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A FRUSTRATED PRO
Wes Santee's article of confession in a recent issue of LIFE—in which he openly revealed, just as the 1956 Olympic Games were about to begin in Australia, the sums of excess expense money he had accepted for running the mile in various track meets during his somewhat tainted amateur career—served to swing the spotlight momentarily back on a lonely young man who, if he had conducted himself otherwise, might well have been the favorite in the classic Olympic 1,500-meter run.
Santee is, of course, an athletic tragedy, a man cut down by legality in the prime of his career. He is bitter about it and (human nature being what it is) lays about him with angry words. He names names of track meet promoters and lists large sums of money he says they paid him—which makes them as guilty of violating the amateur code as he was.
But the real tragedy of the whole situation seems to lie in the fact that nowhere in his public confession does Santee give any impression whatever that he feels he did anything wrong in accepting money to run, even though he was competing, ostensibly, as an amateur in what were, ostensibly, amateur track meets. He does not seem disturbed by the betrayal of the amateur idea by those who paid him while supposedly upholding amateurism. Rather, he seems to accuse them, and indeed the AAU itself, of sham and hypocrisy in making it so difficult for him to receive just payment for his labors. Santee, in other words, appears not as a compromised amateur but as a frustrated professional with a thoroughly professional attitude: competing as a topflight runner is hard work and should be paid for.
All this brings to mind the words of Dr. Harvie Branscomb, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University, who was quoted here two weeks ago on the subjects of amateurism and sportsmanship.
"Sportsmanship means basic moral character," said Dr. Branscomb. "The Code of Sportsmanship [is not] a set of moral maxims...but a part of the happy injunction to 'play the game.' ...We have all heard and said much about the dangers of commercialism in amateur sport, and they are real. Instead of the game, the money becomes the chief thing and one plays not for fun, friendship and glory but for the publicity and the signed offer.... We cannot have amateur players and commercial management. The institutions which sponsor our athletics will have to be challenged to remain amateur also."
ALL THAT GLITTERS
In recent, prosperous years the goldfish has gone the way of the hand-rolled cigaret and the windup phonograph—something fancier and higher-priced has just about taken over the field. Tropical fish, in limitless varieties and shapes and colors, now dominate the country's living-room aquariums. But when vacation time comes, and the family ponders the fish problem and decides it would be more humane to pour the poor creatures into the nearest lake than to let them starve in the tank, guess who survives? If anybody does, it's the goldfish.
Take Upper Echo Lake, near Mountainside, N.J. Two years ago the New Jersey Fish and Game Commission stocked the lake with largemouth bass. This fall, curious to see how the bass were doing, game biologists lowered the water level and had a look. The bass were there, all right, and had grown from fingerlings to handsome specimens of 13� inches. But the real owners of the lake were the goldfish. And they weren't the tiny, fragile creatures that had glittered in Mountainside aquariums; they were a foot long and weighed a pound.
The curious thing was they were all a foot long and weighed a pound. There were no young fish—only full-grown ones. One possible explanation is that the goldfish, following the mysterious habit of their relatives the carp, just decided not to spawn for a few seasons.