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The between-semester lull in sports activity has been enlivened by high verbal blasts from sundry directions. It started in Dallas and rapidly worked its way across the country to Pennsylvania.
Taking them in order the first thing on the docket is the NCAA conference out in Dallas. There were two noticeable outgrowths of this meeting, the abolishment of the sanity code and the ruling against television. The decisions are already history, but for a fuller explanation we dropped over to the H.A.A. offices the other day to gather the report of Harvard's representative, the honorable William J. Bingham '16.
"Well, Mr. Bingham, it looks like they've finally gotten rid of the sanity code," we said.
"Well, what could you do?" said Bingham. "You can't get people to do what they don't want to, can you now?"
"It certainly was nice while it lasted."
"We'll we've got it in the North, more or less. It was pretty difficult to talk about academic scholarships to some of those fellows. They point to the long list of scholarships we have listed here and say, 'If people want to give us money for athletic scholarships we can't refuse, can we?" What can you say to that?"
"It appears that was a majority reaction."
"It was a question of saving the organization. We've done some pretty good things, and it didn't seem right to break it up over that."
Wait and See
"How about television?"
"We've voted against making any commitments. Nothing more, nothing less. Still don't know what's going to happen. I think we lost money because of it last year."
"Next year is a pretty nebulous term as far as sports is concerned, isn't it?"
It's just like everything else. We're waiting to see what happens in Washington. If President Conant's plan goes through it doesn't look as though we'll have many fellows around."
"Was anything decided about next year in the meeting?"
"There was a lot of talk, but nothing actually happened. Didn't even discuss freshman eligibility."
"How about next year's football team?"
"It's hard to say. We've got some good men coming up from the freshman team, but we'll have to wait and see how they do in spring practice. That's still pretty far off, you know."
And then, Penn . . .
We left. We didn't want to ask Mr. Bingham about Pennsylvania. The general spirit around the office seems to be that Harvard isn't really concerned about what happens there now.
Nobody knows just where Pennsylvania is going. It would seem that Mr. Stassen's recent statement, which claimed that everyone had stopped playing Penn because of their game with Notre Dame in 1952, was ill-spoken.
If Mr. Bingham were asked, it is fairly certain that he would point out that we've got nothing against Notre Dame. The academic standards are above reproach and we would be inclined to think that they are cleaner regarding athletes than most other schools.
Mr. Stassen it appears, is seeking some form of a liberalized sanity code. This is a pretty cloudy concept and the Ivy group directors would be grateful for a more thorough explanation. We hate to think that Mr. Stassen is using a college, and a college football team for furthering his personal ambitions. "Please the people no matter what they want," is an idea which is prone to exaggerated action.
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