It's All in the Game

Asking Daddy for Candy

No matter how many football games the NCAA allows its member colleges to play (11 at this point), it is unlikely that the Ivy League will approve a tenth game within the foreseeable future.

Recently there's been speculation that the League will change its mind in the next year or so because of the added revenue a tenth game would provide for financially sick athletic departments. Cornell athletic director Bob Kane thinks a tenth game would provide funds which would prevent a college from having to cut a minor sport from the program.

In fact, an article in the New York Times last week quoted Kane's views extensively and reported that the athletic directors had voted, 6-2, in favor of a tenth game at a recent four-day meeting in Stroudsburg, Pa. This vote was apparently a major indication that a policy change was imminent since the directors had never voted approval of this measure before. The article reported that only Harvard and Yale were against it. By League rules, even if the directors approve a new ruling it must also be passed by the Deans, and then by the Presidents.

But three days ago, Harvard athletic director Robert Watson vehemently denied that even the directors had voted for a tenth game. The proposal was not on the agenda, and Watson claims that they discussed it only informally in a one-hour meeting with the coaches, who had just cast their annual 8-0 vote in favor of a tenth game. "Don't go by the New York Times, for God's sakes. That's like going by your CRIMSON."

Watson served on the Deans' committee since its inception before becoming an athletic director, and he is convinced that a tenth game strikes the Presidents as an overemphasis of football inconsistent with the Ivy philosophy. "If they approved a tenth game, the coaches would want more practice beforehand," Watson explained. "Then comes for spring practice. It's sort of a vicious circle, and that's the main reason the Presidents are against it. Boy, they'd love to have the money,"

Watson also said that he thinks the coaches' efforts are counterproductive at this point. "We didn't even discuss it because we knew the Presidents would turn it down," he remarked. "When they're emphatic about something you don't keep needling them. 'Don't kick a dead horse,' we told the coaches. It's like a boy who keeps asking for candy. After a while his father gets damn sore. Well, the Presidents are getting to that stage. It's like an old sausage machine-year after year the coaches talk about the same old issues."

Obviously, the crucial thing now is to give the coaches some new issues to talk about. Maybe they'd like to propose increasing the League to 11 colleges so that ten games would be necessary. There's a good chance that Rutgers, B.U., of Northeastern would be willing.