SI Vault
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
October 08, 1973
POLITICS IMany people are against the amateur sports bill that Senator John Tunney is sponsoring in Congress. They are fearful of intrusion by government into sport, and so are we. But marathon runner Kenny Moore contends the bill is the only reasonable way to end the serious division in American sports administration that has existed for more than half a century. Moore writes: "The absurd sanctioning wars and disqualifications by both the NCAA and AAU in recent years have been the inevitable consequence of this basic schism, and barring a staggering reversal of character, conciliation is not at hand. Mediation in the past by such referees as Douglas MacArthur, Theodore Kheel and Archibald Cox (now assigned to an easier case) failed utterly. The issue is not which do you trust, the private sector or government control. Rather, it is how a solution can be effectively imposed upon the intransigent groups. The Tunney bill trustbusts the AAU's hold on eight Olympic sports, permitting each to be administered by those who know it best. It prohibits the NCAA from arbitrarily disqualifying student athletes from international competition. It is not disruptive, except of those structures that have kept the people in amateur sports at the barricades for so long."
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October 08, 1973


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Beneath the clipping, the letter went on:

"I hope you give it some consideration for your column. Thank you.
"Sincerely yours,

"The one back home."


Last April baseball players from two Virginia high schools got into a fight during a game. One school is predominantly white, the other predominantly black. Witnesses tended to contradict one another, but all agreed that on a pickoff attempt at first base tempers exploded and the fight began. Michael Moore, the batter, and Christopher Swecker, the catcher, moved down the line toward the battle and Swecker received a head cut that required eight stitches. Moore, 18, was arrested and charged with hitting Swecker, 17, with his bat. On Sept. 19 Moore, a black who is now attending St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C. on a baseball scholarship, went before Circuit Court Judge Paul W. Ackiss in Virginia Beach. After a two-hour trial, Judge Ackiss found Moore guilty of malicious assault and sentenced him to four years in prison.

Before passing sentence, the judge said, "All the defense evidence is negative evidence. The defense witnesses said they didn't see anything. The prosecution's evidence is all positive. They say they clearly saw the boy hit with the bat." He told Moore he was guilty of an "unprovoked act of violence."

Moore's lawyer said the decision was "incredible and unbelievable," and that he would apply for a writ of error from the Virginia Supreme Court. "This happened at a baseball game between two groups of high school students when tempers were flaring. This boy is not a criminal."


The minor league version of the Riggs-King match, a $500 winner-take-all confrontation between 62-year-old Byron (Bitsy) Grant, the former Davis Cup star, and 19-year-old Betsy Butler, reaffirmed the dreadful proposition that a good old man is no match for a good young girl. Betsy whupped Bitsy 6-1, 5-7, 6-3. Grant said, "When a tennis player gets to be 62 he's a fool to play singles, and I'm the biggest fool around." Grant's age showed during the match when he was called for a foot fault by a young male linesman. "I've been playing tennis 50 years, since long before you were born," protested Grant. "That still doesn't make you right," retorted the youngster.

Maybe a Riggs-Grant match would put everything back into perspective.

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