ENDANGERED SPECIES (CONT.)
Last week we put Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel on the endangered species list, and already he is extinct. By Friday not only had the Secretary been given the White House gate but a White House aide had established himself in an Interior Department office, summoned in Hickel's six top assistants and politely but firmly told each in turn: "We want your resignation and we would like you to have your things out of the building by 5 o'clock." Of more consequence, however, is the speed with which Hickel's policies were reversed. His decision to end all commercial advertising on federal public lands was canceled. So, too, was a Hickel order protecting certain endangered species of whale, which aroused immediate concern that the Government was swinging toward a strong anticonservation position. Happily, the flap that arose over the anti-whale move brought about an immediate decision to rescind the rescindment ("a ghastly mistake," admitted a Government official), and the whales had a new lease on life. Hickel, in other words, was out, but whales were still in.
It now appears that Howard Cosell will not rejoin Don Meredith and Keith Jackson on ABC's Monday night pro football telecasts next year, although not because of his well-publicized illness at the New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles game on Nov. 23 (he was hit by a virulent flu bug the day of the game and after the telecast was in bed the rest of the week). It will be a mutually agreeable separation. The NFL had originally expected that the blunt, controversial comments that make Cosell the man you love to hate would also make him the star of the Monday night shows but, as play-by-play announcer Jackson said before the season began (SCORECARD, Sept. 7), "Howard will not be the dominant personality on the telecast."
As for Cosell, he told an audience of SMU law students who asked if he would be back, "I haven't decided yet, but probably not—for two reasons. One, I never want to travel again on a week-in, week-out basis. Two, I find the format frustrating. The thing that surprises me is that I've created so much publicity for the telecasts under conditions in which I have not been able to do my thing."
CAN'T BLAME THEM
Brooklyn College, famous in football circles as the improbable alma mater of Allie Sherman, erstwhile coach of the New York Giants, achieved a notable landmark this fall. It won its first game since 1951. True, Brooklyn had not fielded a team for 14 years, but even when it last played—in 1956—it had run up a losing streak of 29 straight. This season, after extending the string of defeats to 31, the Maroon and Gold finally upset Stony Brook 21-0. Huzzah! Far more characteristic than that signal victory, however, was Brooklyn's performance against New York Tech in the preceding game. The contest was highlighted by a 15-yard penalty against Brooklyn for delay of the game—before it even began. The squad was late for the kickoff.
"Now I can throw away all those brochures," Mrs. Robert Johnson of East Rutherford, N.J. said last week after her 6'10", 17-year-old son, Leslie Cason, announced that he will attend Long Beach State in California next September. Maybe she should disconnect her telephone, too, because college basketball coaches know they still have a full 10 months to try to make the high school senior change his mind. Cason has signed a scholarship agreement that in itself is not binding. "We'll have to rely on Leslie's integrity," said Long Beach Coach Jerry Tarkanian. "He wants to come to Long Beach, we want him, and his parents, coach and school administrators are all in favor. It isn't like the Tom McMillen case, where there was disagreement at home."
By declaring his intention before the start of his final high school season, Cason voluntarily has ended all-expenses-paid recruiting trips to anywhere he pleased, thank you. "I ask all coaches and alumni—especially the alumni—to leave him alone," Coach Dick Vitale says. "I know I'll still get phone calls," Cason adds, "but I'll tell them I'm going to Long Beach." Tarkanian anticipates: "Leslie could start for me or anyone else—right now."
In England a group of 100 schoolchildren were on a six-mile "charity walk" in Kent to raise money for a playground when they walked into the middle of a pheasant shoot. The kids were on a footpath known locally as Polly's Walk, which their parents claimed was a public right of way. But, said one of the adults along on the walk, "There were pellets falling through the trees around us. The guns sounded very close. There seemed to be a terrific amount of people firing guns. It was a most frightening experience."