Dr. Norman Hackerman, the new president of Rice University, is not a member of that group of educators who, either through personal distaste or practical economics, feel that college football is on the way out. He used to feel that way, he says, but not anymore. Dr. Hackerman, who was president of the University of Texas before moving to Rice, says, "Several years ago, because of the influx of professional football, I saw the end of intercollegiate football as we know it. But I have changed my mind. At Texas I learned that football is a good emotional focus. I like it. And I must point out that universities which have dropped football are now taking another look. I refer specifically to Fordham and the University of Chicago. Everything suggests that intercollegiate athletics is not vanishing from the scene.
"I don't have this totally academic idea," admits Dr. Hackerman, who at 58 plays squash twice a week and has a lean, agile athlete's build. "I may be criticized for being the other way."
Mel Immergut, a Columbia Law School student, caught a 1,040-pound tuna last week in the Gulf of St. Lawrence oil' Canada's Prince Edward Island, breaking the unofficial record of 985 pounds set only 23 days earlier by Dr. Richard Hausknecht (SI, Sept. 21). Before Hausknecht and Immergut came along, the record had stood at 977 pounds for 20 years. Hausknecht had little trouble gelling the weight of his catch verified, for he was fishing off Montauk Point, which has a long history of record game fish. But Prince Edward Island is a place that has hardly been touched—until recently—by sports fishermen. Immergut chartered a weathered old lobster boat with a funny-looking barberlike fighting chair bolted to the deck. At 10 in the morning of the first day of fishing, after only 20 minutes of slow trolling, his bait was hit, and just 38 minutes later the big fish was brought alongside and gaffed. It was too large to fit through the landing door in the boat's transom and far too heavy to pull over the side, so they had to drag it ashore.
On shore, after using block and tackle to get the tuna into a borrowed truck, they drove to a platform scale at a nearby seaweed-processing plant. They weighed the truck with and without the fish, subtracting one figure from the other to get the tuna's weight. The man doing the weighing and subtracting kept muttering, "It couldn't be right." But it was: 1,040 pounds, the first thousand-pound tuna ever caught on rod and reel. Immergut began looking for more witnesses, but most of those he called were attending the funeral of a Prince Edward Island man who had died of a heart attack two days earlier after fighting a tuna for 45 minutes and then losing it. He also wanted verification from another scale. They hosed the fish down to slow dehydration and drove 12 miles to a fish-processing plant, but the scales there proved inadequate. They then took the fish for a two-hour drive to a fertilizer company. When they weighed it there, the tuna had shrunk to 1,030 pounds, but the record weight was verified.
The next day was too rough for fishing, but on the day after that John Kobayashi, Immergut's fishing companion, caught an 870-pounder, a tremendous tuna in its own right. Again, as they had so many times in the 48 hours since the morning the thousand-pounder had been caught, the two men spoke about a gift Immergut had given Kobayashi the night before they left for Prince Edward Island. It was a first edition of Zane Grey's Tales of Swordfish and Tuna, and inside the front cover Immergut had written an inscription, partly his, partly Hemingway's: "9-21-70. On the eve of the search for the great thousand-pound tuna—'In September, the month when the great fish come.' "
And then there are Sam Rymer, who is 84, and his pal Mike Jones, 70 years younger, who landed a 42-pound, 12-ounce chinook salmon near Muskegon for a Michigan state record. The two not only weighed the monster, they carefully measured it, too—it was 42�" long, had a girth of 26" and a tail spread of 12", and its jaws opened to 7�". The only thing they didn't do was have it authenticated. Instead, they cut it into chunks, smoked it, ate some of it themselves and passed the remainder out to friends. Well, that's what a fish is for.
Women tennis players have joined the revolution. Seven American and two Australian women decided to compete for prize money at the Virginia Slims tournament in Houston. The USLTA warned that if they played for money instead of trophies in that particular tournament they would be suspended. "We really don't care," said Billie Jean King, the top American player. The women were miffed because the next sanctioned tournament, the Pacific Coast International, had announced that the winner in men's singles would get $12,500, the winner in women's singles only $1,500. The Houston tournament withdrew its prize money but the women deliberately accepted token payments from World Tennis magazine, which, in effect, made them contract pros, and the tournament reinstated the cash. Then the Pacific Coast International announced that prize money in the women's division there had been upped from $2,000 to $11,000. "This is the greatest thing that ever happened to women's tennis," beamed Mrs. King. "In substance, the USLTA was asking us to take money under the table again. I've received $4,500 in expenses for competing in one tournament. Well, we've had enough of that.