PROPOSAL FROM A PRO
Britain led the way in pressing for open tennis, and now that country, where until recently amateur and professional cricket players were distinguished from each other as "gentlemen" and "players," is plumping for yet another radical departure from tradition. The government's Sports Council would abolish the terms "amateur" and "professional" in all sports. Indeed. Denis Howell, minister for sport, predicted that the Olympic Games might well go open by 1980.
"We all know how many professionals were knocking about in Mexico," he said. "These rules on amateurism were right and valid 20 or 30 years ago, but the integrity of British sporting bodies is being steadily undermined because of these anomalies.
"The International Olympic Committee is a nonelected assembly, an autocracy. I cannot see how this assembly can, whatever its qualities, dictate to democratically elected sports bodies."
The Olympic movement must "put itself right," he went on, "for if it refuses to face the humbug and hypocrisy of what is going on, governing bodies will start to take their own decisions."
A reply from Avery Brundage is expected shortly.
After seeing Cincinnati Catcher Johnny Bench hit a home run in the All-Star Game and come within inches of another, Charles O. Finley, owner of the Oakland Athletics, wrote out a check for $1 million. He passed it on to Pat Harmon, sports editor of The Cincinnati Post and rimes-Star, and offered him 5% of the action to serve as his agent in dealing with the Reds for Bench. The offer was "ridiculous,"' said the Reds' general manager, Bob Howsam. Not only did the Reds not want to sell Bench, they couldn't. The trading deadline (midnight, June 15) is past.
Finley would appear to have a $1 million fixation. Last winter he called Ewing Kauffman, Kansas City Royals owner, with a proposal that Kauffman give him $1 million in return for any player of his choice on the Oakland roster. After thinking it over Kauffman called back and said, "O.K., we'll give you the million. Give us Reggie Jackson." Finley backed down.
Anyway, Pat Harmon has a check for $1 million signed by Charlie Finley.