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On a memorable weekend in 1958, Wilt Chamberlain of the University of Kansas pulled off an impressive athletic double, scoring 32 points in a 60-59 basketball overtime victory over Oklahoma in Lawrence on a Friday night, then tying for the Big Eight high-jump championship by clearing 6'6�" in the conference indoor track meet the next afternoon in Kansas City. Last week Kansas junior Tyke Peacock achieved an even more breathless basketball-high jump double. The 6'1" Peacock is out of Chamberlain's league in basketball: He has averaged 3.9 points per game this season as a reserve point guard. But he outstrips Wilt as a high jumper, having won the World Cup title last summer in Rome with a jump of 7'5�". And what confronted him now was quite a challenge. The Jayhawks were scheduled to play Iowa State in basketball in Lawrence at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday, and the high-jump competition at the Big Eight indoors was due to begin in Lincoln, Neb., 180 miles away, at 3 p.m. the same day.
The only reason Peacock could even hope to compete in both places was that Kansas basketball Coach Ted Owens had arranged earlier in the week to move the Iowa State game, for Peacock's benefit, an hour ahead of its original scheduled starting time of 2:05 p.m. Peacock wound up playing 20 minutes, scoring six points in a 63-61 loss to the Cyclones. The game ended at 2:50 p.m. Still in basketball uniform, Peacock was driven under police escort on the 10-minute trip from Allen Field House to Lawrence Airport, where he boarded a Cessna Citation owned by an anonymous Kansas booster for a 33-minute flight to Lincoln, during which he changed into his track uniform. The plane landed in Lincoln at 3:32 p.m., and Peacock was whisked by van to the Bob Devaney Sports Center in barely six minutes.
The high-jump competition was by now well under way. That morning track coaches of the other Big Eight schools had voted to disqualify Peacock if he arrived after the high jump began, but they later relented during what participants described as an emotional meeting. The high-jump competition began at 6'5", and Kansas Coach Bob Timmons arranged to have Peacock pass at that height. The bar was at 6'9" when Peacock showed up, and he passed at that height, too. He then cleared 6'11" on his first jump, 7'1" on his third jump and, finally, 7'3�" on his second try to win the event, set a Big Eight indoor record and help Kansas win the conference championship. Peacock intimated that he might have jumped even higher if he hadn't been so "sore and tired" from playing basketball, but he didn't dare complain too much about that. After all, the basketball game could have gone into, say, triple overtime.
DOWN TWO, DOUBLED AND VULNERABLE
Dr. Richard Katz played in a duplicate bridge tournament last weekend at the Wild Whist Club in Los Angeles. So did Larry Cohen. What's noteworthy about this is that five years ago Katz and Cohen, one of this country's leading pairs, withdrew under pressure from the North American team trials in Houston and resigned from the American Contract Bridge League. The reason: The ACBL had accused them of cheating, claiming that the two had exchanged information during the bidding by means of intricate signals involving sniffs and coughs (SI, April 11, 1977).
Katz and Cohen brought a $44 million defamation suit against the league, but last week, just as the case was about to come to trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, a settlement was reached. Both players were readmitted, effective immediately, to the ACBL. It was also agreed that the ACBL's insurance carrier would pay the players' legal fees of $75,000. However, another stipulation was that for at least two years Katz and Cohen wouldn't be allowed to play as partners, which is why Katz was playing with his wife, Pat, at the Wild Whist while Cohen played with Gogi Petrasek. Katz called this last provision "a face-saver" for the ACBL, the implication being that the league had, in bridge parlance, gone down two, doubled and vulnerable. Indeed, the league's willingness to readmit Katz and Cohen suggests that it may have had doubts about its ability to prove in court that they had, in fact, cheated. On the other hand, Katz and Cohen will have trouble claiming that they've been vindicated by a settlement under whose terms they chose not to try to clear their names in court and are still conspicuously prohibited from playing together as partners.
THE NEW KING OF ARBITRATION
Baseball salary arbitration is something of a crap shoot. Arbitrators rule either for the players or the club, no compromises allowed. This year, for the first time since 1978, more players than owners crapped out. Of the 22 cases that reached arbitration, the clubs won 14. Player agent Steve Greenberg blames the players' poor showing partly on last year's strike; players, he says, weren't able to build up impressive or credible statistics over the abbreviated season. He also believes that some clubs, stung by arbitration losses in recent years, were purposely low-balling in prearbitration negotiations to induce players to submit bids higher than they should have.
Another factor was the presence on management's side in eight of the 22 cases of Tal Smith Enterprises, a new consulting firm specializing in baseball salary arbitration. The four teams represented by Smith, a former Yankee executive vice-president and Astro president and general manager, won seven of those eight cases, saving the clubs more than $1 million in salaries. In the process, Smith dethroned as king of arbitration player-agent Dick Moss, who during one four-year stretch had won eight straight cases but who lost to Smith in all three head-to-head confrontations between the two this year.