A member of the winning U.S. 400-meter relay team at the Montreal Olympics, Jones further heightened such concern this spring when he ran 100 meters in 9.9 seconds, hand-timed. The world record is Jim Hines' 9.95, electronically timed.
Based on his own experiences, however, Hines would advise Jones to stick with football because it promises greater rewards. "When I went to Texas Southern," Hines says, "I was supposed to be on a combination football-track scholarship. But I discovered after I got there that the track coach wouldn't let me play football. They had a rule against it."
A double gold-medal winner in the Mexico City Games, Hines failed to make the grade as an NFL wide receiver despite several tryouts. "I was on pro rosters for six years," he says, "but I spent most of those years on the bench watching other people play. Those four years of football that I missed in college really hurt me.
"I'd say it would be an advantage for Jones to play college football. His athletic future is in pro football and a background of college ball is a big help, no matter how much speed and skill you may have."
WHO'S CONNING WHOM?
Last month a group of black publishers and editors held a press conference in New York at which they denounced the "white" press for not printing a statement by the attorney general of Maryland absolving Boxing Promoter Don King of any wrongdoing in the conduct of his ill-starred tournament. "We as newspapermen who uphold the tradition of a free press and a responsible press have examined the evidence before us," they said, "and are forced to conclude that Don King has not been given fair play in the white press." The group also concluded that the reason for this was to discredit King in the boxing world and to restore control to white promoters.
The group was in error. As the magazine More, a monthly watchdog of the media, pointed out, the Maryland attorney general, whose office is not even investigating the tournament, issued no such statement. Nor was there one from the U.S. attorney for the district of Maryland, whose office is investigating the tournament. The publishers and editors may have been taken in by the non-existent statement just as ABC and Ring magazine were by the non-existent fights on the records of some of the contestants in King's tournament. It turns out, also, that the press conference was held in a hotel suite rented by Don King Productions and that the editors and publishers came to New York at the invitation of Kenneth Drew, a friend of King's, through the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a black organization. One of those present, Norman O. Unger, assistant managing editor of the Chicago Defender, believes that his airline tickets and those of some of the other journalists were paid for by King.
A number of other black newspapermen were invited to participate but declined. Unger says he did not agree with the statement that was issued at the press conference. However, "not wanting to make waves," he went along with it. No vote was taken on the statement. "It was like it was already decided, and we were there to show our faces," Unger concludes.