Amarillo ( Texas) Junior College has been startled to learn that a couple of young men to whom they awarded basketball scholarships are alumni of a Kentucky jail. Convicted of manslaughter, Stephen Varner, 21, has been on parole since October 1976. John H. Luster, 24, jailed for armed robbery, was paroled in August.
"There has been an obvious breakdown at Amarillo College that allowed such a thing to happen," said President Charles D. Lutz Jr. "We will correct it in the future." On the other hand. Dr. John E. Jones, chairman of the junior college's board of regents, simply pointed out that "these scholarships, as executed by the college, are valid and binding legal contracts," adding that the men were free to play on the school team as long as they maintained their scholastic eligibility.
Does President Lutz really feel that everyone would be better served if two men, properly paroled and obviously singled out for athletic scholarships on the basis of athletic gifts, were turned back into the streets? Says Varner, "I just want to look to the future. What's happened in the past, that's no one's business."
He would seem to have a point.
Russell and Riverwood, two high schools near Atlanta, played each other in football last month and both teams lost. For a minute, the final score was Russell 15, Riverwood 0. Then things began to unravel. First someone ratted on Russell's Chris McNeal, who had just transferred to the school. He had faked the residence requirement, so there went not just the victory over Riverwood, which Russell was obliged to forfeit, but the school's three previous wins, all of which were forfeited as well.
That still left a score of sorts, the 1-0 forfeit victory for Riverwood. But Riverwood's Joey Mitchell had been left off the eligibility list sent last spring to the Georgia High School Association by a former coach. When new Coach Theo Caldwall realized the omission, he reported it to the GHSA, but the association showed no mercy. They declared the school also a loser by forfeit, thereby making the game null and void, and stripped Riverwood of its single previous win, a 28-6 victory over Paulding County.
You can't win 'em all but, on the other hand, a man doesn't expect to unwin 'em all, either.