CHARACTER MOLDING II
Joe Hall, now and then assistant to Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky (SCORECARD, April 21), set a U.S., North American and world record for short tenure as basketball coach of a major school when he quit as head coach of St. Louis University one week after he signed his contract. It seemed at the time as though Hall's seven-day if-and-reverse record might stand for centuries, but never underestimate the agility of the American college coach. Don Haskins, who has had remarkable success with his basketball teams at the University of Texas at El Paso, decided last week to switch to the University of Detroit. That was fairly stunning news, but Haskins topped it. Knocking a sensational 120 hours off Joe Hall's still quivering mark, Haskins took only two days to give Detroit (which was still blotting the contract) the brushoff and scurry back to UTEP.
Now, what was that you were saying, Senator? The trouble with college kids is all this permissiveness, right? They think they can do whatever they want whenever they feel like doing it, isn't that so? And you said it, Senator—what they could use is a little old-fashioned discipline from the athletic department.
BULLS AND BEARS
Major league baseball attendance, which glowed so promisingly during the opening week of the season (abetted no end by the happy coincidence of lovely weather and spring vacations from school), soured when the weather turned April-y again and the kids trudged back to the classroom. In fact, 13 of the 20 older clubs showed a drop in attendance from a similar period last year (and last year was no bargain). Even including expansion club gates, the American League's total attendance was down, and if you exclude the expansion clubs the American League was off almost 13%, the National League almost 7%.
Boston and Oakland had the most precipitous declines in the American League, while Houston and St. Louis were the National's worst dropoffs. On the bright side, attendance in Washington (ah there, Ted Williams) was up 50%, in Detroit it was up 60% and in Atlanta it was up 70%.
And it is a long season.
Surprisingly, the Sierra Club's bitterly fought election for the balance of power on its board of directors has been won by the anti-Brower slate, which means that Executive Director David Brower's aggressive conduct of conservation campaigns (SI, April 14) has suffered a stunning rebuke. Brower, however, does not intend to quit as executive director, nor will he leave the Sierra Club to form a new organization. "Splinter groups are always sad," he said in response to the bales of mail urging some such step (the first postelection telegram to reach him began, "Have just burned my membership card").
"I do not propose to resign," Brower stated. "The new board can fire me if it wants to. If it does, I would still rather work within the club. Only if the Sierra Club retreats from the issues would we perhaps need a new organization. Even then, it should be complementary to the Sierra Club."