- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
LAST CALL FOR 31-YEAR-OLD FROSH
A new rule intended to curb the influx of foreign athletes into U.S. colleges goes into effect next week. The rule, enacted at the NCAA convention last January in New Orleans, specifies that starting on Aug. 1, athletes entering Division I schools will forfeit a year of eligibility for each year of their age beyond 20. The rule applies to everybody, Americans included, but the number of homegrown athletes who enter college after 20 is relatively small. The main targets are overage athletes from abroad who have been a major force at recent NCAA track and field championships.
The new eligibility rule is riddled with loopholes. To allow for careers disrupted by illness or for other reasons, no eligibility is lost for any year in which over-20 athletes were inactive. Also exempted are years in which athletes were in military service; this will benefit Kenyan trackmen, who usually have logged time in the army. Finally, the rule doesn't apply to athletes already enrolled in school, such as shotputter Hreinn Halldorsson of Iceland, a 31-year-old freshman this past year at Alabama.
But the rule change is certainly better than nothing. While it would be xenophobic to ban the recruitment of all foreign stars, whose presence in the college ranks benefits up-and-coming Americans by exposing them to tougher competition—and contributes at least something to international goodwill—the recruitment of overage foreigners is another matter. They tend to be seasoned performers who have an unfair advantage over younger Americans both on the track and in the scramble for scholarships. The new measure will have served its purpose if it eventually cuts into the number of 31-year-old freshmen imported to compete for U.S. schools.
SABAN & SABIN
Over the years, Lou Saban has been head football coach of Case Institute, Northwestern, Western Illinois, the Boston Patriots, the Buffalo Bills, Maryland, the Denver Broncos, the Buffalo Bills (again), the University of Miami and Army and has also held various administrative jobs, including the athletic directorship at the University of Cincinnati for all of 19 days in 1976. Saban was fired from a couple of those jobs but most of the time he quit, sometimes with years left on his contract. But when he abruptly resigned last week from West Point after completing just one year of a five-year contract, the 58-year-old Saban insisted that if he seemed like a bit of a rolling stone, it was only because his peregrinations have been so public. "A lot of people move to improve their positions," he told SI's Bob Sullivan. "How many times have you moved?"
Saban may have a point. As it happens, his entry in the latest edition of Who's Who in America takes up only 18 lines, while the one on Dr. Albert Sabin on the very next page requires 34 lines to relate that the famed polio researcher has worked at eight institutions and been a consultant at several more. Of course, Sabin lasted a bit longer than Saban at Cincinnati, where he settled down long enough to be a professor of pediatrics for 32 years.
You've heard of doubleheaders, double dribbles and double coverage, but how about Double Dutch? That's a style of rope jumping in which not one, but two ropes are used. Two turners swing the ropes in opposite directions, eggbeater style, so that they touch the ground alternately, while one or more other participants jump through the resulting blur of whirling strands. Double Dutch has been popular with generations of nimble-footed American schoolgirls, especially on the sidewalks of big cities.