The NCAA Rules Committee's decision to revise the point-after-touchdown rule in college football (two points if the ball is rushed or passed over) drew a cacophonous chorus of reaction from some of the nation's leading coaches last week. Some of the choicer comments are recorded below. For Herman Hickman's analysis of new rules and their likely effect, see page 45.
Disdainful Duffy Daugherty of Michigan State: "Why not make touchdowns scored from the 10-yard line count six points, from outside the 10 seven points and from beyond the 50 eight points. That would have opened up the game if that's what they want. It was wrong for the NCAA Rules Committee to arbitrarily shove something through like this rule. They have just about killed the place kick in college."
Moderate Earl Blaik of Army: "I think the new rule will add more uncertainty to an uncertain game. Certainly it will be of more interest to the spectators, great for sportswriters or retired quarterbacks and a real headache to coaches. The inevitable question will be, should the coach have gone for the win or the tie. The rule merely increases the coach's occupational hazards and is, I think, a good tonic for the game."
Empirical Forest Evashevski of Iowa: "I don't think the rule is too bad.... We're going to try hundreds of kicks from the three-yard line in spring practice. We also will even up our teams and run every type of play we have from the three. We'll catalog the results, figure the percentage and give them to our quarterbacks.... The new rule emphasizes my thought that college football is getting away from the coaches."
Indignant Terry Brennan of Notre Dame: "It's ridiculous. You have to fight hard from any spot on the field to get six points. Now you get two more by going only three yards.... But we'll just have to see how it works out. It's in effect now, we can't do anything about it. We'll have to abide by it. I think most of the teams that score first will go for the two points; they won't want to be down 8-7."
Public-minded Red Sanders of UCLA: "We expect the public to pay for football and all of the public seems to like the rule. The public, you will agree, is entitled to some opinion on these things. I have not talked to a single layman who didn't like it. Too, a point I think should be brought out is that the better team will have the advantage. It will be better able to negotiate that three yards than the poorer team."
Vehement Jordan Olivar of Yale: "I'm disgusted. It's an unimportant change. It puts an extra premium on rushing or passing and virtually eliminates kicking. We Ivy League coaches have been thinking of restoring emphasis to the kicking phase of the game by returning the goal post to the goal line. The Ivy schools recommended this unanimously.... This is the worst bunch of rules the rule-makers have ever come up with."
Submissive Bennie Oosterbaan of Michigan (whose boss, Fritz Crisler, promoted the change): "I think it will be an exciting deal. The coach will have to second-guess himself and the fans, of course, will second-guess him and by and large it will be very interesting. I think some of the coaches who oppose the rule now will change their minds about it later, once they get a chance to live with the situation."
Democratic Art Guepe of Vanderbilt: "When—and if—we score a touchdown, I might just stand up on our bench and signal the stands that we' will attempt to pass the ball for the two points. I'll gauge their applause—or their boos. Then I'll signal a possible run and then a kick. Whichever suggestion finds the most favor, that's what I'll do. Then there should be no second-guessing in our democratic country where the majority rules."