"I mentally 'rehearse' my kicking by visualizing in my mind the perfect technique," Jacobs says. "Being in the tank is like floating in a black void and produces a deeply relaxed state of mind that makes possible almost total concentration. Then, when I go out to kick, it's like auto-suggestion."
Now a senior, Jacobs is using the isolation tank in a university-approved research project involving 30 fellow students. As for himself, Jacobs this season has kicked 19 straight PATs, extending his streak to 59, within striking distance of the NCAA Division III record of 75. He also has made five field goals in 11 attempts, and while that may seem scarcely better than last year, he notes he has had several near misses at long distance. "Last year I was bothered by crowd noise and pressure," says Jacobs. "Now I'm able to tune out everything when I'm kicking. I've got more distance on my kicks and also more accuracy. I've even kicked a 50-yarder in practice, something I wasn't able to do before. I'm convinced it's all because of the tank."
A RANK ACTION
Since May 1977, when he was transferred to New Jersey's Rahway State Prison to serve a 30-to-40-year sentence for armed robbery, James Scott has fought five matches behind the walls of that institution, rising to second in the World Boxing Association's light-heavyweight rankings. Now, just as he appeared ripe for a title fight against WBA champion Victor Galindez, Scott suddenly finds himself shorn of his ranking.
According to Mandry Galindez, the organization's former president and still a member of its executive committee, the WBA dumped Scott after deciding that as a prisoner he does not set a "good example." Whatever the merits of this position, the objection certainly could have been foreseen when the WBA began ranking Scott a year ago. So could the WBA's claim that Scott's opponents are put at a decided disadvantage by the fact that they can fight him only in prison. Of course, all this is assuming that these are the real reasons for the WBA's action. In Scott's view, he was dropped because of the pervasive influence wielded within the WBA by Bob Arum, who promotes fights of some of the other light heavyweights ranked by that organization. Scott says Arum offered him a promotional contract earlier this year but that Murad Muhammad, who had been promoting his fights, persuaded him to reject it. " Murad Muhammad didn't look after me," Scott says. "If I'd gone with Arum, I'd have a title fight." Instead, thanks to a belated and dubious action by an organization that strung him along for a year, he has nothing. In bitter acknowledgment of that fact, Scott says he is quitting boxing.