Homer Smith, fired as Army football coach the Monday after losing to Navy for the fourth time in five tries, makes it a kick upstairs today: Smith is enrolling in Harvard's Divinity School.
"I've been upset with my own behavior in the secular world. It's been nagging at me," Smith said just before packing up to move from West Point to a Cambridge, Mass., apartment and settle in as a full-time student for two years.
The man who shot back at Army with charges of wholesale NCAA recruiting viclations at the Point aims for a master's in theological studies, isn't sure of his future career -- except no more coaching -- but says, "I want to do whatever I do from a religious perspective."
Sudden revulsion?No, says the old Princeton halfback at 47; he claims to have contacted Harvard Divinity as far back as October. Yet, "No one loved coaching more than me. If we had beaten Navy and had won a few more games, I'd probably be the most enthusiastic coach in the East right now."
Capital Centre's sudden imposition of a 25-cent handling charge for buying -- at the arena! -- tickets in advance of date of an event raised a couple of eyebrows. Blame it on inflation, explains Centre P.R. Director Bob Zurfluh; it's collect a service charge or close Centre ticket offices -- "We have to keep people on the windows all day long, and pay them." Zurfluth emphasizes there is no such charge on event day, no matter how many hours early, and reminds that the two bits is a pittance compared to service charge at off premises ticket outlets: 60 cents.
Fame comes to Catholic U..Friday night at dinner ceremonies, 7 p.m. in Caldwell Auditorium. Athletic Director Jack Kvancz will preside as 15 members of CU's greatest football team, the 1936 Orange Bowl champs (20-19 over Mississippi), are inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame: Howard Walker, Joseph Yanchulis, Joseph Anthony (Anthonavage); Joseph Elwood Clements, Robert Makofske, Herbert Brown, Edward Dunn, Peter Dranginis, George Orth, Edward Karp (Karpowich), John Carlton, Richard Arnold, Joseph Glodeck, Herman Schmarr, Charles Munhall. Go Cardinals!
Maybe Gravedigger Richie Hebner isn't odd man out after all in Philadelphia, although Manager Danny Ozark confirms "our first baseman in 1979 and three years thereafter" is Pete Rose. If it pans out, the Phils would rather switch Hebner from first to third, Mike Schmidt from third to second and goodbye Ted Sizemore.
Died: Fred Fleig, secretary-treasurer of baseball's National League the past 26 years.
Anniversary: 20 years ago today, the world's first 7-foot high jump. John Thomas, a Boston University freshman when he did it at New York's Millrose Games, currently is a truck salesman and a BU assistant coach.