NOT NOW, RIGHT NOW
President Kennedy's stern warning to the AAU and NCAA to end their bitter war once and for all brought home to millions of Americans what readers of this magazine have been aware of since the AAU- NCAA fight broke into the open more than a year ago—that unless the struggle for control of amateur sport in the U.S. is settled this country will not have an Olympic team in 1964. The truce arranged a month ago by the President's brother, Attorney General Kennedy, was broken by the AAU, which refused at its convention to ratify the so-called "coalition" agreement engineered by the Attorney General; the "coalition" in effect gave the NCAA side most of what it was fighting for—which is practical control of the most important amateur sport, track and field.
After the President's statement, the two groups indicated they would submit the dispute to an arbitration committee. We suggest that the AAU recognize the realities of the situation—that its absolute control of amateur sport is a thing of the past. We suggest that the NCAA, and particularly its executive director, Walter Byers, recognize its new and rather frightening responsibility to amateur athletes at every level, and that it make a clear-cut statement spelling out that responsibility. And we suggest that the fight stop. Now.
?The American Machine and Foundry Company has offered to put up a purse of $200,000—with $100,000 of it going to the winner—for a golf tournament to be known as the Ben Hogan Championship. The event, which would be the richest in golf history, would be played at Fort Worth's Colonial Country Club in May, replacing the Colonial Invitational. The club has quietly agreed to approve the new tournament for 1963. The Professional Golfers Association has not yet approved, however. It is concerned that such a big money event would detract from its own championship which is scheduled for July in Dallas. The PGA would prefer to have the new tournament begin in 1964.
? Australia's longtime tennis star Rod Laver will sign a professional contract immediately after the conclusion of Davis Cup play. With a big new name, the pros will be back in the U.S. for a 1963 tour.
?The American Broadcasting Company has decided not to provide coast-to-coast television coverage for Bing Crosby's Pebble Beach tournament in January, because the finals would conflict with Arnold Palmer's Challenge Golf, a half-hour outdoor party game that is also telecast by ABC. It is an ironic turnabout, for lost is the TV exposure that made golf, Arnold Palmer and even Challenge Golf what it is today. And lost also is the TV fee of at least $75,000, all of which was headed to charity.
Baseball's official film of the 1962 World Series was shown for the first time the other day, providing unassailable proof that 1) the Yankees win it in seven, and 2) baseball diamonds are green. Other than that, the film—as always—turns out to be really no more than a box score in postcard color. All the building excitement of what is sport's greatest prolonged event is lost in an endless repetition of five stock shots: 1) pitcher winding up; 2) batter swinging; 3) batter running towards first base; 4) runner crossing home plate; 5) spectators cheering. There is no attempt to capture the mood and theme of each game, or the individual drama—for example, Whitey Ford's slow but eventually successful effort to contain the Giant attack in the first game, or Jack Sanford's bitter losing struggle in the fifth game.
Even the slow-motion reruns of key plays were uninformative. Felipe Alou's leap against the fence to deflect Roger Maris' near-homer in the first inning of the first game was depicted far more clearly in still photographs. And the most important and most debated play of the series—Matty Alou's failure to score on Willie Mays's last-inning double in the seventh game—is presented just the way it was on TV two months ago: you see Maris pick up the ball in right field and make his excellent throw to Richardson, who relays it to Howard at the plate, a bit high and a bit up the line towards third; you see another shot of Alou rounding third and being held up by Coach Whitey Lockman. But you never see Alou and the throw simultaneously, so that it is impossible for those who see the film to make their own judgment as to whether Alou should have tried to score.