FINGER ON THE PULSE
The embattled Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, which considered granting a manager's license to hoodlum Frank (Blinky) Palermo until his lawyer withdrew the application because of press criticism last March, has taken a shot in the chops from State Auditor Al Benedict.
After inspecting records for the last three years, Benedict says the commission is violating its own rules and regulations, which are designed to protect contestants from physical injury. For instance, the auditor says he "could find no evidence that postfight physical examinations were being performed, a violation of the Pennsylvania Athletic Code. And the root of the problem appears to be that the Medical Advisory Board to the commission, which sets the standards for physical examinations, had not held a single meeting in 18 years."
Benedict also questions whether some prefight physicals were given at all. For one card in Pittsburgh, the prefight physician reports showed that 15 of the 16 contestants had exactly the same blood pressure, and 11 of those 15 had identical pulse rates. A further strange coincidence: the reports indicate that every one of the 16 contestants had a chest X ray in 1975.
The University of Florida did a rather clumsy job of changing football coaches recently. Perhaps it was because the Gators haven't had much experience at it; Florida has had only three football coaches in the last 29 years—Bob Woodruff, Ray Graves and, since 1970, Doug Dickey. After the Gators lost to Florida State 38-21, it was a foregone conclusion that Dickey was foregone. But University President Robert Q. Marston left everyone hanging until the following Wednesday, when he was informed that Florida alumni had raised enough money to buy up the last three years of Dickey's four-year contract. The midweek announcement didn't exactly help the team in its preparation for its final game, against Miami, and Dickey went out losing, 22-21.
Marston meanwhile appointed a 13-man search committee, which came up with a list of 45 candidates. The search would have ended if Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz had accepted, but Florida hedged too long, and to quell the rumors Holtz had to promise Arkansas Governor William Clinton that he would stay.
By Monday morning, Florida had decided to hire Clemson Coach Charley Pell. However, the committee neglected to call off the search. At noon on Monday, Ron Meyer of Southern Methodist flew from Dallas to Washington to meet with a Florida delegate. When Meyer landed, nobody was there to greet him. He did spy the familiar face of Navy Coach George Welsh, though. Welsh had been waiting for two hours to talk to the same man. When the delegate finally arrived, he told Welsh and Meyer that the job had already been filled.
OFF AND DRIBBLING
In Milwaukee there were front-page headlines five days before the game. In Chicago, TV stations were building up the game daily, and ABC even sent a film crew to a pregame cocktail party. Women's professional basketball became a reality last Saturday afternoon when the Chicago Hustle defeated the Milwaukee Does 92-87. It was a highly respectable debut, in Milwaukee Arena, for the Women's Professional Basketball League, which claims its eight franchises ( Minnesota, Dayton, New Jersey, Houston, New York and Iowa, in addition to Milwaukee and Chicago) will have to average 3,000 fans a game over a 34-game schedule to survive.