Wellington Mara, NFL Giants president and 50 percent owner, as to reports of a feud with nephew Tim Mara, v.p. and owner of the other 50 percent, in the hunt for a new director of operations and a coach:
"That's true, but... Nothing has happened to jeopardize the smooth functioning of the organization."
So, the East Rutherford outfit has pushed back the deadline for filling the operations post from Super Bowl time to Feb. 1 to, well, no deadline. So the younger Mara denies reports the job was twice offered to and twice rejected by John Madden; so John Ralston was eliminated when he moved into the San Francisco 49er front office; so Tom Prothro and Gil Brandt and Don Klosterman are in or out of favor with one Mara or the other, so what else is new?
Says Tim Mara: "I can't see how this can hurt us any more. We've been in the cellar five of the last six years, how much worse can we get?"
Another in the clear in Coach Tates Locke's disciplinary basketball housecleaning at Jacksonville U.: freshman Paul DeVito, ex-De Matha. Switched to small forward against Florida State last game, DeVito rang up 18 points... Tennessee, down this path before in the case of Bernard King, now hears its junior star, 6-9, 21-point forward Reggie Johnson, talking possible hardship application after this season...
It looks like curtains for Marvin Barnes at Boston. Celtic Coach Dave Cowens wants no more of him after his latest practice stayaway and twogame suspension, Red Auerbach tried unsuccessfully to trade the Newsboy during the All-Star break, and yesterday the Celts' owner tried unsuccessfully to reach Barnes to talk turkey. That's owner John Y. Brown, who found Phyllis George so easy to talk to that he is engaged to be her new husband come next month.
A Hack Wilson for Baseball Hall of Fame campaign renewal is under way, full steam, in Martinsburg, W. Va., with the clout of the mayor, county commission chairman and Martinsburg/Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce. The National League outfielder-slugger of the unbroken-record 56-HR, 190-RBI, year (1930) for the Cubs spent many of his 48 years on earth in Martinsburg, playing for the town's Blue Sox, twice marrying local girls -- "and when," the boosters write, "the end came for him (1948), citizens of our community pooled their resources and made the arrangements for his final resting place among us in his adopted home." They've petitioned the baseball veterans selection committee to give fresh thought to the fact that while Wilson "was a gregarious person and lived life to the fullest," so did the Babe and a lot of other enshrined ones.
Speaking of halls of fame, it was via slip of the typing finger in our report from Catholic U.'s induction of its 1936 Orange Bowl stars Friday night that we misspelled Peter Dranginis. And picking up where we ran out of space, Ed (Karpowich), strongman and captain of that Cardinal squad, in sending his regrets because of the death of the foreman of his Flying Dutchman Ranch in Nevada, wrote, "Does Bob (Makofske) still have scars on his nose from running so low to the ground?"
The second annual Tug McGraw 1,300-mile bicycle caravan from Philadelphia to the Phils' training base in Clearwater, Fla., started with a bang yesterday -- and that sound was a mail truck knocking down biker Don Hasselbeck a few miles down the road.
"Say," said the New England Patriot tight end joining McGraw, Roman Gabriel and about 10 big league baseballers in the trip to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy fight, "Bill Bergey (Eagle linebacker) hits harder than that." After X-rays, a bruised Hasselbeck resumed the journey toward Baltimore, Washington and points south, saying, "I'm a little stiff, but when I have a couple of beers and get back on the bike I'll be all right."
But it could have been a lot worse, Hasselbeck admitted. "He had a tire burn mark over the back of his ski jacket," said a policeman.