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Another who discovered there was more fiction than fat in highly publicized deals is Maurice Lucas, the exceptionally talented basketball player who had—and hopes yet to have—another year of eligibility at Marquette. Lucas became a "hardship case" last spring and began negotiating with the Chicago Bulls. They didn't offer enough to suit him, and now he is back hoping that he or Coach Al McGuire can persuade the NCAA to relax its rule prohibiting players who had signed hardship letters from returning to college ball, even if they were never paid a cent by the pros. His could be a harder lesson than Matuszak's.
FALL GUY (CONT.)
Mike King, the unflappable high diver who eluded a guard and leaped off a 220-foot building into 14 feet of water (SCORECARD, June 24), was at it again on Labor Day, this time for an official record. With some 2,000 looking on in Fort Lauderdale and Dick Mullins of the Swimming Hall of Fame checking an altimeter, he bailed out of a helicopter, sans parachute, 155 feet above the Lighthouse Point Yacht Club basin, did a double reverse and plunged feet first into eight feet of water, surpassing the previous mark of 135 feet.
As before, King hurt himself—"Only a couple of cracked vertebrae," said his friend and publicist, Tom Noonan—yet he and Noonan were full of plans, including a possible leap from the Golden Gate Bridge. But what the fearless Noonan really wants to see is a dive from 10,000 to 15,000 feet. Both he and King believe it can be done. "Past 175 feet height is no factor," says King, who warms up for this sort of thing by teaching sky diving. "You reach your maximum speed of 120 feet per second at that point. The problem is to hit the water right. If you lose your concentration, you've had it."
Some of those who were there claim the pheasants are still chuckling. Jimmy Breslin's gang should shoot so crookedly.
It all happened in Warmbaths, South Africa, not far north of Pretoria. Members of the Round Table, a service group along the lines of Rotary International, forgathered at a local hostelry to plan strategy for the shoot. But let the Rand Daily Mail of Johannesburg tell it:
"In the past, the events have resulted in the thinning out of the local pheasant population. But last weekend it was the hunters who got the bird. Shots were fired, more shots were fired, but still no pheasants fell.
"Another shot rang out and an anguished cry met the hunters' ears. Mr. Dennis McCord, a local farmer, had sustained a wound. A little later, another shot brought a second anguished yell—this time from a hunter who stopped a bullet [sic] in his back. To crown the day's hunting ignominy, a third member of the party broke his leg."
Well, it's one way to thin out the local human population.