By Texas A&M standards (won 6, lost 40 in the last two seasons), Coach Loeffler is doing well in his first year. So far the Aggies have won six games, while losing only 10. But Loeffler (SI, Dec. 12) is a coach who cannot bear to lose at all. Part of his pedagogy in his first year at A&M has been to indoctrinate his Texas boys with the same all-out philosophy. Thus, in a recent game with Rice, he angrily wigwagged one of his players to hustle over to the bench, after the player had fouled out, rather than stop and shake hands with his opponent. Thus, after a recent game with Texas (which the Aggies won, but by a smaller margin than Coach Loeffler found creditable), he stalked off the floor without waiting to shake hands with his Texas rival, Coach Slue Hull.
Texas sportswriters blew the whistle. Asked Jack Gallagher in the Houston Post: "This is character building?" Last week Coach Loeffler sent his answer to Gallagher and other critics.
"As you may suspect by this time, I'm a highly competitive individual of the old school who believes in complete concentration on the job at hand. Coming to Aggieland, I found many boys who played (let us say) gracefully, crowd-consciously with a hero-worshiping complex always of the other fellow. With that paragraph as a premise I'll go on.
"I want my teams (they always have in the past) to start to burn inside about an hour before the game and about an hour after with the intense desire to beat the opponent and dispense with the little superficial niceties that are crowd-pleasing, particularly to nice old ladies and the Back Bay set who look you in the eye and wring your hand in undying fellowship.
"Is there anything more phony than the prizefighters who embrace after gouging each other or the football player who knocks a guy down and then picks him up?
"Hell, this is a contest (a measure of war) and as long as you play by rules let's let him pick himself up. He calls himself a warrior and gets the accolade due one. Part of being a warrior is picking himself up.
"So I don't want my players running all around the floor congratulating people. Maybe after the game, yes. Most of the international trouble of the world today is due to the handshake without meaning...."
Loeffler's concluding injunction to Texas critics: "Get thy foot off my neck."
With parental regret the golfing fathers inserted a new paragraph (1-13) in The Rules of Golf at the annual U.S. Golf Association meeting. The new rule denounces excessive gambling, an action the USGA explained with the following release: