Other judges may see things differently, but Joiner's ruling seems to imply that teams participating in intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics are entirely separate entities that don't have much to do with the schools they represent. This notion, carried to its logical conclusion, could make one wonder whether those teams should even exist. For athletic directors who might be tempted to applaud Joiner's decision, that's something to think about.
Our get-well wishes to Deane Beman, commissioner of the PGA tour, who's currently recuperating from surgery for an ailment both painful and embarrassing: tennis elbow.
The Major League Baseball Players Association last week set a May 29 strike deadline in its continuing dispute with the owners over what further restrictions, if any, should be placed on a free agent's ability to negotiate with teams of his choice. For the past five years the association has accepted two limitations on its members' freedom to sell themselves to the highest bidder: 1) that only a player with six or more years of big league experience can peddle himself to other teams, and 2) that a club signing such a free agent normally must compensate the player's former team with an amateur draft choice. But the owners, unable to restrain themselves from bidding player salaries to astronomical levels, have been demanding further concessions that might help them exercise a bit of self-control; they ask that any club signing a "ranking" player be obliged to compensate his former team with an active major-leaguer instead of a draft choice. Realizing that this would make most clubs think twice about signing high-priced free agents, the players association has rejected the proposal.
With the threat of a strike only too real, it is hoped that both sides will be flexible in working out an agreement. However, in arguing for greater limitations on free agency than the admittedly minor ones now in effect, the owners may have difficulty explaining away the fact that most Americans enjoy the right to sell themselves on the job market without any restrictions whatsoever. Thus, management's chief spokesman in the current dispute, Ray Grebey, assumed his position as the owners' director of player relations in 1978 after working for two decades for General Electric Co., which, so far as is known, didn't receive a dime—or an executive to be named later—in compensation for him from Bowie Kuhn's office. Then there's Harry Dalton, one of two management representatives on a player-owner committee that recently tried without success to resolve the dispute. When Dalton, seeking to improve his lot, quit as general manager of the California Angels in 1977 to accept the offer of a similar job with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Brewers weren't required to pay any compensation to the Angels. Asked last week how he could in good conscience try to subject the players to restraints that didn't apply to general managers, Dalton said lamely, "We're talking about two entirely different types of careers." And also, one gathers, about two entirely different sets of standards.