"The book could have been about any coach in America instead of Darrell Royal," says Broyles. "I don't think it depicts the true Darrell. He's a warm, conscientious man. But I believe some of the things Gary Shaw says. When I was in school I might have thought some of the same things about my coach"
Broyles claims that the experiences Shaw depicts, whether real or imagined, make the book valuable. "He was a psychology student and he saw things other kids didn't. Coaches get in the habit of asking a boy how much he weighs or how fast was his last 40, instead of how he is doing in class or how he is getting on with his girl friend. Reading the book has caused me to re-evaluate my attitude toward the players and also toward my children.
"I want to put our contacts on a personal basis. Shaw's book will lead my coaches to a better understanding of the players. His criticism touches all coaches, and maybe we can all benefit. I call the book preventive medicine."
One more happy high school story. Marion Pleasant became the first school in the history of Ohio high school athletics to win state championships in both football and basketball the same year. And a surprising number of Marion Pleasant athletes starred in both sports. The day after the football team finished its season by winning its 38th straight game, 11 players switched to basketball uniforms. When the undefeated basketball team won its 26th and last game of the season to take the Class A state title, three of the five starters were football players.
You won't have to sit up late waiting for returns in that Oxford University chair of poetry election (SI, April 23). Muhammad Ali politely declined the nomination. It was all very amiable, according to an Associated Press report from London, where another poet, Paddy Monaghan, strummed his lyre and sang:
"The cause of English poetry
At Oxford University
Was dealt a devastating blow:
Muhammad Ali answered, 'No.'
Two dons had asked the former champ
To spare time from his training camp
And take the professional chair
To teach young poets how and where.
Through broken jaw Ali avowed
He felt quite honored, pleased and proud,
But simply didn't have the time
To lecture on the arts of rhyme."
Considering the avalanche of journalistic poetry that might follow the above, it's probably just as well.
Will the anticipated fuel shortage hurt auto racing? No, according to Bill Brodrick of Union 76, which supplies gasoline for stock-car racing.