People are still somewhat uptight in Baltimore over the case of the ersatz Kathy Harter. A couple of weeks ago Baltimore Sportswriter Bill Tanton interviewed someone he called Kathy Harter, the eighth-ranked girl tennis player, on one of his twice-a-week television spots. The girl told of under-the-table payments to tennis players and of being confident of victory over Mary Ann Eisel the next day because Mary Ann had been "socializing" all week in Baltimore.
The following day when Kathy arrived at the Baltimore Country Club for the next round of the grasscourt invitational, people looked at her askance and asked some odd questions. Unnerved, she lost the first four games and the match to Miss Eisel, who was not in a socializing mood.
After the match Kathy learned the full story of the interview show—that Tanton, apparently just as a prank, had brought on the wife of a local advertising man to impersonate her. The television station, WMAR, has publicly apologized and Tanton has lost his spots. Nobody in Baltimore is saying much, and the matter is in the hands of the real Kathy Harter's lawyers.
BACK TO EARTH
The Texas Aggies, proud of being reduced to a state of pure gristle in preseason football drills by Bear Bryant disciple Gene Stallings, have found more grounds than usual in recent years to call University of Texas people "tea sippers." Darrell Royal's training programs, while not effete, have been soft-nosed in comparison.
But the Longhorns have now had three straight 6-4 seasons, which in Texas is like saddle-breaking three straight Shetland ponies, and this year Royal has been acting more like Stallings, or Bryant, or a presidential candidate accused of being weak on law and order. In fact, things have gotten so fundamental on the practice fields of Austin that eight Texas players, most of them standouts (and all of them from the offense), quit before the opening tie with Houston.
In general these refugees probably should be pictured less as faint hearts than as Okies. That is, they have not been fleeing the punishment so much as the dust—as in four-yards-and-a-cloud-of. In recent years, says Royal, "We tried to join the crowd. We split people out and all that." This year he is going back to a grinding ground attack. "I'm talking about field position. They can call me conservative or whatever they want, but it's the name of the game."
This ideological reversion, to the style that won Texas the national championship in 1963, has entailed some shuffling of the ranks. For instance, a former first-string, pro-prospect split end found himself a third-string tight end, too weak a blocker to start. He quit. Another retiree, a promising halfback, "said he didn't enjoy it anymore," says Royal. "If he doesn't like it, I don't blame him."
For his part, Royal says, "I'm not going to lose my guts. I'd rather let the ones that don't want to play football quit. We'll tighten the circle and go with boys with lesser talent if we have to." He did show his concern, however, by meeting with the team's elective council. "I asked them if they thought we were doing anything wrong. They said, 'Not a thing, keep it up.' "
Morale appears firm, if somewhat gritty. "We'll win this year," says a guard who is sticking, "because we've gotten rid of some who were distracting the rest of us." Says a tackle who quit, with perhaps the hint of a shudder, "There is definitely no dissension on that squad, that's for sure."