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Move On UP
Since one never knows whom the NCAA Executive Council will declare ineligible at any given moment nowadays, and since the first anniversary of Yale's Great Big Three Track Comeback is coming up next week, it seems logical that the regulations concerning professional athletes should be clarified in case the NCAA finds any pros lurking in Yale's Coxe Cage.
Last year, a fighting Eli indoor track squad upset Harvard by a single point at Princeton's Jadwin Gymnasium, shattering the Crimson's lengthy domination of the Big Three meet. But Tiger Tim McCann, who placed third in the weight throw, had signed a professional football contract for $500 shortly before the meet, and upon subsequent investigation was declared ineligible.
If proper track procedure had been followed. McCann would have been disqualified, and the fourth-place finisher. Daye Bernstein, advanced to third. But normal procedure was not followed, and Yale, because of administrative bungling kept the triumph.
"Inasmuch as neither the Ivy League nor the ECAC had a rule to cover the situation." Harvard athletic director Adolph Samborski said later, "after a discussion with Delancy Kiphuth of Yale, we decided to be guided by the rules covering NCAA championship competition.
"Under those rules, according to Walter Byers, executive director of the NCAA, McCann's place is merely vacated, and no points are awarded for the position he occupied."
The Nevada Incident
Yet several months before the Big Three meet, a parallel instance had come up in the NCAA small college cross-country championships. Three Nevada competitors who had placed fairly high in the final results were declared ineligible for having violated certain regulations governing transfer students. But in each case competitors had moved up to fill the vacated positions .
And, as Harvard track coach Bill McCurdy has argued, there is no reason why rules concerning disqualifications should vary so radically for what are basically two similar sports. Clearly, the rules should be uniform. If positions were not left vacant at an NCAA championship meet, then they should not have been left vacant at a meet that supposedly was following those rules, especially after the rule had been so recently tested. Harvard, then, instead of losing, 52-51, to Yale last winter, should have won, 53-52.
Harvard, of course, does not really want the victory back. It is a little too late for that. Besides, as Eli coach Bob Giegengack explained recently. "Yale is no longer the scourge of the East"-that is, if it ever was. The Bulldogs have run into heavy sledding so far this winter, and from the quality of their recent freshman track squads. Big Three titles may be quite scarce around New Haven during the next few years.