A TRADITION WE CAN DO WITHOUT
The photo shown here was taken after Harvard fans tore down the goalposts to celebrate the Crimson's 16-7 victory over Yale at New Haven Saturday in the 100th game between the two schools (page 103). As indicated by the bloodstains on the grass and on the crumpled paper at the right edge of the photo, the celebration had an unhappy ending: A metal section of one of the falling goalposts struck an 18-year-old Harvard freshman, Margaret Cimino, in the head. She was hospitalized and was in critical condition as SI went to press.
The accident in New Haven was the saddest of several incidents involving overexuberant fans on college football's last big Saturday of the season. As the Syracuse Orangemen headed for a 27-16 win over West Virginia, jubilant fans hurled oranges onto the field in the Carrier Dome, stopping only when the referee warned over the P.A. system that they were risking a 15-yard penalty for their team. During Notre Dame's 23-22 loss to the Air Force in South Bend, fans surged onto the field after two Irish touchdowns, earning 15-yard penalties for the home team on each occasion. Such intrusions have become all too common in college football in recent years.
Throwing objects and encroaching on the field during games are dangerous and disruptive practices that go beyond the realm of harmless collegiate high jinks. They should be expressly forbidden and punished. The time has also come to demand crackdowns on those who tear down goalposts, a hoary custom that, if it ever had any meaning, has been devalued to the point of absurdity. When Northwestern snapped its NCAA-record 34-game losing streak two years ago, Wildcat rooters tore down the goalposts. They liked it so much that after a win two weeks later, they did it again. Illinois fans demolished goalposts at no fewer than five games this season. At Penn State, the athletic department, tired of replacing posts, offered to donate $4,500, the cost of new ones, to the student activities fund if fans refrained from tearing down any more this season, and Coach Joe Paterno sweetened the deal by personally pledging $500 to a scholarship fund for needy students. After Penn State's 34-30 home-field win over Notre Dame on Nov. 12, students in the stands booed as a group of other students tore down one of the goalposts.
Demolishing goalposts is dangerous as well as expensive, as the serious injuries suffered by Margaret Cimino tragically demonstrated. Harvard's football players were already in the locker room when they heard about what had happened to Cimino, a freestyler on the Crimson women's swim team, and the news cast a pall over the big win over Yale. "They were all excited, pouring champagne on each other, when the word came about Meg," one witness said. "They just sort of stopped their celebration."
ORDER IN THE INTERVIEW AREA
Since becoming the Green Bay Packers' president 18 months ago, Robert J. Parins, a former Brown County Circuit Court judge, has used a court reporter to record all of his interviews with the press. Parins insists that he does so out of simple force of habit, not for fear of being misquoted. "I just feel more comfortable with a record of what I've said," he says. So far, anyway, none of Parins' media interrogators has complained about the court reporter's presence. Jim Cohen, sports editor of The Milwaukee Journal, who recently had a two-hour interview with Parins, said, "I thought it was curious at first. But just as we record others for our protection, he has his own mode of protection. I understand that." Cohen added, with unintentional irony, "I have no objections."
BIGHOUSE'S BIG MILESTONE
When Clarence (Bighouse) Gaines attended his first basketball coaches' clinic, somebody asked him if he was the janitor. The year was 1947, and he was the only black coach at the clinic. But there's no mistaking the Winston-Salem State coach now. The next time his Rams win a game, very likely in the season opener against Barber-Scotia College on Nov. 25, Gaines, 60, will become only the fifth coach in college basketball history to achieve 700 career wins.
The 6'4", 295-pound Gaines may be best known as Earl Monroe's college coach, yet he has two more wins than DePaul's more celebrated Ray Meyer, who at 69 has won 697 games and figures to reach the 700 mark hot on Gaines's heels. Meyer, who's in his 42nd and final season, and Gaines, beginning his 38th, will be the first to make it to 700 since Adolph Rupp and Henry Iba each did so during the '63-64 season (the alltime leader is Rupp, with 875 wins), and it could take a while for anybody else to get that many wins. Only six active coaches besides Gaines and Meyer have as many as 500, the winningest among them being the University of Washington's Marv Harshman, with 596.
Gaines cites present-day competitive pressures and higher coaching turnover rates as deterrents to reaching 700 wins. "Tenure has shortened as the pressures have increased," he says. "If you don't come up with 20-win seasons, they fire you. That's awful rough unless you find a lot of dogs to play."