Maryland coach Jerry Claiborne gave Penn State coach Joe Paterno a verbal round of applause yesterday after Paterno staged a noe-man walkout in protest against ABC's plans to televise the Oklahoma-Ohio State game in New York rather than the Maryland-Penn State confrontation.
Paterno pulled out of a promotional tour of the country sponsored yearly by the NCAA and ABC, saying "This is a personal thing between me and ABC."
New York draws 9 per cent of the nation's viewing audience and Claiborne and Paterno are galled that their game, already being called the game of the year in the East, has been passed over.
"I agree with him [Paterno] said Claiborne. "I called ABC a couple weeks ago and expressed my feeling, too. It IS the biggest game in the East.
The Oklahoma-Ohio State game, the first meeting of the two football powers, will be televised Sept. 24 to between 50 and 60 per cent of the nation. The Maryland-Penn State game will be seen in Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Virginia and the Carolinas - approximately 20 per cent of the viewing audience.
ABC's plans must be approved by the NCCA's television committee, which meets this week in Hanover, N.H.