Vitas Gerulaitis won the singles at the Richmond stop on the World Championship Tennis tour, plus status as sports' enfant terrible of the week.
Before finishing off John Newcombe in the final, VeeGee spent much of his week in the Virginia capital berating and insulting officials, players and fans, on and off the court. Tournament officials want the Men's Professional Tennis Council to throw the book at him.
"We're going after him for aggravated behavior, which is a major offense," said tourney chairman Lou Einwick. By major offense, he means behavior subject to a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and one-year suspension from play.
Gerulaitis' cardinal sin, Einwick said, was his and Sandy Mayer's demand during their doubles-final loss to Bob Hewitt-Frew McMillan for removal of a linesman who made a controversial call. The linesman was replaced -- and five other lines callers walked off in protest, touching up an uproar among the crowd of nearly 10,-000. Play was held up 15 minutes.
Even Ilie Nastase was put in the shade in alleged violations of the players' code of conduct -- he only stands to be fined $700 for three incidents, two involving obscenities -- but NAsty wasn't around long, eliminated in his first match. Eddie Dibbs could be tagged $750 for three obscene gestures during his semifinal loss to Newcombe. And Chevy Chase's Freddie McNair $450 for a naughty word and throwing a racket. Plus a few other pros $200 or $250 each for no-nos that generally go unreported and the wealthy perpetrators probably feel are worth it for the steam let off.
"We don't expect Gerulaitis to be fined $10,000 or suspended for a year," qualified tournament referee Waller Horsley, target of much of the abuse. "We can hurt him by getting him suspended, even if it's just for a month or so. The way he was acting here, he's not fit to play before a major audience."
Dickering over a new Astrodome lease, the privately owned Houston Oilers let the word out that their gross profit for each of seven 1977 regular-season games was $476,000 -- only 19th in the NFL in the profit standings. The Oilers netted $1 million on an investment of $7 million for the year -- although 26th in the league in season-ticket sales (29,607). And the Redkins aren't making money?. . . How to succeed in coaching without really trying: A day after a radio report that he was top candidate to replace Don Coryell as St. Louis NFL coach, Darryl Rogers was awarded a two-year contract extension at Michigan State. Card owner Bill Bidwill denies the rumor on Rogers . . . An exOiler evidently is John Hadl, the sometimes topnotch quarterback since the early days of the American Football League. A report from Wichita has Hadl ending his 16-year playing career in the pros to join the coaching staff at Kansas, where he was All-America. . .
One-third of the way through Santa Anita's thoroughbred meeting, how about this? Darrel McHargue, a grad of the Maryland tracks, leading rider with 47 wins on 167 mounts -- yes, beating Steve Cauthen, 31 for 180. And while Chris McCarron will soon go west, too, another former burner at Bowie-Laurel Pimlico, three-time U.S. riding champ Sandy Hawley, is about to -- or has by now throw in the towel. There's a 76 per cent tax on his earnings in this country, "it just isn't worth it," and he said recently -- while third to McHargue and Cauthen at Santa Anita -- he would be going home to Canada . . . P.S. By Fan vote tallied yesterday, McHargue won the track's George Woolf Award for riding excellence by a two-to-one margin over Cauthen . . .
Anchorage, where semipros draw big crowds, the fans have a new turn-on for next year: a 1978-79 college basketball opening called the first annual Seawolf Classic. No small potatoes. The eight competitors will be N.C. State, Indiana, Louisville, Texas A&M, Auburn, Penn State, Pepperdine and, of course, Alaska-Anchorage . . .
One more tip of the hat, to the old paratrooper, Col. Bob Sigholtz of the District's Starplex, for election to a fifth term as president of the stadium managers of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico (at a Miami convention last month) . . . And one tip, a top prospect to take over as basketball coach at alma mater Western Kentucky: Former Bullet guard Clem Haskins.