A GRAND SLAM
Hart Lee Dykes was hardly the first high school football star ever to be exposed to the blandishments of unethical college recruiters and boosters. But Dykes, now an Oklahoma State senior who earned All-America honors at wide receiver this season, has proved different in one respect: According to published reports, NCAA investigators offered him immunity from punishment if he would talk about the improper inducements he was offered when he came out of high school in Bay City, Texas, in 1985, and his cooperation with the investigators sent four major college football programs reeling.
Dykes's testimony is said to have been the key to landing Illinois, Texas A & M, Oklahoma and, last week, his own school on NCAA probation. Oklahoma State, which was found guilty of more than 40 rules violations, including providing cash payments in excess of $5,000 and a sports car to an unnamed player (reported to be Dykes), received the most severe punishment since SMU's football program was shut down by the NCAA in 1987: no television appearances for two years, and a reduction in scholarships and no bowl appearances for three years. Because of the sanctions, the NCAA will allow Cowboy players with three or fewer years of eligibility remaining—including junior running back Barry Sanders, the Heisman Trophy winner—to transfer to another school outside the Big Eight Conference and be eligible to play there immediately if they so wish. Sanders said last week he will stay at Oklahoma State.
With Oklahoma State and Oklahoma on probation in football and defending NCAA champion Kansas on probation in basketball, Big Eight schools could lose more than $4.5 million in shared television, bowl and playoff revenue in the next year. "It hurts bad," says Kansas athletic director Bob Frederick, who believes conference schools may have to trim their athletic programs.
Long after Dykes has gone to the pros, his name may continue to serve as a reminder to college athletic administrators of the increasingly large financial risks that come with cheating.
The Philadelphia Flyers will soon begin test-marketing their own brand of cologne. It will be called Bully.
LAND FOR SALE
Rarely has the Reagan Administration been accused of being too protective of the environment, but a recent position paper put out by The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., took the administration to task for failing to help private interests develop public lands. But in its waning days the administration has in fact been selling off publicly owned oil-shale tracts in the West to developers at a ridiculously low price—$2.50 an acre—and drawing up regulations that will encourage private coal mining on protected lands and hasten the opening of national forests to oil and gas drilling.
President-elect George Bush, who calls himself an environmentalist, has remained distressingly quiet about all this. If he truly plans to be a president who will distinguish himself by protecting public lands and national parks, he should not wait for Inauguration Day to start speaking out against this give away.
DIAMONDS AND RICHES