Page 12-Thursday, June 7, 1979-The Michigan Daily
By Billy Neff
College ports ...
. . .who needs an education
WASHINGTON - Samson has taken over the world, but this time he
spells his name differently. The newest Sampson is Ralph, and he has
parlayed his height into power, rather than his hair.
Unfortunately, the newest Sampson used his power in a negative way,
instead of using it to ward off evil like his namesake did against the
Philistines. He added fuel to the fire in the ever-increasing evil-world of
Ralph Sampson, a 7'334" high school basketball phenom from
Harrisonburg, Virginia, has taken the college sports world into the palm of his
massive hand and crumbled it completely. Sampson was recruited by
almost every college in the nation before opting to play in his native state at
the University of Virginia.
Before Sampson made his decision, there was much chaos surrounding
this giant, 17-year-old athlete, all of his own doing. En route to making his
decision, the most highly recruited player nationally since Moses Malone
(the NBA's most valuable player) called press conferences to announce that
he had narrowed his list of colleges to 15, then seven.
In addition, Sampson's high school basketball coach, Roger Bergey, was
almost as highly sought after as his prodigy. Many of the more honest (Ha!
Ha!) college coaches figured that if they signed Bergey as their assistant,
this would induce Sampson into attending their college. The only problem
was that Bergey said he would not accept any offers until after Sampson had
made his decision. Thus, such highly principled coaches like Maryland's
Lefty Driesell were saddled with offers to Bergey that they may not have
wanted to make.
With Bergey out of the picture, Sampson, the only high school hardwood
star chosen to play in the Pan American Games, reduced his list of colleges
to the Final Four. This recruiting extravaganza resembled the NCAA tour-
nament, with four teams still in the running for the highly desired prize,
Sampson. Who can remember those days when college sports were played in
the spirit of competition?
Finally, Sampson had made his decision, calling a press conference
before 500 reporters in his high school auditorium. But had he made his final
"Right now, I'm going to Virginia. If I have any doubt and change my
mind, it will be Kentucky," declared Sampson.
Can you believe that? The decision these colleges had been expecting for
over two years was reduced to a leaning towards Virginia - not a concrete
Can you picture the television correspondents reporting back to their
home stations that 'We think Ralph Sampson is going to Virginia. Check that
folks, it's North Carolina.' At the end of the newscast, I can hear the com-
mentator now. 'I just received a late news flash. Ralph Sampson is a Ken-
This all boils down to one thing - not that Sampson is necessarily a rat
fink, but that he controls the destiny of so many people. Sampson may have
been confused, as he admitted, but college sports have gone a little too far
when a 17-year-old naive boy has so many people wrapped around his hand.
To add insult to injury, Sampson made even more of a mockery of
college sports by declaring that he would stay in college for only two years
and then join the ranks of professional basketball.
That's all very nice, Ralph, but couldn't you have been a little more
discreet about it? By making his intentions known, Sampson has furthered
my suspicions that colleges have become mere training grounds for aspiring
However, this sounds like an indictment of Sampson, and it is not. Sam-
pson has probably made a wise college choice. His desires to become a
professional basketball player are well thought out, considering his
multitude of talent. My only question concerns the schools themselves.
Are the administrators and those who run college sports watching the
directions of their actions? Every school involved knew of Sampson's
aspirations after completing two years. Schools like Virginia, Kentucky and
North Carolina are saying, 'It doesn't matter if you get an education, but
come play basketball for us for two years.' He'll bring in 250 thousand
dollars by possibly making them one of the Final Four, this time in the
NCAA tournament. In short, these colleges are saying, 'We're not trying to
educate you anyway.'
Sampson would not be looked down upon by his namesake, Samson, sin-
ce he has not done anything wrong. Rather, if the original Samson was alive
today, his hair would probably fall out while trying to battle the business,
and I do mean business, of big time college sports. And if Samson happened
to conquer this sickness in college sports, he would have to be quite a hippie.
SPORTS OF THE DAILY
NBA names All-Stars
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK - Houston center Moses
Malone, the National Basketball
Association's most valuable player,
and San Antonio guard George Gervin,
the league's leading scorer, head the
1978-79 NBA All-League team, it was
Joining them on the elite squad were
guard Paul Westphal of Phoenix, and
forwards Marques Johnson of
Milwaukee and Elvin Hayes of
NAMED TO the second team were
forwards Walter Davis of Phoenix and
Bobby Dandridge of Washington, cen-
ter Kareem AbdulJabbar of Los
Angeles, and guards Lloyd Free of San
Diego and Phil Ford of Kansas City.
Surprisingly, no member of the Seat-
tle SuperSonics, the league champions,
was chosen to either team. Also among
the missing were two perennial All-
Stars, forward Julius Erving of
Philadelphia and David Thompson of
Baltimore 3, Kansas City 0
New York 3, Minnesota 2
Chicago 8, Boston 5
Milwaukee 4, Texas 3
New York 5, Cincinnati 3
Chicago 3, San Diego 0
Pittsburgh 5, Los Angeles 4
Montreal 12, Atlanta 2
Stop the chop
NEW YORK - National Football
League owners, expected to outlaw the
controversial "chop block," decided in-
stead yesterday only to recommend
that the technique not be used, but
stopped short of passing specific
legislation against it.
The block, used by about half the
NFL clubs last season, is employed
against defensive ends or outside
rushers with wide receivers or offen-
sive backs double-teaming them.
At issue here is the safety factor. Ac-
cording to Don Weiss, executive direc-
tor of the NFL, five clubs have reported
one or more disabling injuries to defen-
sive ends or outside rushers in the past
two seasons as a result of chop blocks.
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