For more than 30 years Eddie Robinson of Grambling has been turning out remarkable football teams and sending star after star into professional ranks. His 244 victories are second only to Bear Bryant's 250 among active college coaches. This season another fine Grambling team is 8-1. And this year, as in all years past, Robinson's Tigers will almost certainly be overlooked by the bowl selection committees.
More pragmatic than Red Barber, Robinson understands the situation. "I'm a believer in the American dream," he says, "and I know it's the all-American dollar that gets things done." He would like the bowl people to know that Grambling attracted 61,571 to the New Orleans Superdome and 46,419 to Houston's Astrodome this season. The game in the Astrodome with Texas Southern drew better than any other college game played that weekend in Texas and its neighboring states. That includes Texas-SMU, Alabama-Mississippi State and LSU-Mississippi.
Even with these figures to argue Grambling's worth at the box office, the realistic Robinson remains conciliatory. "I'd like to get that bowl bid this year," he says, "but if it doesn't happen, then maybe next year." As though to add insult to his own injury, he continues, "I like to think that maybe someday, somebody will say, 'If we can't get anybody else, well, how about Grambling?' "
Judging from the way the bowl committees have acted in the past, that's about how it will have to happen.
There were some magnificent performances at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden last week, but nothing that quite matched an ecdysial event at the Washington International Horse Show a week earlier. It was Halloween night. Someone found a large plastic pumpkin. An idea germinated. Several impish exhibitors chipped in $750 and with it persuaded a rider to carry out their devilish plan. Wearing nothing but boots and the pumpkin, the ghostly figure raced his mount out of the chute, over the jumps and swiftly back into the stable area. The crowd was amused, the horse show committee horrified—more or less. "I haven't a clue who it was," said Show President Bruce Sundlum, who then added, in the spirit of Halloween, "but he was one hell of a rider."
BOY AND GIRLS TOGETHER
In South Bend the final game of the sectional playoffs leading to the Indiana girls' volleyball championships was a one-boy show. Clay High School, with five girls and 6'3" Brian Goralski, creamed Riley High's all-girl team, 15-7.
Brian plays girls' volleyball because 1) he hopes for a volleyball scholarship to Ball State and 2) Clay has no boys' volleyball team and 3) Brian needs a competitive record. Under the constitution of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, a boy or girl cannot be excluded from a sport if his or her school has no program in that sport for his or her sex. The rule was established in 1972 by order of the State Supreme Court after a girl had sued to be allowed to play on a boys' golf team.
Armed with a copy of the Title IX guidelines and the advice of counsel, a two-person contingent from tiny all-girl St. Mary's Academy of South Bend (not a contender), consisting of Principal Paul Deignan and Athletic Director Linda O'Leary, petitioned the commissioner of the IHSAA, Phil Eskew, to issue a directive eliminating boys from the volleyball championships on the grounds that Title IX, being federal legislation, supersedes and invalidates the state's rule. The commissioner has refused, saying, in effect, "So sue me."
St. Mary's argued that under Title IX guidelines, which went into effect in July, it is not necessary that there be comparable programs for males and females, merely comparable opportunities, and since boys in South Bend have the opportunity to participate in tennis, cross-country and football in the fall, they need not be admitted to girls' volleyball teams.