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Ivies Considering an Expansion In Response to NCAA Ruling


Harvard football coach Joe Restic said yesterday that none of three major schools reportedly under consideration for two new spots in an expanded Ivy League is likely to accept an offer to join the athletic organization of prestigious East coast universities.

The expansion plan, apparently a response to the Ivy League's demotion from the major-college group of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), has not been formally announced by Ivy League officials, who have not yet approached prospective additions Army, Navy and Northwestern.


Those three schools still qualify as members of the NCAA's top grouping, Division I-A, and if any two join the Ivy League, they would probably be able to pull the Ivy League back into I-A.

The NCAA voted December 4 to set new I-A requirements for stadium size and fan attendance, which a majority of the Ivy League schools cannot meet. Harvard, along with its traditional rivals, will drop to Division I-AA next season unless further action is taken.

And Restic said none of three teams under consideration would want to lose the prestige of Division I-A status merely to help out the Ivy League.

"They are concerned about themselves, Restic said, adding that potential financial losses and difficulties in scheduling top-flight competition would also discourage Army, Navy and Northwestern from volunteering to make the move.

Other Harvard coaches and athletic officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Ivy League athletic directors are meeting in Houston this week to plan expansion strategy, and Restic said that "staying in I-A should be uppermost in our mind."

He criticized the Ivy decision not to appeal the NCAA ruling immediately at a special hearing scheduled for this week.

Ironically, Army and Navy applied to join the Ivy League two years ago but were turned down by league members--Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Dartmouth.

Northwestern, which won only one football game in 1979, did not win at all in 1980 or 1981, has established a new NCAA record with 31 straight defeats.

The New York Times reported yesterday that three other colleges--Holy Cross, Colgate, and William and Mary--may also be considered in an Ivy expansion.

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