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Coach Hass was delighted with the experiment—though a bit perturbed over a leaky pass defense which permitted all three North Central scores—and he hopes it leads to "a low-pressure, modest operation.... I mean, five or six games with small colleges around Chicago...then perhaps at the end of the season a couple of teams like Yale or Columbia, teams that have a fine name and would draw a fair crowd but wouldn't be too far out of our class.
"I'm not interested in coaching big-time football," said Hass, a Minnesota star in 1931-32. "If that's the kind of football program we end up with, they can find another coach."
Before Chicago winds up with any kind of program, however, the university's regents will have to lift Hutchins' football ban. It cannot be done without the faculty council's approval. The faculty was against it in 1956 but Hass is going to try again this year. He thinks he has a chance.
THE CATAPULT CLUB
The best of the unlimited hydroplanes went thrashing across Nevada's Lake Mead the other Sunday in pursuit of the last big trophy of the season, the Sahara Cup. But for all the effect the race had on the year's hydroplane title they might have been just a hippopotamus herd staging a noisy free-for-all: Hawaii Kai III already had the title cinched on points. Moreover, to the intense satisfaction of experts—such as Lou Fageol who had predicted great things for Hawaii Kai's Rolls-Royce power plant this year (SI, Aug. 12)—the Kai roared off with the Sahara Cup trophy too.
It has been a big year for the unlimited class in hydroplane racing. More boats than ever before competed, a million people turned out to watch as the big craft barnstormed from coast to coast, and millions more watched on home screens. Possibly the only disturbing statistic is that three drivers were catapulted out of their cockpits and into the drink on very short notice—the sort of accident that had previously been rare.
In the Lake Chelan (Wash.) race last May, Russ Schleeh was forced into a tight turn by a stalled competitor and was flung out. Four months later in the President's Cup, Schleeh's Shanty I nosed under and Schleeh was hauled from the Potomac unconscious. In between, Fred Alter was tossed from Miss U.S.I into the Detroit River during the Silver Cup, and later Bud Muncey's Miss Thriftway bounced high and split up in the Governor's Cup at Madison, Ind. Fortunately, all the drivers lived to drive again, though they have earned membership in what might well be called the "Catapult Club."
The original catapult man was, of course, Lou Fageol. He went through a towering back flip—75 feet high—in the 1954 Gold Cup and came away with a punctured lung, a damaged heart and four cracked vertebrae. This year's initiations were not quite that rough. Alter escaped without injury, Muncey got off with a badly bruised shoulder and Schleeh with general contusions which still have him feeling "like I've been run over by a herd of wild horses."
Blame for the rise in accidents has been variously fixed, but if the Catapulters ever get together to formalize their fraternity (a miniature gold slingshot in the lapel might do nicely) they will probably talk about the need for a hull that won't nose, slew or otherwise act up in rough water at the 150-mph speeds reached in unlimited class racing today.
With this in mind, the drivers at the Sahara Cup took turns trying out the unorthodox, humpbacked Thriftway, Too on Lake Mead after racing was over. Designer Ted Jones claims that by seating the pilot up toward the nose with the engine astern of him, Thriftway, Too achieves good balance even in the most disturbed water. The boat has accumulated a fair record in its rookie year and hasn't tried to buck its driver once. Next year, according to Jones, the design will be capable of outrunning the best conventional hydro. Jones goes to work with the best wishes of every pilot in the class. To a man they are on record for pegging the Catapult Club's membership right at the present level.