Upon hearing of the President's decision to name him, Thomas said, "I intend to follow the same course as Bill Ruckelshaus." That's a good sign, of course, but Thomas will inherit all the problems that bedeviled Ruckelshaus. He will face fights and budget cuts, and he'll have no friends in the White House and even less political clout than Ruckelshaus had. Rep. John D. Dingell (D., Mich.) has likened Thomas to Daniel in the lion's den. It's difficult and tiring fighting lions, as his predecessor found out.
THE WINNER AND STILL DON KING
A sentence in a wire-service account of Greg Page's surprising eighth-round knockout of defending WBA champion Gerry Coetzee last Saturday night in Sun City, South Africa caught the spirit of the jumbled heavyweight division. It read, "Coetzee lost to Mike Weaver and John Tate on his way to the championship." The report also said that Page lost to Tim Witherspoon and David Bey on his way to the championship. And it might have noted that losing doesn't seem to matter and that, in any case, new champ Page rules only one-third of the heavyweight division. Pinklon Thomas is the WBC titleholder, and Larry Holmes, the true champion, is technically king of only the IBF version of the crown.
Furthermore, the real winner of the Page-Coetzee go was promoter Don King, who didn't promote the fight but who was paid $1 million—considerably more than either of the principals—to release Page and Coetzee from promotional deals they had with him. King is the big winner in another sense, too. He controls Page, and he controls Thomas. He doesn't control Holmes, but now if Holmes wants a big-money fight, he'll have to come to King to get it. Holmes backed out of an earlier Page fight because he felt there wasn't enough money in it to risk meeting that erratic but dangerous fighter. Now Page, who seldom trained properly and often came into the ring overweight, is being handled by the astute Janks Morton, one of Sugar Ray Leonard's trainers, and as the knockout of Coetzee demonstrates, Page seems at last to be making proper use of his undeniable talent. A Holmes-Page fight could be a great one—as Don King knows.
You say you'd like dinner with Angie Dickinson? A balloon ride over the Loire Valley? A two-week vacation for you and a few pals in a four-bedroom house in Majorca, complete with cook, gardener and tennis court? Or a walk-on part in Guiding Light?
Well, these are just a few of the 699 items that were sold at Auction '84, a huge, more or less simultaneous coast-to-coast sale held on Nov. 16 to benefit women's athletics at Stanford. Benefactors of the university met for cocktails and dinner in San Francisco, Denver, Washington and New York, where separate auctions were held. Later in the evening (8:30 p.m. P.S.T. in California, 9:30 M.S.T in Colorado and 11:30 E.S.T on the East coast) a cable-TV hookup connected the four cities for a unified grand finale. And it was grand. The bit part in Guiding Light sold for $9,000, and the Loire balloon ride brought $10,500. Dinner with Dickinson went for $13,000, while the Majorcan vacation was knocked down for a cool $17,000.
In all, Auction '84 raised almost $1 million for Stanford's women's sports program. That must have been some consolation for the school's president, Donald Kennedy, particularly since bids for lunch with Kennedy and his wife, Jeanne, at Stanford's historic Lou Henry Hoover house topped out at a mere $4,000.