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The story may be old to you, but it is new to us and true. Three Texans went out fishing on Conchas Dam Reservoir in New Mexico in a splendidly equipped cabin cruiser. As they were zipping along the lake to a favorite fishing hole, they saw something swimming in the water. They stopped and looked. It was a large rattlesnake. One of the fishermen took an oar and poked at the rattler. He poked again. This time the rattler grabbed at the oar. Instead of dropping the oar, the alarmed fisherman yanked it, and the snake came flying aboard. Instantly three Texans jumped into the lake and swam to shore, leaving the rattler in sole possession of their cabin cruiser.
They had to wait a couple of hours before another boat passed by, and even then they refused to board the boat until their rescuers dispatched the snake. If the fishermen learned one thing, it is that they'll think next time before putting an oar in.
RAH, RAH, MAGUIRE U.
The latest hoax in college sports is on page 190 of The 1972-1973 National Directory of College Athletics. There, in company with Lynchburg State and the University of Maine, is Maguire U. of Forest Park, Ill. Maguire U. has a president, Dr. Mel Connolly. Maguire U. has a nickname (the Jollymen), school colors (green and white) and an enrollment of 1,600. In reality Maguire U. is a bar in Forest Park, and the school is named after the owner, John Maguire. President Mel Connolly is a truck driver.
It all started back in 1963 when a bunch of the boys at Maguire's went to the NCAA basketball finals to root for Loyola of Chicago. Bill Shay, then freshman coach at Loyola, hosted his pals from the bar, and they had such a good time they began attending the NCAA finals every year. As a joke, they had T shirts printed with "Maguire U." on them. Last year the chance came—the boys won't say how—to get listed in the directory, and John Maguire sent in a check for $7.50 along with information about the imaginary university. Bill Shay became the "basketball coach," and another patron, Len Tyrrell, the "football coach." An Italian policeman who stopped in occasionally and was known only by his first name, Sal, was listed as Sal De Copper, assistant football coach. Once Maguire U. got into the directory, all sorts of things began to happen. Louisville Slugger wrote to "baseball coach" Ignatius Murphy trying to sell him bats, and recently a real live basketball coach phoned to speak to Coach Shay. Told Coach Shay came in only on Friday nights, the coach asked, "What kind of a school are you running there anyway?" If the coach reads this, now he knows.
Why did Cornell squeal, why did the Big Red rat? That is the question being asked at Boston University, defending NCAA hockey champion, whose record now slumps to six wins and 15 defeats because it must forfeit 11 games. BU suffered the forfeit when the Eastern College Athletic Conference last week upheld its decision declaring sophomore Dick Decloe ineligible for play. Decloe's demise came because the Junior "A" hockey team he played for in London, Ontario paid his high school education tax of $189.33 one year. Decloe denies even knowing the team paid the tax.
The case came up as a result of a complaint by Cornell Athletic Director Jon Anderson after a Cornell player was declared ineligible for accepting room and board, expenses and payment of his high school tax while playing in the same Junior "A" league as Decloe. Anderson knew a lot about Decloe; Cornell had tried and failed to recruit him. In any event, Anderson says he could not understand why his player was ineligible and Decloe was eligible, "so I asked the ECAC to interpret it for me."
BU Athletic Director Warren Schmakel replies: "As an educator I say, "Must you give your boy a fair shake at the expense of a boy from another team? If there was knowledge within Cornell about Decloe, why didn't the athletic director of Cornell communicate with the athletic director at BU?' "