- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The arguments are familiar. Basketball, which has prospered during the last five years with the importation of American players, is a culprit because "success has turned the heads of the players and those of the French club directors. A phony amateurism is now solidly installed." Matters have reached such a turn, one journalist says, that the French Basketball Federation may insist on its players filing income-tax returns.
Tennis is another offender, the "dollars racket," a second writer charges. "Dollar tennis is killing real tennis," he says. Efforts to maintain the traditional semiamateur tennis organization "cannot stand up to the lures of the World Team Tennis."
Money is also spoiling the distinction between amateur and professional cycling, writes still another journalist. "The amounts in prizes and bonuses paid to amateur cyclists sometimes largely exceed the prize money earned by professionals. Further, the pros are alarmed because most of the sponsors' money goes to the top stars, leaving the rank and file with the national minimum, or no work at all."
Blinkers often are conducive to better horse racing. Moral blinders never are. When he learned that Angel Cordero, Laffit Pincay and Miguel Rivera were "saving" in the Kentucky Derby, Steward Keene Daingerfield said, "Obviously Cordero couldn't have thought there was anything wrong with it, or else he wouldn't have talked about it. It was a tactless thing for him to say." But presumably all right to do.
Saving is an arrangement jockeys make among themselves to ensure that all will earn some money if one of them wins, thus saving themselves from a shutout. Cordero, Pincay and Rivera, each on Derby favorites, agreed that if one of them won he would give $3,000 apiece to the other two out of his 10% share of the $270,000 purse. Daingerfield admitted that a rider finding himself on a mount who was tiring could move over to give racing room to one of his syndicate coming on, hardly reassuring to bettors on other horses in the race.
The stewards at Aqueduct in New York took a far less liberal view of the practice. Last week they assembled all the jockeys riding at the Big A and informed them that saving was not allowed unless the jockeys were competing as an entry owned by the same stable. While there was no rule in the book about it, Steward Francis Dunne told the riders, "That does not matter. It just will not be permitted." He said that the jockeys agreed and he implied that the Kentucky Racing Commission would, too. Last week officials at Pimlico banned the practice. Which is fine as far as it goes. But there should be a rule in everybody's book.
BEWARE THE ODD ONE
Doberman pinschers and German shepherds have a public image as fierce guard dogs and occasionally even killers. But when that friendly Saint Bernard turns murderous—as one did recently on Long Island, killing a boy of six—most people are incredulous.