Dartmouth Violates Ban On Spring Grid Practice
Squash Court Workouts Stopped Following Phone Warning by Ivy Chairman Bolles
The Chairman of the Ivy Group has warned Dartmouth College against infractions of the ban on spring football practice, it was learned yesterday.
The warning, which consisted of a telephone call between Thomas D. Bolles, chairman of the Group, and Robert ("Red") Rolfe, Dartmouth Director of Athletics, came after members of the Indian football team had been reported working out with their newly-appointed line coach.
Bolles advised Rolfe that the practice sessions were in violation of Ivy regulations. Present rules permit only one day of spring organizational meetings between football coaches and players before the start of regular fall practice on Sept. 1.
The irregular sessions, which reportedly covered a week in late February, were held in the college's squash courts. They have since stopped, Rolfe stated.
Dartmouth's new football coach Robert Blackman, joined yesterday with Bolles and Rolfe in calling the infractions "minor" and "of no consequence." Blackman attended a meeting of the eight Ivy football coaches at Columbia last week and reported that, although spring practice was discussed in general, no mention was made of the Dartmouth incident.
He blamed the infraction on the ignorance of his assistants of Ivy regulations, "We'd been at the college only a short while when this happened," Blackman said yesterday, referring to himself, and new line, backfield, and freshman coaches. Blackman came from Denver University to succeed Tuss McLaughry as head football coach this winter.
"This has all been forgotten," Rolfe explained. "A number of boys had been discussing blocking and we put a stop to it right away." The Dartmouth athletic director labelled as nonsense reports that football players had been eating and holding special "skull-sessions" with their coaches.
"These reports are plain exaggerations. You'd think we were operating a league where a player can't even say hello to his coach," he said.
"This is a small town and every professor and student was asking about the incident almost before we could stop it," Blackman explained. "Since then we've been extra careful to abide by the rules."
Football players may workout informally among themselves, but sessions with coaches are banned except for the one-day spring meeting, he said. To his knowledge, Blackman continued, players have not been eating or holding "special" sessions with their coaches since the February incident.