RENTZEL COME TO JUDGMENT
One could say that the law has dealt gently with Lance Rentzel, wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams, who was sentenced to five years probation in 1971 after pleading guilty to exposing himself to a 10-year-old girl and who got three years probation last May after being caught in possession of marijuana. Though he also pleaded guilty to the latter charge, Rentzel is appealing on grounds that the evidence was obtained illegally.
Now Pete Rozelle, National Football League commissioner, after due investigation, has suspended Rentzel for at least the 1973 season for "conduct detrimental to professional football."
Rentzel accepted the suspension, but Ed Garvey, executive director of the NFL Players Association, did not. He announced the filing of a federal antitrust suit to overturn the suspension.
As commissioner, Rozelle has the special duty to protect the good name of pro football, an assignment baseball gave to Judge Kenesaw Mountain Land's after the Black Sox scandals all but destroyed the fans' faith in the game. That faith is essential to sport of any kind. Thus far Rozelle has defended it well. He acted promptly in suspending Paul Hornung and Alex Karras for gambling, albeit on their own teams, and that action did much to convince the followers of pro football, an ardent and ever-increasing bunch, that the honor of the game was in good hands. That belief was good for the owners, of course, but it was good for the players, too. Season after season, they have been increasingly rewarded.
But Garvey does not see it that way; in fact, he professes not to understand the meaning of the expression "conduct detrimental to pro football." We fail to understand why that should be so hard to understand.
In considering sentence, the courts rightly take into consideration the psychiatric problems of a defendant and with such knowledge may well deal leniently with him. But it is no part of Pete Rozelle's job to endanger the welfare of the game he supervises. Nor is it a part of Ed Garvey's job. He does his players no favor there.
If Arpad Czanadi, Hungarian chairman of the International Olympic Committee program commission, has his way, equestrian events at the next Olympics will be canceled. He says they do not meet the requirements of Rule 30 of the Olympic regulations, according to which an Olympic sport must be one practiced in at least 25 countries. The three disciplines now contemplated for the 1976 Games in Montreal do not meet the requirement.
Basically, there is a question of money, too. The Riem equestrian stadium used eight days in the 1972 Games cost, says Czanadi, about $5.6 million to build and now stands empty. Only three events—a pony show, a Bavarian vaulting championship and a dog show—are scheduled at the stadium this year.