A MODEST PROPOSAL
Some of our best athletes have been involved in sad endings to their college careers. Not athletically. Academically.
First there was James Street, Texas quarterback who dropped out of school for the semester after the Cotton Bowl with the explanation that he was so far behind he probably would flunk several courses. Then Pete Maravich and his LSU teammate, Danny Hester, were suspended for cutting classes. Pete's father and coach, Press Maravich, explained that "for the first nine weeks of the semester Pete could only attend classes periodically because of the games." (Since the cuts occurred early in the semester one must wonder why Pete and Danny were not suspended until after the basketball season.) Then Rick Mount dropped out at Purdue after the basketball season was over and after signing with the Indiana Pacers for a reported $1 million.
Coaches do not hesitate to impose their wills on players in many areas—length of hair and sideburns—and one must wonder why, if they can butt into private matters by requiring mass prayers, for instance, they can't see to it that their players go to class, buckle down and get their degrees.
Some few do. Adolph Rupp takes the position that "the day my seniors played their last game they finished their obligations to me but I hadn't finished my obligations to them."
"Of course," he added, "a coach has to make them think of degrees long before the senior spring term."
Here's a proposal. For every player who fails to graduate within nine semesters (that gives them an extra one), subtract one athletic scholarship that the coach can offer in the next academic year.
MOBY DICK LIVES
Captain Jack Knowles, who operates a 60-foot party-fishing boat out of Panama City, Fla., tells it with conviction. He has the busted boat to prove it. He had just set anchor, with 22 customers aboard, when one of the fishermen, no light-tackle fancier, yelped as his rod bowed and the drag on his electric reel proved totally ineffective against the pull of something monstrous. In due course, his 130-pound-test line snapped.
"The next thing we know," says Captain Knowles, "this giant sunfish—must have been 10 feet long and four feet wide—jumps right out of the water beside the boat, hooks still dangling from its mouth. It rammed the boat and busted a 10-inch hole in the inch-and-a-half cedar planks on the bottom."