STILL FAR APARTHEID
The skepticism expressed by nonwhite South Africans about the government's widely publicized announcement that it was moving to reduce apartheid in sport (SCORECARD, Oct. 4) appears justified in light of the refusal last week of a provincial official to sanction a rugby match in Port Elizabeth between two racially integrated teams. The teams played anyway (and afterwards cheering black spectators carried a white player off the field on their shoulders), but there was official disapproval. Piet Koornhof, minister of sport, said the match was "contrary to policy." E. J. D. Pienaar, the provincial official, had said earlier, "There is no way that we will issue a permit for this match to be played." The new sports policy, he said, was designed only to let teams of different races play each other, not to encourage racially mixed teams. Matches between racially integrated teams would therefore be illegal.
All aspects of mixed sport are supervised by the government. After a schedule of games for leagues that now include teams of different races has been approved, no other games, such as exhibitions (known, ironically, as "friendlies" in South African sporting jargon), can be arranged. "We will not even consider applications to play friendlies between white and Bantu clubs," Pienaar said.
After Bill Rigney quit as manager of the San Francisco Giants, co-owner Bob Lurie offered the job to Vern Rapp, an outstanding minor league manager. Lurie even called a press conference to announce Rapp's appointment.
Before the conference could take place, the St. Louis Cardinals fired their manager, Red Schoendienst, and began to look around for a replacement, too. They invited Rapp and Joe Altobelli, another fine minor league manager, to come to St. Louis for interviews. Then they offered the job to Rapp.
Rapp, a native of St. Louis who used to work in the Cardinal organization, leaped at the chance. He rejected the San Francisco job, thus leaving both the Giants and Altobelli high and dry. Lurie, who has a penchant for quick decisions (last winter, when he was trying to buy the Giants, he took in Bud Herseth as his partner only hours after first hearing Herseth's name), turned to Altobelli and within 24 hours asked him to be the new Giant manager. Altobelli said fine. "I don't care if I was second choice," he said. "There are only 26 of these jobs, and I got one of them."
Exhibiting efficiency and economy, Lurie introduced his new manager at the same press conference he had scheduled to announce the hiring of Rapp.
Ermal Allen, the Dallas Cowboys' computer coach, who is primarily responsible for keeping his club aware of trends in pro football, says that smaller running backs, like Greg Pruitt of the Cleveland Browns and Lydell Mitchell of the Baltimore Colts, are coming to the fore in the NFL because the game is turning to elusive runners who can carry the ball both inside and outside and catch passes as well. This does not mean that the Larry Csonka-class runner is obsolete, but only that offenses are opening up more. Allen also points out that the seeming abundance of good young runners coming into pro ball the last few seasons is a result of the college game's emphasis on the wishbone offense. "We don't like the colleges using the wishbone so much," Allen says, "because the quarterbacks don't pass enough, blockers don't get used to enough pass-protecting, and running backs don't get to catch enough passes. But the wishbone does get the backs ready to be pro runners."