THE SHERO SHIFT
When the rumors began circulating seven weeks ago that Fred Shero would quit the Philadelphia Flyers to become coach of the New York Rangers, Shero said, "I don't want to coach New York. Besides, I've got a year left on my contract and you don't walk out on a team under a contract."
Last week, 11 days after he had resigned as coach of the Flyers because, he said, he had "lost something," Shero found whatever it was he was looking for in Madison Square Garden. The Rangers, owned by the acquisitive Gulf + Western Corporation, installed him as coach and general manager at a reported salary of $200,000 a year for five years. There was speculation that Shero's sudden resignation from the Flyers was the result of tampering by Garden President Sonny Werblin.
It is ironic that no one seemed to be much troubled by the one aspect of the Shero move that will have the greatest long-term fallout. Whether or not the Rangers were guilty of tampering; whether or not NHL Commissioner John Ziegler once again proves himself indecisive by failing to clear the air; whether or not there was something terribly cynical about the Flyers acting aggrieved, then bartering Shero for a first-round draft choice and cash—that was all beside the point. What mattered last week was that Shero, a man given to moralistic utterances, had done what owners, general managers and coaches are always howling about: he had reneged on a valid contract. It is something Shero will have to live with when he is negotiating contracts for the Rangers for the next five years.
The horse-show world has been shaken by scandal involving the tranquilizer reserpine. The drug, which can turn fractious hunters into disciplined performers in the ring or make unruly horses seem better mannered to unsuspecting buyers, has long been abused by horse-show people because it is difficult to trace. Last March the American Horse Shows Association discovered a method for detecting reserpine in a horse's system, and incorporated it in routine tests.
Some two dozen positive results were obtained at several shows. And last weekend Richard E. McDevitt, president of the AHSA, was notifying the offenders and summoning them to hearings.
Those found guilty of reserpine abuse face suspension, fines of up to $1,000 and loss of all trophies, prize money and Horse of the Year points won during the testing period. "And that is just for the first offense," says McDevitt. "We haven't decided what to do with second offenders."
For all its estimated 46 million sportsmen and sportswomen, the Soviet Union has never been very big on golf. There aren't any country clubs in the USSR, for one thing, and hardly anybody has stockbrokers to play $5 Nassaus with, for another. But all that is about to change. The country's first championship-caliber course is to be built by Robert Trent Jones and his son Robert Trent Jones Jr., the renowned golf-course architects, on 191 acres 20 miles northwest of Moscow. It is scheduled for completion in the early 1980s and will have 7,000 yards of fairways amid what is now a fine virgin stand of birch and hemlock. Jones Sr. says that he plans to keep the hazards to a minimum.