Coaches' Committee Bans Touting, Complaining, and Practice Scouting
Crimson football coach Lloyd P. Jordan was a member of the eight man committee of the American Football Coaches Association which drafted a new plan of ethics for coaches' dealings with opponents, referees, and the press.
The committee, headed by Dud De-Groot of New Mexico University and including former Harvard coach Dick Harlow, drafted the plan at the coaches' annual meeting last January. The draft has been approved by the Association's board of trustees, and will go up for the full membership in January.
According to the plan, as explained by a weekly magazine, it would be unethical for coaches to pick weekly game winners or to participate in football polls or rating systems. Many coaches have syndicated columns forecasting Saturdays' winners.
On and off the record criticisms of officials to players or the public will "be considered unethical," and the coach will be held responsible for anyone on his bench who says or does anything that "might incite players or spectators against officials."
The current practice of showing movies of critical plays to sportswriters, sportscasters, alumni and the public will be outlawed.
The new code also chastizes "any attempts to beat the rules, or to gain an advantage or win a game by circumvention of or disregard of the rules," terming the coach or player "unfit to be associated with the game of football."
It will be "considered questionable practice for coaches to stress player injuries disciplinary measures, academic difficulties, eligibility problems, and similar personal items with the press. The report adds that "sportswriters and sportscasters should not be used as a means of relieving personal ill feelings toward other coaches, players, or institutions.
Adding that "misleading statements should be avoided," with the press, the report claims that "direct questions should be answered honestly, or not at all." It admonishes coaches to "assume full responsibility for whatever comments they make."
The recommendations assert "that it shall be considered unethical under any circumstances to scout any team, by any means whatsoever, except in regularly scheduled games. This prohibits "any attempt to scout practice sessions," and makes the coach directly responsible.
The report takes treatment of injuries away from the coach, with the warning that "the diagnosis and prescription of treatment for injuries should under no circumstances, be considered a province of the coach."
And it will be "unethical for coaches to use alumni booster, and quarterback groups to attempt to defeat or obstruct administrative or institutional controls athletic." Coaches "should not make demands upon such groups which are not in keeping with the letter and spirit of the existing controls."
The group reiterates the Association's trend toward de-emphasis when it states "recruitment of students with athletic abolity must follow the generally accepted pattern for all students. The first essential qualification is acceptable academic ability."
Violations of the code--almost sure to be passed--will be investigated by a board of ethics, and its report and recommendations will be passed on to an annually appointed five man board of review entrusted with an expulsion power.