SI Vault
Edited by Robert H. Boyle
December 04, 1978
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December 04, 1978


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Asked if he is concerned that someone might take his "urn" from the Chesapeake and use it as a working decoy, Waite says, "It's my second-greatest wish. My first wish is to see the look on the guy's face when he picks up the block and reads the inscription."


Florida Tech's women's volleyball team ended its season 48-0, solidifying its role as one of the favorites to win the AIAW Small College Championship, which will be held next week in the Orlando school's gym. Win or lose, one member of the Knights, Judy Portinga, is already a titleholder. Portinga, a 5'6" freshman, outshone 18 other entrants last summer in Freelton, Ontario to win the Miss Nude World contest.

Portinga is not the first nudist to venture into clothed volleyball, although she is probably the first Miss Nude World to do so. Because it requires little space and can be played by teammates of dissimilar skills, volleyball has always been popular at nudist clubs, which have accordingly produced some outstanding talent. Florida club rosters have long been dotted with players who learned the game in the buff, and a practicing nudist was player-coach of a strong University of Florida club team a few years back. Portinga, whose parents live near Orlando and are longtime nudists, took up the sport at the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort and became proficient enough to earn a partial athletic scholarship to Florida Tech. She isn't a starter yet, but Coach Lucy McDaniel says she shows "a lot of potential."

As Miss Nude World, Portinga has spent time on the interview circuit, adding a touch of humor ("I've seen it all") to her missionary insistence that nudism is "a very healthy and happy thing." At Florida Tech she wears mostly jeans and T shirts and says her friends think her being a nudist is "super." After playing volleyball for years clad only in tennis shoes and knee pads (nudists don't like getting hurt any more than other people), she admits to being uncomfortable wearing Tech's black and gold. "I've had trouble getting used to playing in a uniform," she says. "It's hot and kind of sticks to you."


For 25 years the Big Ten has sought to project a "scholar-athlete" image by choosing an All-Academic football team. To qualify, a player, whether star or lowly sub, has to have at least a B average for his most recent year or a B average for his entire college career. But this season the Big Ten had trouble getting nominees. Out of 1,000 players on conference rosters, only 49 qualified.

Moreover, the conference winners fared worse than the losers, which gives the unwanted impression that oafs make the best players. Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State scraped up only seven nominees among them, while last-place Northwestern (0-10-1) had 11 scholar-athletes and ninth-place Illinois seven. Three of Indiana's regular defensive backs, plus one substitute, had B averages or better. That might lead one to think that the Hoosiers' secondary had the brains to outsmart opponents. In fact, Indiana ranked eighth in conference pass defense.


Has Jim Fixx, author of The Complete Book of Running—more than 700,000 hard-cover copies sold so far—been co-opted? About 30 protesting members of the Turk Street Running Club in San Francisco obviously thought so when Fixx showed up there a fortnight ago for a 10,000-meter run sponsored by Quaker Oats. Shouting "Down with sugar" and "Fixx is fixed," the young Turks distributed leaflets charging that in his book Fixx rejected excessive use of sugar but now endorses Quaker's "100% Natural," which contains 21% or more sugar. The Turks also claimed that Fixx was getting $3,000 to run in the race. Although none of them could cite a source for that figure, their mention of money was sufficient to frighten off some runners fearful of losing their AAU status. Of the 5,000 runners on hand, 400 started 11 minutes ahead of the main group in what the Turks called the first protest against the commercialization of running.

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