Subsidized Athlete

An Editorial

When the Ivy Eligibility Committee this month published a section of the league eligibility code in Ivy alumni magazines, it was doing more than issuing a tacit warning to alumni. At the same time with the statement was a subtle announcement that the committee had discovered a violation and had acted upon it--by declaring a Yale football player ineligible from intercollegiate competition. While such a general statement was ill-advised--the ultimate leakage of the story led to unnecessary publicity to names and facts--the judgment of the committee seems sober and correct.

The violation, which was discovered only by accident, concerns the freshman and a friend who, with the aid of Chicago Yale alumni and their friends attended an eastern preparatory school last year after previously completing high school. Since this group felt "that asking for a scholarship for two boys was an imposition," they raised $1,500 for the school's scholarship fund. The Chicago alumni argue that they did not violate the Ivy code. They contend that not all of the people who contributed to the scholarship fund were Yale alumni; that they did not know of the ruling until too late; that the football player got his financial assistance not from the $1,500, but for his own capabilities from the general scholarship fund; and that he did not have to go Yale.

Financial Connection Seen

Whether or not the men who raised the money were all Yale alumni, however, is irrelevant, since they were not a group of individuals closely related to the family, as the code requires, and since ultimate intent to attend Yale seems clear. Further, ignorance of law is no excuse for its violation. The argument, then, stripped down to its basic point of contention, is: did the student attend the prep schools with the funds raised in Chicago. The Ivy League is close-mouthed about the subject, but one member does admit that "The student received money from the school, and the school received money from the group of men in Chicago. In the judgment of the Eligibility Committee, there was a direct relationship between the two. The decision of the Committee was based upon that opinion.

Such a decision is perhaps unfair to the student, who apparently acted in good faith throughout. It may also be harsh to the Chicago people who seem to have acted sincerely in their attempt to aid a deserving boy--while gaining a good football player for Yale in the process. But there was violation, and it is important that the league acted positively.