SI Vault
Edited by Andrew Crichton
December 16, 1974
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December 16, 1974


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The 1974 NCAA cross-country championships at Bloomington, Ind. will be remembered, if at all, for the runners who did not compete. Ohio State refused to send Tom Bryant, who finished fifth in the Big Ten meet and conceivably could have made All-America by finishing among the first 25 in the nationals, and Tom Byers, a good bet to make the Olympic team in the 1,500 meters. Fordham refused to send an entire team, although the Rams had the talent to finish respectably in the standings.

Various rationales were offered, but they can be reduced to two words, money and lose. The schools were not going to foot the bills for runners who were not quite good enough to win. That is sport?

The cover was missing, pages were shredded and there were teeth marks and claw prints on what remained of a book returned to the library at Linn-Benton Community College in Oregon. The book's title: How to Keep Your Pet Healthy. Hard to tell whether the beast liked it or hated it.


It is one more strand of red tape, which pleases nobody, but with so many deaths from drowning—some 125-150 each year in U.S. waters—the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a law this fall requiring that scuba divers be licensed. The board, which estimates that a fourth of all U.S. divers live in Southern California, also made physical checkups and license renewals mandatory every two years and, probably most important of all, made it illegal to dive within 24 hours of taking a drink containing alcohol. Many of the deaths have been attributed to diving after drinking.

"Divers are afraid the regulation will hurt the sport," said Lloyd Bridges, who starred in the TV show Sea Hunt, "but it is a law long overdue. It's a whole different environment out there in the ocean. It takes getting used to—by stages—and drinking is just asking for trouble. Alcohol affects the brain to a much greater degree in the pressure under water. People who can handle a drink or two on the surface find themselves in life and death situations 30 feet below the surface."

Secretariat and Riva Ridge are champions after all. The problems they were supposed to be having as nascent sires can be traced to the strict technical language of the syndication agreements and not to sterility. Secretariat succeeded in impregnating 34 of 36 mares, Riva Ridge 27 of 33, impressive records for rookie stallions. Ordinarily, 75% success is considered good. If their get are anywhere near as proficient, sibling rivalry will be rampant at the 1978 Kentucky Derby.


What began as a cooperative effort between the Sports Car Club of America and the United States Auto Club became so successful in its first year that—what else?—the two may not be cooperating again in 1975.

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