SI Vault
February 19, 1968
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February 19, 1968


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Two incidents in recent weeks have provoked debate on the worth of women athletes in spectator sports. A group of American pro golfers were happily signing with Shell for its 1969 TV golf series, until the PGA tournament committee found that 12 women pros had also been invited to compete on the show and were to be paid on the same scale. Shell was told that the women would have to be replaced by men, and all but three of the women were, in fact, dropped. "I guess the men felt it wasn't going to enhance the game of golf," the show's producer explained meekly. One obvious thing it was not going to enhance was their wallets—every starting spot that went to a woman meant that much TV money lost to the men. And there was the matter of pride. There is always a possibility that women pros, playing from women's tees, will score better than the men.

Meanwhile, there is a dispute in Britain over Wimbledon's announced prize-money list. The winner of the men's singles is to receive $4,800, while the women's singles winner will get only 51,800. Mrs. Ann Haydon Jones, Britain's No. 1 player and at present an amateur, has threatened to pull out of the first open tournament, at Bournemouth in April, unless the women's purses are raised. "I think the split should be at least two-thirds to one-third, or even 50-50," she says. It is 73-27 now.

Lady Churchill has taken up the women's cause, expressing her sentiments in a recent letter to The Times, and Angela Mortimer Barrett, the last British player to win at Wimbledon, has described the tournament's offering as "an insult to our sex."

But Britain's top-ranked male player, Roger Taylor, defended the present purse split. "In order to win at Wimbledon a man may have to play several five-set matches, while a woman never has to play more than three sets," he said. "Besides, they should give men more than women because eventually all of us men will have to support some woman."

Students at the University of Washington tried recently to purchase the seven-foot-high whistle of the Queen Mary to use at football and basketball games. Fortunately, they failed. The whistle can be heard for 15 miles. If it were sounded in the stadium or field house, visiting coaches would have blown their stacks.


In an effort to assess just how many colleges are complying with the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by making all facilities and services available to all students, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare mailed questionnaires several months ago to colleges asking, among other things, for statistics on the number of white and Negro students registered and the number of whites and Negroes receiving athletic grants-in-aid during the fall school semester. The results are now coming in, and an analysis of the information supplied by the colleges in seven major conferences—the AAWU, Atlantic Coast, Big Eight, Big Ten, Ivy, Southeastern and Southwest—reveals some interesting facts:

?Of the 796,709 students registered in the 59 colleges, 12,699, or 1.5%, are Negro.

?The schools granted 10,698 athletic scholarships. Of these 634, or about 6%, went to Negroes.

?The Big Ten Conference has the most Negro students (5,094)—and Indiana has the highest number (1,501) of any of the 59 schools.

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