George Perles and Carl Peterson get introduced as coach and general manager, respectively, of Philadelphia in the United States Football League. Suddenly it's a whole new ball game.
The National Football League powers-that-be could look passively, maybe even benignly, at USFL and its spring schedule as long as it was ex-NFL coaches being hired and swearing off any bidding war for players. But now that USFL has begun luring away integral NFL front-office and coaching talent?
Perles' departure only costs Pittsburgh's Chuck Noll his assistant head coach in charge of defense, a chief molder of the Steel Curtain of four Super Bowls. And in Peterson, Dick Vermeil and his Eagles bid adieu to the director of player personnel who helped mightily in building a contender--finding draft "steals" like Wilbert Montgomery, for one thing.
And USFL must be making it worth defectors' while. "Opportunity that comes once in a lifetime," says Peterson. And Perles: "I've been working 20 years for this and if I had turned it down, I wouldn't be worth a lick to the Steelers or to my family. I would have washed 20 years down the drain" . . .
The Eagles immediately promoted Lynn Stiles from within to Peterson's post--and prepared for eventuality of losing Dick Coury as receiver coach (he reportedly could become Boston USFL head coach) by hiring former Penn coach Harry Gamble . . .
But Vince Ferragamo appears set to rejoin the Rams. NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle says Montreal ex-ownership furnishes nothing to show that the quarterback isn't free--upon which L.A. club official Jack Faulkner declares: "We'll sign him." How now, Bert Jones?
Maryland-Syracuse football, Oct. 8, 1983, just might be shifted from College Park to Baltimore. A.D. Dick Dull responds to urgings of alumni up the pike, will explore with Memorial Stadium officials soon first Terrapin game there since 1959 (Navy 22, Maryland 14). . .
Parting is such . . . a jolt, for Preston Hanna, 3-0 and 3.75 ERA in 36 innings this season for Atlanta. Vendetta, he cries, saying he is being spanked for past knocks at Braves' management. "What hurts most," says the righty, "is signing with an organization that had been a dog loser for years and then when it's a winner they don't want you any more . . . and they had to wait until Ted (owner Turner, who Hanna says is a Hanna booster) was out of the country to do it" . . .
Heroes Inc., benefiting survivors of civil servants lost in line of duty, has annual celeb tee-off at Indian Spring today and Friday. Several Redskins there. Thanks for the reminder, Bill Gold.