To bring about the necessary reforms, state commissions would have to maintain accurate records on fighters and promptly share information with one another as well as with foreign authorities. Willie Classen, who died in New York on Nov. 28, had succeeded in hiding from that state's commission the fact that he had been knocked out in England six weeks earlier, and there also was confusion about the record of Tony Thomas, who died in Spartanburg, S.C. on Jan. 1. New York State Athletic Commissioner Jack Prenderville calls for creation of a national federation of commissions to implement uniform licensing, judging and medical procedures. This organization also would maintain information on fighters, an objective Prenderville hopes to foster by means of a computerized record-keeping system. He and others further advocate the introduction of a passportlike document containing a boxer's ring record and medical history. The passport would be surrendered before each bout and updated and returned to the boxer afterward.
Trouble is, all this requires cooperation among local commissions, which often are run by political appointees who care little about the sport. As Prenderville says, "We need to be unified, or else we'll be legislated by Washington. We need strong reciprocal agreement among the states." Prenderville's apprehensions are justified: the case for federal regulation of boxing is looking stronger all the time.
The most esoteric statistic in sports may well be a new one kept for the University of Georgia basketball team. Under the heading "Basketball Bulldogs Doing Well Academically from Fall Reports" (or, we suppose, BBDWAFFR, for short), a recent press release proudly reports: " Georgia's basketball team passed over 93% of hours attempted. The Georgia cagers attempted 225 hours for the fall and passed 210."
BUSH LANDS A BEAUTY
Darrell Royal backs John Connally, Rocky Graziano supports Ronald Reagan, and Roosevelt Grier is for Jimmy Carter. But George Bush has outdone them all by reeling in the endorsement of Ray Scott of Montgomery, Ala. Ray Scott? He's president and board chairman of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS), which has a cohesive membership of 350,000. And because many of the BASSers live in the South, Scott's support could carry weight in the Republican primaries in South Carolina on March 8 and in Florida, Alabama and Georgia three days later.
Scott, a member of Bush's national steering committee and his Alabama campaign chairman, calls Bush "the only guy who has come out for outdoor sports since Teddy Roosevelt." He also notes that Bush supports a proposed 3% federal excise tax on boats and other marine equipment to fund fishery research. Tackle manufacturers pay an excise tax of 10% for that purpose, and BASS and other fishing organizations deem it only fair that boat manufacturers pony up, too. And the fact that Bush likes to fish doesn't diminish him any in Scott's eyes, either.
"He's primarily a saltwater fisherman—Spanish mackerel, redfish and speckled trout—but I've been bass fishing with him," says Scott. "He's a good lefthanded caster, and he outfished me by taking a 4�-pound bass on a white skirted spinner bait. Even if he didn't handle a rod and reel well, I'd still vote for him. But it helps that he does."
Scott says his slogan is "A bass in every bush," and while he may be overdoing it there in his search for a play on words, Scott's clout should not be underestimated. He sent letters praising Bush to BASS' 19,000 members in Florida before a GOP statewide straw vote last fall in which Bush ran a surprisingly strong third behind Reagan and Connally. He now plans to mail 21,000 similar letters to members in South Carolina and Alabama. The letters will urge recipients to "cast"—no straining there—their ballots for Bush.
While Ray Scott fished for 1980 votes, a spectator at the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am golf tournament was already thinking about the Presidential election four years hence. As Gerald Ford walked the fairway during a round in the celebrity portion of the tournament, the fellow yelled, "How about '84, Jerry?"