Some reports said 100,000 people turned out in Vienna to welcome Karl Schranz home. Others held that it was only 40,000. But all agreed it was the biggest Austrian mob scene since Adolf Hitler dropped by in March 1938. Alpine skier Schranz, thrown out of the Winter Olympics by Avery Brundage and the International Olympic Committee for alleged professionalism, had suddenly become a bigger hero than if he had come home with three gold medals. The outburst apparently was not so much love for the popular "Karly," who had competed in three previous Winter Games without taking a gold, as it was a sudden flowering of national hatred—for Brundage, for the U.S., for anyone who was not 100% outraged by the ouster. Even Schranz, who had been taken in tow by alert politicians, was startled by the roaring crowd when he appeared on the balcony of the Austrian Chancellery. "But I haven't won anything," he kept muttering.
The mass hysteria had been fanned all week in the press and on radio and TV, so much so that when someone wondered why Gerd Bacher, head of Austria's state-owned radio-television, was standing with Schranz on the balcony, a cynical journalist replied, "Why not? After all, he's the producer."
The next morning Austrians generally seemed chagrined and even a bit frightened by the emotional display, and the press, making a neat 180� turn, sternly admonished the people for such flagrant displays of aggression.
When the ABA holds its five-round draft of college players this Monday, each team will be allowed to select one underclassman (SCORECARD, Feb. 14). A well-known ABA official, who insists on anonymity, says that any underclassmen picked in the draft will already have been approached by the drafting team, usually through an agent, and will have signed or promised to sign a contract. Having an agent makes a player ineligible for college competition. Can't the NCAA enforce that rule?
"No," says the ABA man. "Last year they only cracked down on Howard Porter, but almost all the other players had been in touch with the pros before their seasons were over.
"We're simply not going to waste a draft pick on a kid who doesn't want to turn pro now. If you see a kid's name mentioned, you can be pretty sure his agent has talked contract with the pros."
THE SIGN OF CASEY
Retired and in his 80s, Casey Stengel still dominates baseball conversations, even when he is not there. The other day oldtimer Frank Skaff was talking about the hit and take signs Casey had back in the days when he managed the Brooklyn Dodgers. Casey was sore because his players kept missing the signs, and Skaff had to get up at a team meeting and recite them. They went like this: