Herzog's ascent of the arid and windswept ranges of French intellectualism was a tough climb accomplished in the face of long-prevailing winds of pedagogical prejudice and parliamentary parsimony. Many a French taxpayer is still horrified at the thought of the $20 million for sports equipment that Minister Herzog wheedled out of the government. But the students themselves were enthusiastic. "The government is on the right track at last," said one husky young basketballer from Paris' Hautes Etudes Commerciales. "I only hope it isn't too late."
Educators in the U.S., who believe that the only way to meet the challenge of Soviet Russia is to concentrate on study to the exclusion of all else, would do well to take note of France's about-face.
Go It, Free World!
Cassandras have it that America's high school students these days are too absorbed in such trivia as football to pay much attention to vital matters like the cold war and the space race.
Perhaps the Cassandras will feel better on hearing what happened just the other night at the Sherman High vs. Greenville High football game in Texas. First the band played the Sherman alma mater and youngsters on one side of the field yelled, "Beat Greenville!" Next the Greenville song was played and the shout from the other partisans was, "Beat Sherman!"
Then The Star-Spangled Banner was played, and as the last note faded away an adolescent voice echoed through the Texas night: "Beat Russia!"
The Ethics of Subterfuge
TV's quizmasters would have done well last week to drop in at Harvard Law School where the familiar sounds of orderly debate echoed through the corridors. One subject under discussion concerned the ethics of those classic examples of sports subterfuge: the baseball catcher's attempt to "pull" balls into the strike zone in an effort to sway the umpire's judgment ("A ball!" the catcher exclaims incredulously. "Look where my glove is!") and the football player's feigned injury that is designed to stop the clock ("Limivitch!" yells the coach. "Get in there and suffer a groin injury!") "What," Lon L. Fuller, eminent professor of jurisprudence and avid sports spectator, asked his students last week, "are the effects of these practices on ethics and morality?" It was Professor Fuller's own opinion that the catcher's sleight-of-glove was ethically acceptable but the footballer's feint was inexcusable. One student disagreed.
Student: The catcher's acts are repeated throughout the contest while feigned injuries occur infrequently. Isn't it far worse ethically to allow a catcher repeated deceptions, as opposed to the occasional deception in football?
Fuller: Aren't you assuming that the catcher's act is a deception? Examine the catcher's actions in the same manner you would a lawyer's advocacy. In making close calls look like strikes he is presenting a persuasive argument to the umpire. After considering the evidence the umpire is free to make his own choice. In the case of feigned injuries on the football field, however, the referee has no choice but to call time because he cannot take the risk of doing otherwise. The latter is a true deception, disruptive of the referee's power to govern the game.