. I realize as well as Tommie Smith does that there are still many injustices to our people in this country and that these injustices should and must be corrected. And I sincerely believe that someday they will be corrected—but not by exploitation of one group by another group, and especially not by a group called Black Power that has lost the sense of fair play and the original objectives of the civil rights movement in this country.