There is little doubt as to what has brought about the salmon scarcity (SI, Dec. 15, 1969): a booming commercial fishery which threatens not only the Restigouche but salmon streams on both sides of the Atlantic. Particularly devastated is the high-seas fishery off Greenland, where commercial fishermen, mostly Danes and Greenlanders, are taking vast catches. Canadian biologists say that as much as half of the Restigouche salmon are being taken on the high seas. At a meeting of the 15-member International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, the Canadians sought to have the Danes reduce their catch by 20%, but the motion failed to get a necessary two-thirds agreement. Subsequently the Danes did agree to hold their catch to the 1969 level. But since that catch amounted to 600 metric tons of salmon (1,320,000 pounds), the Canadians were left less than satisfied.
"All along people have thought there was no end to the salmon in the ocean," said a distressed Restigouche lodge operator. "Now we're finding out that there's an end to everything, including salmon."
A MODEST PROPOSAL
Presidents of the eight colleges and universities of the Big Sky Athletic Conference met recently at the University of Montana to consider ways of financing athletics with the more limited resources they now have.
They decided to reduce from 44 to 40 the number of varsity football players that conference teams can suit up for out-of-town games and to limit the number of players for home games to 50. They also voted to reduce from 12 to 10 the number of varsity basketball players who can suit up for road games and limit to 15 the number for home games.
Athletes' grants-in-aid also would be reduced to 98 from the present 110. No more than 58 of these can be in football and 15 in basketball. Other sports are limited to a total of 25 grants-in-aid. And this fall the presidents will give serious consideration to the costs of recruiting athletes within the conference and how those costs can be reduced.
The Big Sky is not the only conference counting its pennies these days. Charlie McClendon, Louisiana State football coach, and Darrell Royal of Texas have an idea they think might help some schools. They believe that the NCAA should divide its membership into big schools and smaller ones and let each group mind its own store.
One further thought on the subject: why shouldn't professional football and basketball teams, which long have used the colleges as minor league trainers of professional material, be induced to kick in to a college's sports program when they draft one of its players?
Its position in West Germany's Federal League had fallen so low that the Offenbach Kickers soccer team was threatened with expulsion from the league. So, to oblige—and for a consideration—players on other teams agreed to help the Kickers out. They not only lost to Offenbach by arrangement, they played extra hard against Offenbach rivals.