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SCORECARD
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
June 21, 1976
NON-BELLIGERENT
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June 21, 1976

Scorecard

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

GRIFFEY, CIN

85

MORGAN, CIN

79

PEREZ, CIN

75

ROSE, CIN

72

SCHMIDT, PHI

72

AMERICAN LEAGUE

MAYBERRY, KC

65

OTIS, KC

65

BURROUGHS, TEX

63

CHAMBLISS, NY

62

HARGROVE, TEX

62

HISLE, MIN

62

NON-BELLIGERENT

The National Hockey League's decision to crack down on fighting and related violence by introducing more stringent penalties, notably that a player who starts a fight will be summarily thrown out of the game, produced surprising approval from an unexpected source—Bobby Clarke, star center of the hard-hitting Philadelphia Flyers, president of the Players Association and three times the league's Most Valuable Player.

After the new rules were approved last week, Clarke told a group of sportswriters that his only objection was that the NHL had not gone far enough. Clarke felt the rules committee should have heeded the advice of the player representatives, who had voted 16-4 in favor of having all those who take part in any fight ejected from the game, not just the obvious aggressors. "Spontaneous" outbursts, in which two men flare up at one another, also will be tolerated.

"Hockey is good enough on its own that it doesn't need fighting," said Clarke, "yet apparently the owners and managers think the threat of violence is necessary to sell the game. But all the brawling hasn't made hockey popular. I know fans in Philadelphia—the best fans in the league now—who have been turned off by the mayhem. We've lost the TV Game of the Week in the States, and crowds are falling off. I think the message is there. I think hockey can be a lot better when you let the talented players perform without fear of getting worked over."

Clarke argued that if everyone were aware that all parties to a fight would be automatically ejected it would "prevent guys like Dave Schultz from trying to get a player like Guy Lafleur out of the game. This way, if Lafleur wants to, he can skate away with grace."

Scotty Morrison, the NHL's refereein-chief, doubted that. "I don't think our current players are ready to turn the other cheek," he said.

Still, Clarke approved the new rules. "I don't mind taking my hits in a game," he said, "but I don't appreciate it if a guy who scores five goals a season and is six inches taller than I am is beating on my head all night. Now the little guy will get a chance to play hockey again. Dave Schultz? Well, he's shown that he can play hockey, and now he'll have more of an opportunity because he won't be in the penalty box for 300 minutes a season."

UNHOLY ALLIANCE

The NCAA and the AAU have finally agreed on something. They both are mad at the President's Commission on Olympic Sports, which was created with the idea of bringing some sort of order and reason to the governing of amateur athletics in this country. "The AAU has accused us of favoring the NCAA," says Mike Harrigan, executive director of the commission, "and the NCAA says the commission is loaded in favor of the AAU."

Since a good many athletes and coaches are disenchanted with both the AAU and the NCAA, it follows that the President's Commission must be doing something right. We look forward with anticipation to the group's final report, due later this year.

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