Jimmy Stoeckel, former Crimson quarterback and captain of the Harvard baseball team, was officially declared ineligible for further intercollegiate athletic competition by the Ivy Leagues deans' Committee on Coordination and Eligibility Tuesday for signing a professional contract.
Stoeckel signed with the Hamilton Tigercats of the Canadian Football League in late March according to Robert E. Kaufmann, assistant dean of the faculty for Financial Affairs, who is a member of the committee. Kaufmann initiated the action after learning of Stoeckel's signing last week.
A recent NCAA rule change allows an athlete to sign a professional contract in one sport and still maintain amateur standing in another. But, according to Kaufmann, "the Ivy League did not embrace the new rule" and Stoeckel was unanimously declared ineligible by the committee.
The question was raised as to whether or not the team would have to forfeit its nine wins earned while Stoeckel was playing.
Harvard Director of Athletics Robert B. Watson '37 has sent letters to the seven athletic directors offering the forfeits. Kaufmann said he feels that it is likely that the offers will not be accepted since the seven schools (Morehouse College, Clark College, Embry Riddle, Bethune Cookman, Morris-Brown, Tampa and Boston College) all follow the revised NCAA ruling which would have made Stoeckel eligible to play.
Stoeckel did not play last Friday in an Ivy contest with Columbia, nor would he have played at Penn Saturday (the doubleheader was rained out).
Dennis Cuccia, administrative assistant and the scout for the Tigercats, said yesterday the whole affair was the result of a misunderstanding by Stoeckel. "We talked with Jim and said he could forego signing until after the baseball season," Cuccia said. "Jim said he'd check it [his eligibility] with the athletic department and later called us to say it was okay to announce the signing."
"Jim's just a victim of circumstances," Cuccia continued. "He was given false information. It's too bad it happened."
Stoeckel could not be reached for comment yesterday.