If that sounds as though someone were turning the 100-meter butterfly at the 1984 Olympics into an aquatic Kentucky Derby, well, that's just what Norman Sarsfield, honorary secretary of the European Swimming Federation (LEN), wants to do to many swimming races. At next week's LEN meeting in Malta, Sarsfield will propose that in the future swimmers race around buoys 10 meters from the sides of the pool in much the same pattern as horses galloping around a track. He claims that the change will make swimming more marketable on television and thereby encourage both increased corporate sponsorship of the sport and greater participation among youngsters.
When asked for his reaction to the proposal, Britain's world-class breast-stroker Adrian Moorhouse said, "It's a very bad idea, very silly indeed. You have to laugh. It's the only possible reaction. If the guy is serious about it, then he should try swimming round in a circle.... I don't train 20 hours a week to swim round in circles."
FIRST THINGS FIRST
FBI representatives have been touring baseball spring training camps in Florida to lecture players about the dangers of gamblers and gambling. Last week the FBI men were in Vero Beach to address the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their lecture had to be delayed 15 minutes, however, so the L.A. players could finish making their choices in the team's NCAA basketball tournament pool.
RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT
Michael Dukakis is a Democrat from way back. Owen Canfield of The Hartford Courant found a 1954 yearbook from Swarthmore (Pa.) College, the presidential candidate's alma mater. In it was a picture of the cross-country team with this caption: "Swarthmore harriers Chuck Loucks, Frank Irish, captain George Hastings and Mike Dukakis, who runs as if he was being chased by a Republican."
NO MORE, PLEASE
It would have been the joke of the week if it hadn't been so pathetic: In a 10-round fight in Nashville, Randall (Tex) Cobb, 33, who fought Larry Holmes for the heavyweight title in 1982 and lost in 15 rounds, met former heavyweight champ Leon Spinks, 34. Both were sadly out of shape. Cobb, who lately has been concentrating on his acting career, won a narrow decision but afterward had to be hospitalized overnight for a concussion and exhaustion. Spinks was weary and bleeding from the mouth as early as the fourth round; in the sixth, his well-worn trunks lost their elasticity, and he had to fight the rest of the bout with duct tape around his waistband.
Summed up NBC commentator Dr. Ferdie Pacheco: "It was an endurance contest to see who could make it to the final bell, and they both lost."
HOOPSTERS WITH HEART
A special St. Louis University Medical Center basketball team took the floor to play a halftime exhibition at a recent St. Louis U home game. All 14 of the team's players were heart transplant patients. "These people want to show that you can live a normal life after a transplant," said coach and cardiologist Dr. Leslie Miller. "They can run and play hard."
Miller also allowed that the exhibition had an ulterior purpose. "More doctors are recommending patients for transplants every day, and we simply need more organs," he said. The 5,412 fans at Kiel Auditorium were handed donor cards at the door.