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WILD IN THE STREETS
The expression "We may have lost the game, but we are going to win the party" conveys a venerable sporting sentiment, but the annual commemoration of the Texas-Oklahoma game in Dallas has gone beyond that. For one thing, the Texas-OU blowout takes place the night before the game, before either college's supporters should feel obligated to take anything out on anyone. For another thing, few of the thousands of assorted remora who cram themselves into a four-square-block area of downtown Dallas every year have any relation to either school. They just welcome an opportunity to hoot, holler, choke intersections, break windows, fight, watch topless dancers on the sidewalks and get arrested. Last year police hauled in 466 on charges ranging from drunkenness to "assault to murder." Only 22 were college students.
This year—Friday night, October 11—Dallas was ready. Some 800 regular and reserve policemen were on duty—300 of them in plain clothes and the rest outfitted as though they were expecting the Democratic Convention. It was the biggest show of police force in the city's history, but just to be on the safe side merchants along Commerce Street boarded up their windows and hotels locked their doors, unlocking them only for registered guests.
The result was what might in comparison with other years be called law and order. A policeman and two other people were seriously injured in the clogged traffic, and another policeman had his helmet blown off when someone threw what was believed to be an artillery simulator toward the Police and Courts Building. Otherwise, there were 643 arrests—a record—but they were largely preventive.
Civic leaders Saturday praised the police for averting chaos. But police officials, privately, have said they would like to arrest so many revelers that Dallas would be abandoned as the game site. Most people in Dallas, however, seem to favor keeping the game. They would just like to see the riot moved.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Eight of the 11 black trackmen who lost their scholarships at the University of Texas at El Paso last spring after refusing to compete against Brigham Young (SI, July 15) are back at UTEP this fall, on different scholarships.
The athletes—Bob Beamon (who at the moment is in Mexico City representing the U.S. in the long jump), Robert Bethea, Robert Boalts, Chuck McPherson, Dave Morgan, Kelly Myrick, John Nichols and Jimmy Rodgers—have been aided by the efforts of the Disassociated Students Fund Coordinating Committee in El Paso. Since the committee was formed—just after school let out last summer—by athletes, other students and faculty members at UTEP, it has raised $5,200—enough for a year's books and tuition and emergency housing and food assistance.
Local businessmen and other El Pasoans have lent support to the drive, and they now make up about half the committee, which is about half white and half black. The committee has formed a corporation, which pays bills for the athletes as required. Three of the eight have part-time jobs and the others are looking for work.