Though many considered it the most important legislation ever affecting college athletics, 12 rule changes passed last week at a special meeting of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will have little or no effect on Harvard, University officials said this week.
The 12 rule changes, which were passed by near unanimous votes of the NCAA's 435 member institutions, came at a special meeting of college athletics' governing body in New Orleans. The so-called "integrity convention" marked only the fifth time in its 79-year history that the NCAA held a special convention.
Most of the rule changes deal with the creation of tougher standards of discipline for schools, players and coaches found in violation of NCAA rules.
But Dean of the College John B. Fox Jr. '59 said that "the legislation passed by the NCAA reflects problems that are not characteristic of the Ivy League."
Fox cited the admission of students who could not be expected to graduate and the illegal use of Booster Club money for athletic programs--both of which were addressed by the special convention--as problems not "affecting the Ivy League in general."
"The main thing is that we as an athletic department have to submit forms now required by the NCAA," Director of Athletics John P. Reardon Jr. '60 said of the rule changes which will require all member colleges to do a self-examination of their athletic programs every five years and which will impose stiffer penalties on programs that do not report violations of NCAA rules.
"We will have to do the monitoring and reporting that is required," added Fox. "That will take up a big chunk of time."
Reardon said he thought "most of the information [Harvard will have to report to the NCAA] is information we can deal with."
President Bok, who has traditionally taken a keen interest in athletic matters, as well as the seven other Ivy League presidents chose not to attend the special convention, which drew college heads than ever before. Reardon and Fox both suggested that the convention's lack of bearing on Harvard prompted Bok to pass up the trip to New Orleans.
"If he felt it would make a real impact on Harvard, he would have gone to the convention," said Reardon.