Next week's rich sequence of college football games, climaxed Saturday afternoon by Ohio State-Michigan and USC- UCLA, has been well ballyhooed by television and will please most football fans. The only sounds of protest are faint cries from places such as Xavier University in Cincinnati, which has never appeared on an NCAA televised game. It is not that Xavier feels it should be on TV instead of, say, Ohio State. Not at all. What bothers Xavier is simply that these rich NCAA football shows on television are in direct competition with its own modest gate. To be specific, Xavier had a home game scheduled with Toledo University for Saturday, Nov. 24. Because it was obvious that Xavier- Toledo was not going to entice many folks from the tube, the game was shifted to Friday afternoon, a day earlier. A game played at 2 p.m. on a Friday is not going to attract many people either, especially since Nebraska-Oklahoma is on TV that afternoon, but at least those who do come, including the players and coaches, will be able to watch the big games on Saturday.
The irony does not amuse Xavier Athletic Director Jim McCafferty, who says he has no criticism of the NCAA's efforts to put its best games on television. What he does question is the inequity. The big football schools not only gain large chunks of TV money, their televised efforts directly and adversely affect the already meager income of schools such as Xavier, whose football program is struggling for survival. McCafferty says, "I think the NCAA should put part of its TV revenue into a fund for schools that never appear on its televised games."
LIKE MOUNT EVEREST
News in the American Basketball Association continues to be made by bad-tempered coaches. A few days after Bill van Breda Kolff's four-technical night (SCORECARD, NOV. 12), Bobby Leonard of the Indiana Pacers came close to that performance with three technicals. But despite his numerical inferiority, Leonard topped van Breda Kolff's show of temperament by throwing the Pacers' ball rack at the referee. This set a new high, or low, in childish behavior for Leonard, whose previous extreme had been a petulant scattering of books and papers from the scorers' table during an earlier game.
Leonard was fined $1,000, the largest fine ever levied by the ABA, and was suspended long enough to miss a Pacer game against Utah. The only grace note in all this was the coach's answer when he was asked why in the world he had thrown the ball rack. "Well, it was right there," he explained.
After O.J. Simpson carried the ball 39 times in one game a couple of Mondays ago to break Harry Newman's ancient National Football League record for most carries in one game, the Detroit News revealed something else about Newman that Simpson would dearly love to match. That was Harry's contract. Newman was a big gate attraction and a shrewd bargainer. The former Michigan star signed with the New York Giants for $11,000, a pretty good sum in those days, and 10% of the Giants' gate receipts; in his second season his share was raised to 20%. In Newman's day professional football crowds rarely went much beyond 30,000, and tickets cost only a dollar or two. The night Simpson broke Newman's ball-carrying record he did it before 76,000 spectators who had paid from $5.50 to $12 for their seats. Let's see, O.J.—20% of 76,000 times an average of let's say $8 a seat times seven home games a year....
SHAGGY SWIMMER STORY
The Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. has a dog as its official mascot. The breed? Spitz. The dog's name?
AND THEY'RE LUCKY, TOO
Striking a blow for the amateur golfer, an eight-handicap player from San Francisco named Hal Gevertz says he is not too impressed by most of the sub-70 rounds turned in by touring professionals. "By PGA tournament recommendations," says Gevertz, "fairways are mowed every day to a uniform height. Professional golfers detest fluffy lies; the average amateur gets fluffy lies every round. The greens are cut and rolled to a height of three-sixteenths of an inch, usually every morning and sometimes every night, too. There is no inconsistency in the height of the grass on the greens when the pros play, no unfixed ball marks, no loose impediments, no newly applied top dressing. Usually, there are catcher's mitt greens that hold the shots, and to give the pros additional comfort the galleries that gather around the greens form a target, as well as a backstop for stray shots.
"Tournament roughs are cut to four or five inches in height, and crowds of spectators tramp down the rough adjacent to the fairways, thus giving the pros more areas for good lies. Amateurs often lose golf balls in the rough, but professionals don't."