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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
GRAVY IN THE SUGAR BOWL
Governor Marvin Griffin of Georgia, his pen dripping with a thick old-fashioned demagogic gravy, signed a telegram the other day. It called upon the state's Board of Regents to put a stop forever to such things as the Georgia Tech game at New Orleans on January 2, in which a Negro will play for Pitt.
"The South," he mouthed, "stands at Armageddon. The battle is joined. We cannot make the slightest concession to the enemy in this dark and lamentable hour of struggle." Immediately these words produced an ugly cloud somewhat larger than a gravy spot on a slobbering politician's vest.
Georgia Tech students and some high school followers formed a rabble army 4,000 strong which marched to chanted vulgarisms through downtown Atlanta, up to the state capitol grounds and three miles onward to the governor's mansion. They paused en route to hang the governor in effigy a dozen times, scuffled with police, rolled ash cans into the streets and carried additional vulgarities on signs: "Griffin sits on his brains," "We hate nigger haters," "We'll play anybody."
Governor Griffin did not come out to greet them. He paced the floor inside the mansion, declaiming from time to time that a man does not change his principles because of a demonstration. About 3 a.m. the students retired to their dormitories, and next day word went out that the governor was through sending telegrams for a while.
The Regents decided that Tech can play in the Sugar Bowl this year but that hereafter neither Tech nor any other Georgia team may play non-segregated football in the South, although they may do so up North. They praised the governor for his "courageous stand...[and] inspiring leadership in protecting inviolate the sacred institutions of our people."
That's the way it stands, at least until next season. Target of the governor's outburst was Bobby Grier, reserve fullback and only Negro on the Pitt team. At Pitt there was a composed silence, and it fell pleasantly on the ear.
On the principle that "golf is too great a sport to have any taint of gambling attached to it," Bing Crosby has decided that his $15,000 national pro-amateur tournament at Del Monte will be conducted next month without the added attraction of a Calcutta pool.
The decision was made, of course, in the turbulent backwash of the Deep-dale Country Club's unfortunate experience with a Calcutta (SI, Nov. 14). On the basis of a relatively modest $45,000 pool, Deepdale attracted at least two ringers with falsified handicaps. One golfer who has followed Calcuttas with a disapproving eye estimates that 100 such pools a year involve $30,000 or more apiece—among recent pools, Palm Springs at $85,000, Greenbrier at $85,000, Nassau at $96,000. At last January's Crosby tournament the Calcutta was $71,750.