Pour le Sport

While the people who make basketball rules were busy worrying about the height of the basket and length of the players, it turned out that the real trouble with the game was the size of the crowd. It would be hard to prove the three corruptibles from City College would have been purer in the intimacy of their own gymnasium than in the smoky atmosphere of Madison Square Garden, but it is reasonably certain that if they had not been so well-known they would never have received the temptation in the first place.

Only top teams in top sports are subject to bribery. If a team is bundled regularly into Madison Square Garden or Yankee Stadium, and sent out on radio and television until it almost encircles the American hearth and bar, it is likely to be talked about. Where there is sports talk, there is difference of opinion, and where there is difference of opinion, there is betting. Sooner or later, some tycoon of the betting world attempts to bring order out of the chaos of sporting unpredictability. Whether he succeeds or fails, there is a bad smell, and sports figures spend a few days paying lip service to the self-destructive tendencies of "big-time sport." Then--onward and upward.