The much-ballyhooed contest raised expectations that college football's newest postseason classic would receive an evocative, maybe even a daring, name. The Diabowl (for the Diablo mountain range nearby)? The Wink Chase Bowl (for the game's executive director)? The 200 Miles North of the Rose Bowl Bowl? The Why Were We Left Out of the Poll Bowl (because PCAA and Mid-American champions are not usually nationally ranked)? Well, the contest is over now, and if the 1,003 entries contained any such exotic nominees, they got nowhere. The judges selected—ah, yes—the California Bowl. Wanna bet Raisin Bowl was the first runner-up?
PUTTING FIRST THINGS FIRST
If track and field fans ever agreed on anything, it was that teen-age shotput phenom Michael Carter should stay away from football until after the 1980 Olympics (SI, July 2). The fear was that Carter, who was recruited by SMU in both football and track, might hurt himself on the gridiron and impair his chances for a gold medal at Moscow. Such trepidations only increased when Carter, who had tossed the 12-pound shot 81'3�", a staggering nine feet farther than the previous world record for the 18-and-under age group, suffered cartilage damage in his left knee last summer while lifting weights during shotput training.
Nevertheless, Carter reported for football at SMU and won a starting job at defensive tackle. He promptly banged up his ailing knee in the season opener against Rice, which forced him to miss the Texas Christian game. After taking pain-killers, Carter played briefly against North Texas State and Tulane, but two weeks ago underwent what was described as relatively minor arthroscopic surgery at Baylor Hospital. Carter says he has learned his lesson. Rather than risk further injury in football, he will make no effort to return to the game this season. Instead, he will now devote himself exclusively to the shotput.
Carter expects to start running next week, but it is too soon to tell how his injury might affect his Olympic chances. In any case, he blames only himself. He says Mustang coaches gave him the option of skipping football until the Olympics were over but that he decided to play because he enjoys the game. "I know I'm going to hear it from all the track people now," he says, "but I was doing what I wanted to do."
To businessmen who operate in different parts of the country, the welter of conflicting state and municipal tax laws can be bewildering. Although members of pro sports teams travel from state to state to earn a living, they haven't had to worry much about local tax men putting the bite on them.
Now, because of the rising salaries of those athletes, the situation appears to be changing. Recently California, Minnesota and the city of Cleveland have begun holding visiting players liable for taxes on personal income earned within their respective borders, and tax collectors elsewhere are expected to follow suit. As Jeff Cauthen, statewide withholding coordinator for the California Franchise Tax Board, says, "Our authority to tax out-of-state athletes has always been there, but as a practical matter we didn't do it. Now we're getting more aggressive."
California's aggressiveness is partly explained by the fact that it boasts more big league franchises than any other state, and thus has more teams coming into the state on road trips. Last spring, at California's request, major league baseball clubs in other states began withholding California personal income taxes from player paychecks. And California authorities are "studying the possibility" of asking NFL and NBA clubs to do the same.
As interpreted by California officials, visiting ballplayers are subject to California personal income tax for all "duty days" spent in the state, a term that covers layovers as well as game days. A typical National League ballplayer might log 180 duty days during the year, with perhaps 18 of them in California, and if he draws, say, a $300,000 salary, roughly $30,000 would be considered California income. Under California's maximum personal income tax rate of 11%, the state's take, after exemptions, could be as much as $2,000. The player presumably would be entitled to claim a corresponding tax credit in his home state, which might be tempted to recoup such losses by taxing visiting athletes, too. As the shadow of multiple taxation spreads across the playing fields, New England Patriot Business Manager Jim Valek says, "This is crazy. We'll need 15 CPAs to keep everything straight."