Coaches' Debate on Insurance Compels Gymnast to Withdraw

A meet director's mistaken belief that Harvard provides no insurance for its club athletes prevented freshman Jerry Colker from competing in the New England Gymnastics Championships held Saturday at Boston State University.

In a telephone conversation yesterday, the director, Boston State coach Joseph Dorsey, said that in a meeting held five minutes before competition began, he stressed his and Boston State's potential liability if Colker got hurt. Dorsey said he assumed that as a gymnast, Colker was not insured. At Boston State they aren't, he added.

Dorsey called the meeting when MIT coach Bob Lily pointed out that Colker's name had been omitted from the list of competitors. Colker frequently trains with Lily at MIT since the Harvard gymnastics club does not have a coach.

Colker said Dorsey stated he had received neither authorization from Harvard for the unaccompanied Colker nor an entry fee. Colker said Lily then offered Dorsey the necessary ten dollars.

Colker said Dorsey took the money but told Colker and Lily that he would have to talk to the four other coaches. Dorsey and the coaches from Lowell Tech and the University of New Hampshire opposed Colker's participation while Lily and Kenyon Jones, the Dartmouth coach abstained, Dorsey said.