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A day or so after trumpets sounded at Cortina to signal the opening of the Winter Games, a semiforgotten man named John Landy, half a world away, blew a blast of his own. It was rather like an offstage trumpet, a warning, you might say, of things to come.
Australians had been thinking of Landy as a suitable chap to trot into Melbourne stadium next November bearing the traditional Olympic flame—an honor usually reserved for an athletic hero of a bygone day. But John Landy, who recently unretired himself, got on his mark at Melbourne one day last week for his first competitive mile in 17 months and blasted home in three minutes 58.6 seconds—the second fastest mile ever run by man. Incidentally, the fastest ever run was by John Landy too, before he gave up running to be a schoolteacher.
Landy, of course, is not the man to be satisfied with a mere 3:58.6. He has set himself a March goal: "To run inside four minutes...I mean well inside four minutes [SI, Jan. 23]."
Australia can start looking for another retired chap to do that torch-bearer bit next November.
TWO VIEWS OF FOOTBALL
Horrible as it may sound to Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins, the University of Chicago came close to taking up intercollegiate football once again. Chancellor Lawrence A. Kimpton, who succeeded Bob Hutchins as head man at Chicago and showed how different he was by announcing he liked football, appointed a faculty committee last spring to study the problem of whether Chicago should resume the game. By petition the student body had already endorsed the idea, and Kimpton decided it was high time to review the whole situation. It had been 16 years since Hutchins had succeeded in having football banished from the campus, and obviously there was a different sentiment as well as a different chancellor abroad on the Midway.
Last December, Kimpton's special committee recommended dropping Chicago's ban on football as a first move toward restoring the game in a modest way. "We believe that the University of Chicago should be able to play football on a truly amateur basis, without overemphasis and its attendant problems," said the committee report. "Football, like all other athletic activities at the university, should be supported from educational funds, and its continuance should not depend on gate receipts or spectator interest. The emphasis should be on enjoyment of the game by the players."
The recommendation went directly to the university's Senate Council, a faculty board with life-and-death authority over such matters. There, on the suggestion of Professor Morton Grodzins, a political scientist who considers intercollegiate football subversive, discussion was cut short. "We all know what we think," said Grodzins. "Why don't we vote right away?" So, without referring the matter to the customary subcommittee for study, the Senate Council voted 24-14 to keep the ban.
There is, of course, another attitude toward intercollegiate football, and it was recalled by the death last week of Colonel Blake R. Van Leer, the 62-year-old president of Georgia Tech. In one of the best short endorsements of the game on record, President Van Leer said a while back: