Norm Sloan, fresh from the Atlantic Coast Conference, where the league basketball tournament is sacrosanct, has begun his new tour in the Southeastern Conference by calling for abolition of the SEC tournament.
Heresy from the coach back for a second tour at Florida after all those years at N.C. State? Well, Heresy it be, call the majority of SEC basketball coaches heretics. Whatever revenue it brings in -- and it produces plenty ($600,000 last time) -- it is not worth it, they argue.
"It's been proven statistically that teams who play in conference tournaments do not fare as well in the NCAA playoffs," said Tennessee's Don DeVoe. His Vols went on from the 1980 SEC tournament to the NCAAs and fell to a Maryland team that hadn't yet gotten over the ACC tournament, but somebody had to win.
"My main concern is academics," Sloan said. "And psychologically, you just can't recover from that tournament in time for the NCAA."
The coaches didn't care for the 18-game round-robin schedule either, an official recalled, "but the university presidents voted for it." And there it is . . .
Win some, lose some. Just about the time Frank Costello was deciding to stay after all as Maryland track coach, the Terp program was landing a high jumper who already has cleared the 7 foot mark as a high schooler, Bob Smith of Westminster (Md.) -- to warm the heart of erswhile 7-foot clearer Costello -- and Darren Walker, a 9.4 man at 100 yards for Fort Meade High. But at the same time, the ACC was annoucing it will no longer conduct its indoor track meet -- an event won by Maryland every year since 1956. . .
SV Hamburg of West Germany continues the transatlantic tug of war over Franz Beckenbauer and says he will too quit NASL and go home to finish his soccer career in Deutschland after the current season. The Cosmos comment on Hamburg's claim of a commitment from their midfield general with, "As far as we're concerned he's still making up his mind'. . .
The Touchdown Club will try its hand at turning around the soccer fortunes of the Diplomats, with noon lunch Thursday saluting the Washington club and the Cosmos, their opponent Sunday in RFK. Caught in the middle as emcee will be Jim Karvellas, erstwhile Dip owner now Cosmos TV voice. Plenty of big soccer names from on and off field for him to introduce; plates reservable . . .
Letter to the sports editiors of The Washington Post and the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald form Gerald Ellsworth of the Illinois city: ". . . concerns Mr. Dave Corzine, who played basketball for John Hersey High School and De Paul University, and now for the Washington Bullets. A high school classmate of Dave's recently died in an auto accident. . . . (he) played football and Dave, of course, basketball. I really don't know whether or not they were close friends. In any event, there were many classmates at the wake and funeral but I was aware of only one who had to travel any great distance to attend. His name is Dave Corzine. Pro basketball players are often accused of having big heads and a "me only" attitude. There's only one word in my book to describe Mr. Corzine -- class."