SI Vault
June 23, 1969
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June 23, 1969


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Things having to do with the Indianapolis 500 are seldom dull. In May, during practice runs for the 500, The Indianapolis Star ran a picture of a fireman holding a hose at the ready near a car that had just been in an accident. In the fire hose was a knot. The caption read: "Knot Working. Luckily, the car didn't catch fire.. .. The Speedway track fireman holding the hose didn't know about his predicament."

When the Star's photographer arrived at the track after the story had appeared, a fireman bearing a hose with a knot in it called him over and said, "I want to show you this hose will work." And he sprayed the photographer up and down.

Well, now. The Star reported that incident and added, "This attack...will not go unchallenged. The matter will be turned over to [the law]...." It was, and the fireman was duly indicted by a Marian County Grand Jury for assault and battery. The case has not yet gone to trial.

Meanwhile, Cleon Reynolds (SI, May 26), the chief fire fighter at the 500, supposedly remarked that the firemen should have sued for libel. Reynolds is also basketball coach at Marian College in Indianapolis and for several years has served as coach of the Indiana high school basketball All-Stars, who each June play a two-game series with their counterparts from Kentucky. The Star sponsors the All-Star series. On June 5 it announced that Reynolds had been replaced as coach. No reason was given for the change—made only 16 days before the teams were to play—though Reynolds in the past four years had lost seven of eight games.

At that, Reynolds might be lucky. Last year's All-Star Game in Indianapolis was halted in the last minute of play when the fans got out of hand. Someone threw a whiskey bottle, a few spectators raced onto the court and an official was hit in the eye

And the drivers at Indy think that they lead a precarious life.

A number of swimmers at the Mexico City Olympics were in a state of collapse after climbing out of the pool following their races. The high altitude was generally blamed for this, but a study by the medical committee of the International Amateur Swimming Association says that in most cases altitude was not the prime villain. The study holds that swimmers push themselves to the limit in the water and that, when they come out of the pool in this state of acute physical exhaustion, the sudden return to a vertical position imposes a severe strain. So much oxygen has been used in competition that the body cannot cope with the new oxygen demands suddenly created by climbing up the ladder and standing erect. The medical committee recommended that all swimmers remain in the water after a race, preferably in a horizontal position, and rest there quietly for four or five minutes. It hopes that this will become an international rule


Lefty Driesell, the adroit basketball coach (SI, March 8, 1965 et seq.), is in the news again. Driesell outraged some sensibilities this spring when, on becoming head coach at Maryland, he ran advertisements designed to lure likely prospects to his campus. Earlier, he had upset the people at Davidson College, where his teams had achieved signal success and where Driesell had acquired such coachly fringe benefits as a summer basketball camp and his own television show, by accepting a new Thunderbird from admirers a week before he quit Davidson to take the job at Maryland.

Now Lefty has his old friends fuming again. Even though he was no longer coach at Davidson, Driesell indicated that he fully intended to return this summer to run the camp. There was some difference of opinion on this, particularly from Larry Brown, Driesell's successor. So Driesell consulted a lawyer, talked to Davidson officials and last week emerged without the camp but with $9,500, which the school apparently paid him for his rights in the venture.

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