SI Vault
Edited by Robert H. Boyle
March 13, 1978
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March 13, 1978


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Defensive Tackle Larry Gillard of Mississippi State testified that the NCAA took away three years of his eligibility (he got two years back as a result of an appeal to the NCAA and the third year under a court order) because he had received a 20% discount on two pairs of pants and two shirts from a local clothing store. The NCAA prohibits such discounts specifically for athletes, but the penalty was imposed even though the proprietor testified that all students got the same discount that Gillard did.

The most impressive witness was Dr. Clifton Wharton Jr., former president of Michigan State and the new chancellor of the State University of New York, who, though defending the need for effective police work, decried the "Catch 22" nature of a process that allows for "hearsay evidence" and presumes guilt. He testified that in contrast to the NCAA's stated aim for cooperative enforcement, the NCAA staff has a "hostile attitude" when a school that is under investigation asks to see the evidence against it. The process, Wharton said, was indicted by its own complexity. "When you need a book of more than 280 [actually 241] pages to tell you how to conduct intercollegiate athletics," he said, "you are no longer talking about sport."

A golf driving range near Mount Clemens, Mich. has heated two tees so that golf nuts can whack balls in the snow all winter long. It's called Iceberg's Golf Range, and it is owned and operated by a man named Chip Iceberg. Come now, is his name really Chip Iceberg? As a matter of fact, no. His name is Roy Iceberg. Chip is his nickname.

Stimulated by our recent interest in writers and the sports that their names suggest (such as Jonathan Swift and track—SCORECARD, Dec. 12 and Jan. 16), Luther Lee of New York City points out that a number of operas have sporting themes. There are Tha�s, which is about an NHL team with a 0-0-80 record; Die Frau ohne Schatten, which is not about the wife of the oldtime Brooklyn manager who is always on the road, but concerns instead the adventures of a young woman in track and field; Der Rosenkavalier, the story of a Cleveland basketball player who to his intense embarrassment fouls out of an important game at a critical moment; Die Walk�re, an epic about an Olympic event; Die Zauberfl�te, the Rose Bowl Parade; and The Saint of Bleecker Street, in which Archie Manning visits Greenwich Village. Baseball has the most operas. There are Cos� Fan Tutte, based on a dramatic incident in the World Series; II Trovatore, or the Mets find a manager; and Manon Lescaut, the saga of hyped-up rooters who cheer their team to victory.

Those long-distance field-goal kickers in the Southwest Conference (SI, Nov. 7, 1977) won't get a boot out of a change made by the NCAA Football Rules Committee. Starting this fall the colleges must use the pro rule: the ball returns to the line of scrimmage after a missed field goal beyond the 20-yard line. Moreover, Dave Nelson, the committee secretary, says, "We won't allow kickers to use their 'pet' balls. They'll have to kick with a new ball, not those pumpkins they've been sneaking on the field."

Angered by a referee's call in the Tennessee-Kentucky football game last fall, Robert J. Painter, 22, threw a bottle toward the field from the upper deck of Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium. The bottle struck a woman in the stands below, and she suffered a cut that required six stitches. Painter was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment. He pleaded guilty, and a fortnight ago Judge James E. Keller sentenced him to a year in jail and a $250 fine. Judge Keller then waived the fine and granted probation from jail with the following conditions: Painter must pay the victim's medical expenses, and he must not attend a sporting event of any kind in or out of Kentucky for two years. However, Painter will go back to Commonwealth Stadium for the next two seasons. He will be in detention while the games are being played and afterward will help clean up the stadium.


Carole Morse, director of the Spouse Abuse Center in Louisville, was livid when she saw one of the billboards. In big letters it said BEAT YOUR WIFE, and then in smaller letters GO BOWLING. She complained to the Bowling Proprietors Association about this kind of promotional advertising. No problem. A sign painter will touch up each billboard, covering over "wife" and substituting "husband."

Although some people insist that husbands are spouses, too, apparently they aren't as well organized.

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