UNESCO and the International Council for Sport and Physical Education—which is mouthful enough—issued recently a working paper prepared jointly and entitled Mass Media, Sport and International Understanding that is all but unswallowable. The fear is, in this world of burgeoning bureaucracies and consensus thinking, it will not be seen as that.
The report is crammed with words like duty, responsibility and promotion. It is also crammed with blatant nonsense. For example, the press has "a responsibility for the future and for the safeguarding of sport"—which is not at all the responsibility of the press. Also, "It becomes...a duty for the media to give...information about all technical aspects of sport...." and "Mass media should make the social objectives of sport understandable to everybody regardless of the level of education...."
There is a lot more. One can visualize a reporter being barred from the press box because he had been weak on "the socialization of sport through the propagation of accepted values..." (the report's phrase), or persisted in using words of more than one syllable.
This is not as farfetched as it may seem. The one area where the organization committee for the Montreal Olympics will stint is in accommodations for the press. There were places for 4,000 or so newsmen at Munich. The number in Montreal will be 2,000, and some criteria will have to be set to winnow the acceptable from the unacceptable. Hopefully, the Montreal planners will arrive at sensible, valid standards and will give the UNESCO report the big brush-off. The report's writers, incidentally, invite suggestions. For starters, shred it.
In a sense he and not Dr. James Naismith was the inventor of basketball. At the University of Kansas, while Naismith spent most of his time in a corner of Robinson Gymnasium teaching fencing and wrestling and keeping tabs on the physical measurements of generations of college students, Dr. Forrest C. (Phog) Allen was exploring ways to develop the game into the national pastime he never doubted it would become.
"Forrest," Naismith had told his prot�g� earlier, "you don't coach basketball, you just play it." Phog Allen coached basketball as none had. When he retired after 46 years at the mandatory age of 70 in 1956, he was the winningest coach of all time with a record of 771-233. He was a sound fundamentalist, but an innovator and propagandist, too, who never let the game pass him by. He died last week at the age of 88. Adolph Rupp of Kentucky, his disciple who had played as a substitute for Allen at Kansas in the early '20s and, as a rival coach, eventually eclipsed his winning record, said it simplest at a funeral service in Lawrence: "He will go down in history as the greatest basketball coach of all time."
THEY'D RATHER BE REICH
Frank B. Fuhrer, president of the Pittsburgh Triangles, has been elected president of World Team Tennis. His predecessor? Jordon Kaiser.