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If those acres are filled, the federal government will pay 90% of the project's estimated $4 billion cost, while the river may lose 30% to 60% of its stripers. It makes no sense at all to pass a bill piously calling for conservation of striped bass and at the same time provide federal funding for a project that would torpedo Noah's ark.
To nobody's surprise, Lou Saban quit last week as football coach at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Saban, 63, is unquestionably the world-record holder (sports division) for changing jobs, having had 18 of them in 34 years. When he took a powder at Central Florida with 10 months to go on his contract, he mumbled something about "lack of support by the administration," and he also somehow blamed his problems on the athletic department's having no full-time academic adviser. Some folks at Central Florida think that Saban, whose team was 5-6 last year and is 2-6 so far this season, walked because he thought he was going to be fired. That may be true. But mostly he walked because he always walks.
For the record, before he landed at Central Florida, Saban had been coach at Case Institute, an assistant at Washington, an assistant at Northwestern, head coach at Northwestern, an insurance salesman in Chicago, coach at Western Illinois, coach of the Boston Patriots, scout for the Buffalo Bills, coach of the Bills, coach at Maryland, coach of the Denver Broncos, general manager of the Broncos, coach of the Bills (again), athletic director at the University of Cincinnati (for 19 days), coach and athletic director at Miami, coach at Army, executive assistant at Tampa Downs and the New York Yankees' president.
As that list suggests, Saban's ability to keep coming up with new coaching jobs is pretty amazing for a guy who has been a loser both in the college ranks (52-66-4) and the pros (96-102-7). Last year in a feature story on Saban, SI senior writer Douglas S. Looney noted that at the time Saban took the Central Florida position, he'd averaged 1.8333 years at each of his previous jobs. He was just about on schedule at Central Florida, where he lasted 1.7972 years.
Woody Woodward, assistant general manager of the Cincinnati Reds, feels that baseball may be hard-pressed in the future to find people with big league experience who are willing to stay on in the game as managers, coaches and instructors. Top stars have shown little interest in recent years in becoming managers ( Pete Rose of the Reds is a notable exception), particularly in the traditional training ground of the minor leagues. Now, says Woodward, that attitude is becoming evident among lesser players, too. It's from this group—those who have had to battle their way in the game, using hard-won knowledge to augment their skills—that the best managers have often come (the World Series skippers, Sparky Anderson of the Tigers and Dick Williams of the Padres, are prime examples). A number of such players have always looked upon baseball as a lifetime career, something to stay with after their playing days are over. That is no longer the case.
"Take a look at the financial packages given to players of lower quality," Woodward says. "The multiyear deals, the big money. If they invest correctly, these players aren't going to have to worry a great deal about making a living after they finish playing." The standard of living they have been used to as major-leaguers makes the modest salaries and Spartan life in the minors distinctly unappealing.
Woodward mentions two of the Reds' best minor league instructors, Ted Kluszewski and Danny Litwhiler, whose major league careers ended long before the dawn of ultrahigh salaries. "Down the road," Woodward says, "I don't think we'll be able to keep this type of person in the game."
Unless, of course, the owners break down and raise the salaries of managers, coaches and instructors just as they have done with the players.