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Harvard athletic officials have been meeting during the past two days about football coach John Yovicsin's acceptance of a job at Suffolk Downs Race Track, and there are indications that they are unhappy about his new post.
When Yovicsin announced Tuesday that he had accepted a job as a special assistant to Bill Veeck. president of the track, it appeared that he had received the University's approval. "Harvard has given me permission to do things on the side." he said at the time.
Adolph W. Samborski '25. Director of Athletics, and Dean Watson, chairman of the Faculty Committee on Athletic Sports, have not denied that Yovicsin-who was a physical fitness consultant for H.P Hood last spring-had permission to work part-time elsewhere.
Harvard, however, was not aware that Yovicsin was going to accept a position at a racing establishment. "It is obviously not the proper area for a Harvard coach to be in," another Harvard coach told a Boston Globe reporter.
Most officials and coaches here not only refused to be identified, but declined to make any statements whatsoever. Watson and Samborski have both said that they have "no comment" at this time.
Yovicsin's new position is involved with promotion. His job would be to convince businessmen and other organizations that Suffolk Downs is a good place to entertain visitors and friends. He said Tuesday that it was a "perfect activity" for him, but there were indications yesterday that if he were given an ultimatum, by Harvard to choose one or the other, he would remain a coach.
Yovicsin was in Washington last night to address alumni, and efforts to contact him by telephone were unsuccessful.
While Harvard has been mulling over Yovicsin's new job. Samborski has been conducting interviews with seniors on the football team and though Samborski characterized the discussions as "routine," sources have said that such activity is more intense than usual this fall.
There have been no concrete statements by seniors, however about what is being discussed in these sessions. "I'd rather not talk about it," one of them said.
The most common suspicion is that Harvard is trying to determine from the seniors if the many criticisms leveled at Yovicsin and the football program during the dismal fall are justified.
Among the faults attributed to Yovicsin by his critics are lack of imagination, lack of communication with his players, and a reluctance to use sophomores in varsity games.
The meetings have been going on for the past two weeks.
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