Athletes Receive Perks, Admissions Tips

When it comes to favored status for its athletes, Harvard is no University of Washington. The Seattle university could face suspension if the NCAA can prove that school officials knew its quarterback received a $50,000 "loan" with no repayment plan.

By this standard, Harvard is squeaky clean. There are no scholarships to be abused, and one isn't likely to see alumni slipping hundred dollar bills to their favorite athletes.

Still, there are advantages to being a student-athlete here. From admissions tips to better campus jobs, the life of a student-athlete does come with some "perks" on the side.

Male varsity crew members, for example, travel with all expenses paid each June to a complex at Gail's Ferry, Conn.

During their two weeks at Red Top (the name refers to the roofs of the cabins), the rowers train for a mid-June race with Yale. Harvard pays approximately $30,000 a year to keep up the complex, Senior Associate Director of Athletics Francis J. Toland confirmed yesterday.


Red Top, which is used only by the heavyweight crew team, goes unused 50 weeks of the year.

In addition to Harvard's athletic budget, players also derive benefits from alumni contributions to various "Friends" of Harvard athletics. The Friends--an informal label for alumni who donate money earmarked for specific teams--bankroll Harvard's recruiting efforts, which bring prospective players to campus for free.

Money donated to the Friends' groups, which are not official corporations according to the state of Massachusetts, also pays for coaches travel, out-of-season trips by teams such as men's crew and special equipment for training.

Although money donated by the Friends is officially given to the University, the Department of Athletics ultimately controls how the money is spent.

"Once that money comes in, we control it," Toland says.

Steven Locker, coach of the men's varsity soccer team, says the Friends of his program have provided the team with everything from post-game receptions to a computer to video cameras, which are used to tape the games.

The Friends groups also have an important role in recruiting. Accord- ing to Ivy League regulations, the Friends'groups--not the athletic department--must fundrecruiting trips.

"They flew me up here and it was a realflattering experience," says Michael L. Hill '93,a running back for the football team and captainof the baseball team. "I got a pass for meals andwent to Boston with some of the players."

According to NCAA rules, students are allowedto accept five such recruiting trips. Coaches, whosometimes treat athletes to restaurant meals, arelimited to $20 per student.

The amount collected from Friends' groups canrange from $20,000 (women's swimming) to under$2,000 (women's tennis), according to coaches.Many coaches say that most of their Friends' moneyis used for recruiting.

Women's Swimming Coach Maura Costin Scalisesays she flies in, 10 to 15 recruits per yearbecause "that's what other top schools do."

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