It had to happen. James Van Alen, the Newport millionaire whose tie-breaker scoring innovation brought a new dimension to the U.S. Open tennis championship at Forest Hills earlier this month, was playing Frank Clem in the 65-and-over division of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association's senior men's tournament. Mr. Van Alen, in true Frankenstein fashion, lost the final set 7-6.
This statement from South Africa's Prime Minister Balthazar Vorster was made more than a year before the Mexico Olympics (from which South Africa was barred), but in view of the reaction to that country's recent suspension from all international track and field competition it seems to bear repeating. Prime Minister Vorster: "I therefore want to make it quite clear that from South Africa's point of view no mixed sport between whites and nonwhites will be practiced locally, irrespective of the proficiency of the participants.... No matter how proficient one of our people may be in his line of sport, we do not apply that as a criterion, because our policy has nothing to do with that proficiency or lack of proficiency.
"If any person, either locally or abroad, adopts the attitude that he will enter into relations with us only if we are prepared to jettison the separate practicing of sport prevailing among our own people in South Africa, then I want to make it quite clear that, no matter how important those sport relations are in my view, I am not prepared to pay that price. On that score 1 want no misunderstanding whatsoever.
"I also want to say in advance that if, after I have said on these matters what I still want to say, anybody should see in this either the thin edge of the wedge or a surrender of principles, or that it is a step in the direction of diverging from this basic principle, he would simply be mistaken. Because, in respect of this principle, we are not prepared to compromise, we are not prepared to negotiate, and we are not prepared to make any concessions."
ALL YOU COULD ASK FOR
The year's first All-Something football team has come out, and its creator, Ronald Green, sports editor of The Charlotte News, proudly admits that in seven previous years it has never included an on-the-field All-America. Green calls it his All-Southeastern Name Team and it features such stalwarts as Renso Perdoni of Georgia Tech, Wimpy Winther of Mississippi and Houston Hogg of Kentucky. As companions, he picks an All-Tough Team (Force Chamberlain, Jeff Blitz) and an All-Sweet Team (Jim Fair, Tim Good, Buzz Joy). Green names a coaching staff of Ray Commander of Tulane and Chip Wisdom of Georgia, but he's never been able to come up with a better business manager than—are you ready?—Buck Swindle.
THE SIMPSON CASE
The Denver Rockets' signing of Spencer Haywood last year and Ralph Simpson this year has raised a nightmare of difficult questions. When Haywood signed his professional basketball contract, he had two years of college eligibility remaining. His signing represented a breach of the gentleman's agreement between the pros and colleges that underclassmen would be left alone, but it was allowed by the American Basketball Association on the grounds that Haywood, who comes from a family in a ghetto area, was a hardship case. A few peeps of displeasure were heard from individual coaches, but neither broad condemnations nor sanctions—perhaps terminating ABA scouts' free entry to college practices and games—were brought to bear.
Now Simpson, a sophomore at Michigan State when he signed with the Rockets last March, has been allowed by the courts to practice with Denver despite the refusal of ABA Commissioner Jack Dolph to approve his contract. A later hearing will determine if Simpson, another hardship case, can play the full season with the Rockets. If the court says he can, and it is hard to find a legal reason why it would not, it could give talent-hungry pro franchises an impetus to raid the colleges for their best players long before their eligibilities end.