Ivy League athletic directors are still waiting for an official reply from the NCAA rules committee on the Ivies' request to experiment with the new football substitution rules.
Last week Thomas D. Bolles, Director of Athletics and chairman of the Ivy Committee on Administration, sent a telegram to the NCAA group asking permission for the League to use unlimited substitution when the ball changes hands.
In January the NCAA decreed that no more than two players could be sent in on change-of-possession plays in an effort to stop the Paul Dietxel-type platoon coaching that has become popular in contemporary football. The NCAA said it was attempting to help small colleges who could not pay for large football teams.
The NCAA rule has aroused wide controversy and was opposed by most football coaches at the time of its passing. The Ivy petition for a one-year experiment with unlimited substitution in the first official protest, and, if granted, could lead to many similar requests.
In his telegram, Bolles said the Ivies said "not wish to play a different game from that which is being played nationally," but only wanted to give the committee an alternative to study.
The Ivy coaches, including Harvard's John Yovicsin, were unanimous in wanted unlimited substitutions. Should the request be denied, however, Harvard weight be the school to gain the most in the coming Ivy season.
Yovicain has used two offense-defense units for the past several years, and thus has actually been coaching somewhat in the spirit of the new rule. The new system would not make a great difference in Harvard's style of play.
John Blackman, at Dartmouth, though, last year bulled his way to the Ivy Championship with a three unit squad that had one offense unit, a defense eleven, and a two-way team. The NCAA rule would force him to develop two-way players.
Although one Boston paper proclaimed last week that the Ivies would probably pull out of the NCAA if the rule request was turned down, informed sources yesterday doubted the League would resort to such drastic action. Bolles is withholding further comment pending an official rule from the NCAA.