WATT STEPS DOWN
The ill-considered remark that led to Interior Secretary James Watt's resignation on Sunday wasn't an isolated phenomenon. Watt's offensive reference to the commission he appointed to review his coal-leasing program as consisting of "a black...a woman, two Jews and a cripple" was, like his many other insensitive utterances, a product of the same atrocious judgment he displayed in making public policy. One of Watt's most ardent champions, Wyoming Republican Senator Alan Simpson, tried to explain away the crack as simply an example of Watt's lead-balloon sense of humor. But a man who doesn't know what's funny may also have trouble discerning what's serious, and Watt made a joke of his office with his often unseemly eagerness to develop or dispose of the public lands in his trust. It would be unfortunate if history records that Watt left office merely because of an intemperate remark. He was guilty of worse.
CONFUSION ON ICE
Just when we thought we had the new conference alignments in Eastern college hockey all figured out, they went and shook things up again. Last time we looked (SCORECARD, Oct. 3), the six hockey-playing Ivy League schools had decided to split off from the Eastern College Athletic Conference and join with Vermont, RPI and Colgate to form a new Division I conference. The Ivy League Six had become, you might say, the Elite Nine. The ECAC's eight remaining Division I teams—Boston University, Boston College, Clarkson, St. Lawrence, Providence, Northeastern, New Hampshire and Maine—were meanwhile planning to band together to form what was immediately called the Super Eight. Out in the cold was the East's newest Division I team, the University of Lowell (Mass.), which neither the Elite Nine nor the Super Eight seemed to want. Lowell was very much the Lonesome One.
Well, now you can forget all that. In an apparent stroke of conscience, the Super Eight ultimately decided to admit Lowell after all, thereby eliminating the Lonesome One and creating the Super Nine. In actions evidently unrelated to the admission of Lowell, St. Lawrence and Clarkson elected at about the same time to defect and join the other conference. That turned the Elite Nine, heretofore the Ivy League Six, into the Crowded Eleven and shrank the Super Nine, previously the Super Eight, into what was informally dubbed The Magnificent Seven.
We hope you have all that straight, because we're not repeating it.
A JONESIAN DEED
When Barry McDermott wrote a month ago that golfer Jay Sigel was "as close...to [Bobby] Jones as a man can get" (SI, Sept. 12), he didn't know how right he was. Sigel, who had just won his second straight U.S. Amateur, last week became the first man since Jones to win two USGA national titles in the same year. Of course, when Jones pulled off his double in 1930, the victories came in the U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur (he also won the British versions of both events that year), whereas Sigel added the Mid-Amateur, played in Englewood, Colo., to his Amateur title.
But what on earth is the Mid-Amateur? It's a tournament especially created for true amateurs like Sigel, a 39-year-old insurance salesman from Berwyn, Pa. With the Open long since given over to the pros and with the Amateur increasingly dominated by PGA-bound hot-shots on scholarships at Sun Belt colleges, the USGA three years ago devised the Mid-Amateur for amateurs 25 and older. "The working man's amateur," as the USGA likes to call it, runs from Saturday through Thursday, thereby enabling working stiffs to play in the first two days' qualifying rounds and still make it back to the office Monday morning if they miss the cut. "During the later rounds, it's not unusual for a player to stop and call his office after nine holes," says John Morris of the USGA.
In the final, Sigel beat Randy Sonnier one-up, then dashed to the Denver airport to catch a 3 p.m. flight to Philadelphia so he could be back at his office Friday. But first he picked up his prize—the Robert T. Jones Jr. Memorial Trophy.