When the Big Ten adopted, nearly intact, the nine rules for survival of college football proposed by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Herman Hickman (SI, Aug. 13, 1956), it was not without misgivings. The rule on recruiting (briefly, aid to an athlete must be based on need and in no case may exceed board, room, tuition and books) seemed to some Big Ten coaches a fearful handicap in their annual competition for high school players. Last week came the news that one coach had broken the code, been caught at it and sent to the showers for the whole 1957 season. He was Phil Dickens, new head coach at Indiana, fresh from the wide ranges of Wyoming just this January. Too many young Indiana prospects thought they had heard him promise $50 a month in extra spending money.
Big Ten faculty representatives met in Chicago, reviewed the charges and the evidence and made Indiana's conference play this year conditional upon Indiana suspending Dickens for a year. Dickens was duly suspended, and his team will be guided by his chief assistant, Bob Hicks.
The penalty is the severest in the history of the Big Ten. Even so, under the rules, it might have been stiffer. The rule actually states that coaches guilty of illegal recruiting shall be discharged. Since Dickens might have been confused by the coincidence of a new job and a new set of rules, he was accorded the usual mercy shown a first offender. He will be a spectator at Indiana's games this fall; a restless one, no doubt, little given to conversation.
WASHINGTON—Captain Kenneth D. Chandler, a 33-year-old jet ace of the Korean war, set a new Bendix air race record of 679 miles an hour today.
Captain Chandler flew a Convair F-102 delta-wing interceptor 620 miles from Chicago's O'Hare Field to nearby Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in 54 minutes, 45 seconds. Five other Air Force pilots also made the race.
The lines above are from the Associated Press story on last week's Bendix Trophy Race, but they would serve very well as an inscription on the tombstone of airplane racing as a sport. No mere civilian can afford to compete with the military nowadays, and besides, all the old glamour is gone. It's nobody's fault, of course, but it's too bad, all the same.
One misses the wave of cocky Jimmy Doolittle's hand as he throttled up his Laird Solution for a blistering 80-mph take-off in the first Bendix Trophy Race (Burbank to Cleveland, 1931). One misses the proud and weary smile of Master Designer Ben O. Howard, climbing out of the cockpit of his Howard Racer in Cleveland in 1935, the winner—at 238.704 mph—in a plane he had wrought virtually by hand. One misses Roscoe Turner and Jackie Cochran; wheel pants, radial engines and negatively staggered wings; one even misses elevators and ailerons (the F-102 scorns these old-fashioned devices in favor of "elevons" on its rakish delta wing).
The race used to be to the swift and the ingenious; now it goes to the man who best balances speed against fuel consumption and arrives firstest with—quite likely—the leastest fuel in his tanks. ("My engine flamed out, for lack of fuel, as I taxied down the runway after the landing," said Captain Chandler the other day.)