Ivy League Football Teams to Play Seven Intra-League Games in 1956

Plans for Strong Ivy League Seen Possible Step to NCAA Break

The Ivy League attempt to create a closely knit football league may well be the second step toward an eventual break with the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

First indication of the break came last spring when Harvard and Yale revealed they would not go along with the NCAA closed television plan. The plan left it solely up to the NCAA to decide what arrangements each college could make on the televising of games.

Officials at the College and at Yale indicated that there was deep dissatisfaction with such NCAA policy decisions which automatically bound all member colleges. At that time, a top Harvard official predicted that a complete severance with the NCAA "would probably take place within the next 12 months."


President Harold C. Dodds of Princeton and Charles M. O'Hearn, Assistant to President A. Whitney Griswold of Yale, however, maintained last spring that there was no positive action against the NCAA then under consideration.

O'Hearn did state last May, "Yale will not follow anyone else's decision on important policy matters. We want to make our own policy."

The move toward closer Ivy League unity is a clear indication that the rest of the Ivy League agrees that they want no dependence on any big athletic association, and would prefer to set their own policy and standards in athletics as well as in academic matters.

It is clear that any break with the powerful NCAA, whether partial or complete, could not take place unless there was a tightly knit Ivy Group that could withstand a possible NCAA boycott.

When Penn bucked the association on the television issue three years ago, NCAA pressure quickly forced the Quakers to back down. Several Ivy League schools even threatened to drop Penn from their football schedules unless it bowed to the NCAA.

But since then the attitude among all eight members of the Ivy League toward the NCAA has been changing. The change might well cause the break predicted last May.