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On Monday morning, Nicklaus finished his round with all pars for a 70 and a 72-hole total of 279, three strokes shy of the co-leaders, Rocco Mediate and Curtis Strange. (Mediate won in a playoff.) On each of the last four holes, Nicklaus had a makeable birdie putt, but he missed all of them and ended up in a tie for sixth. Still, his performance at Doral showed that old Jack can still play some golf.
In an item in this space a week ago on the NFL's plans to experiment with pay-per-view TV, we raised two sensitive issues: 1) the possibility of pay-per-view for such big events as the Super Bowl and 2) the seemingly elite nature of the pay-per-view audience. Last week the NFL announced the appointment of Neil Austrian as president and chief operating officer. Austrian was previously a director of the investment firm of Dillon Read & Co., and before that he was chairman of Showtime, the cable channel. Given his background, Austrian is well qualified to speak on the issues we raised, and he was willing to do so.
"To the best of my knowledge, the NFL has no firm plans for pay-per-view," said Austrian. "To me, football is the American game, not baseball, and that is because of the wide availability of games. It would be very shortsighted on our part to take games off free TV. If we were to do pay-per-view, it would only be for the avid fan who wants additional games. Will the Super Bowl ever be on pay TV? Well, the commissioner [ Paul Tagliabue] doesn't see it in his lifetime, and I believe him.
"As for the concept that pay-per-view is only for the elite, don't forget that 50 percent of the households in this country have cable. People are paying for games as it is. I know I am when I see my monthly cable bill. Pay-per-view is not just for the affluent. Its biggest success has been for WrestleMania, which has a wide demographic profile."
So why do some fans, journalists and congressmen fear pay-per-view?
"It's natural that people look for the devil as they look ahead," says Austrian. "But the devil's not there."
Princeton University justifiably prides itself on the diversity of its student body. But when the school admitted an 18-year-old, self-educated distance-running phenom named Alexi Indris-Santana three years ago, it got a bit more diversity than it bargained for. Last week Indris-Santana, a sophomore member of the Tiger track and cross-country teams, was revealed to be James Arthur Hogue, a 31-year-old alumnus of a Utah state prison.
On Feb. 26, Princeton Borough police, armed with a warrant for parole violations, arrested Hogue outside a geology class. News of the charade sent the media to the campus. "We haven't had this much attention since Brooke Shields graduated," said a university spokesman.