On the same day that the arrest of the alleged spear carriers appeared in the newspapers, another item reported that two Massachusetts hunters had been fined $75 each for using an illegal weapon in their pursuit of game. No, not an automatic rifle. These fellows packed a ferret. Right there in the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts it says clearly, "...a person shall not take or attempt to take any bird or mammal by the aid or use of a ferret or a fitchew, commonly known as fitch...." At least the hunters were open about it. If they had hidden the little animal, do you suppose they could have been charged with carrying a concealed ferret?
It is interesting to note, too, that the word "ferret" is derived from furittus, a Latin word that means—damn, the English language is fun—little thief.
Everybody who follows basketball knows that David Thompson of the Denver Nuggets is an extraordinary athlete. Among his gifts is an amazing jumping ability. He can leap straight up 42 inches from a standing start, which means that with his body vertical the soles of his sneakers are 3� feet in the air.
Back in the spring of 1972 when Thompson was a freshman at North Carolina State, someone persuaded him to come out and try the triple jump at a Wolfpack track meet. Thompson didn't want to at first, but then reluctantly agreed. He had never tried the event, but after a few preliminary practice runs he took off down the runway and in his first competitive effort jumped 49'11" to set a school record.
When the basketball staff heard about Thompson's venture into track and field it hurriedly persuaded him to stop, fearing he would injure himself and endanger his basketball career. So David retired from track, opening and closing in one, as they used to say in vaudeville.
But his 49'11" record lasted nearly five years, or until a few weeks ago when James Coleman, who majors in triple jump, so to speak, did 49'11�".
One jump—and a record that lasted five years. That's David Thompson.
ARMY MARCHES ON
Traditionally, a military man is named athletic director at West Point, and the assignment, like most non-combat tours of duty, lasts three years. Then a new man takes over. These repeated changes in the West Point front office have created a lack of continuity on the playing fields. Or so says General Bernard Rogers, Chief of Staff, who last week scrapped tradition by appointing retired Major General Raymond P. Murphy to the post. Murphy is Army's first civilian athletic director since Red Blaik resigned in 1959. The reason for the shift in policy, Rogers says, is to achieve "greater stability." He noted the comparatively greater success of sports at Navy, where Bo Coppedge, a now retired captain, has been director of athletics since June 1968.