TROUBLE IN THE VALLEY
It would have taken a CIA agent of special skills to get in to see the Mid-Valley ( California) League championship game between the basketball teams of San Fernando and Granada Hills high schools. It was held behind locked doors, under police protection, at a neutral site that had been kept secret until just before game time. Not even the players knew where they were going as they piled into buses.
Behind the secrecy was a history of racially inspired violence that began back during the football season—not between players but among spectators in the stands. It continued into the basketball season. San Fernando High is integrated—about 48% Chicano, 30% black, 2% Oriental and 20% white. Granada Hills is almost entirely white.
A few days before the game the San Fernando school was closed because of disturbances, mostly caused by nonstudents and former students roaming around the campus, courts and hallways. It remained closed for four days. Officials of the two teams got together and decided that the game would have to be played clandestinely at Palisades High.
Only about 200 people, including the players, were there. The others were mostly coaches, officials, scouts, Palisades High players who gave up their practice time for the game and a handful of Palisades students.
San Fernando beat back a furious third-period rally by Granada Hills to win 90-83.
There were no cheers and no cheerleaders.
SHAM BATTLES BANNED
Those hockey fights, most of which are so dull that they couldn't make the bottom of a boxing card in Kalamazoo, have long been encouraged by team managements, quite as if they were essential to the game. Now Clarence Campbell, president of the National Hockey League, has moved in on the situation, largely because hockey has become more and more a television sport and Campbell fears for the game's national reputation. In a letter addressed to all NHL governors and general managers, Campbell has expressed his disapproval. "Since the start of the current season," he noted, "there have been nine instances in which the players of one or both participating teams have made a general exodus from their benches and participated in a few fights, some wrestling and a tremendous amount of sweater pulling—which, on television particularly, has all the characteristics of a riot."
Further, he observed, governors and club managements "have been accused of encouraging this state of indiscipline."