The member colleges of the Eastern College Athletic Conference me in New York last night to try to decide what stand to take in the running battle for control of amateur sports in the United States.
Two years ago, the national Collegiate Athletic Association challenged the power of the Amateur Athletic Union, previously all-powerful in sanctioning track and field events.
The NCAA instructed its members--which include almost every college in the United States--to stay out of meets sanctioned by the AAU unless they NCAA gave its sanction as well. The AAU imposed a similar ban on NCAA-sanctioned meets and both groups said they would make any athlete who violated the ban ineligible for future competition.
At that time Harvard decided not to enter meets sponsored by either group. The track team stayed out of Boston's Knights of Columbus meet (an AAU-sponsored event and normally a feature of the winter schedule). The feud had been settled by the time other meets rolled around.
It was settled by Douglas MacArthur, acting as a government-appointed arbitrator between the two groups. The NCAA and the AAU agreed to keep the peace and to put a moratorium on banning athletes until after the Olympic Games. Now the Olympics are over and the NCAA has reinstated its ban on AAU meets.
But not all the member colleges are happy with the NCAA action. sixty-three of them showed it when their track coaches offered a proposal that the eastern colleges call on the NCAA to rescind its restrictions on competition.