SI Vault
Edited by Robert Sullivan
September 08, 1986
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September 08, 1986


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The lack of academic and competitive integrity in college sports has created, at least in some circles, a distaste for the win-at-all-costs ethic that has led to compromise and outright cheating at many schools. Two of these dissenting groups have formed their own sports organizations. Three years ago the Colonial League debuted in the East: The Division I-AA football programs at Bucknell, Colgate, Davidson, Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh banded together and dedicated their league to the ideal of the scholar-athlete. The Colonial League's leaders, seeking guidance when founding the conference, held discussions with administrators of the Ivy League, and now the CL has an interleague scheduling agreement with the Ivys.

This fall another new league joins the backlash. The Division III University Athletic Association says it is the country's only league based solely on a philosophical, rather than geographical, kinship. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Emory in Atlanta, Case Western in Cleveland and Washington University in St. Louis are joining New York University, the University of Chicago and the University of Rochester (N.Y.) in the UAA. The league feels that the very fact of a far-flung membership, coupled with the high academic caliber of its schools, makes "a strong statement as to the proper role of athletics in our colleges and universities."

That role, according to Norman Brad-burn, provost of the University of Chicago, "holds that athletics is part of the overall educational process and should be conducted in a manner consistent with the university's central academic mission." To that end, the UAA will award no athletic scholarships and will require that its athletes be measured against the same admission, financial aid and academic progress standards as other students.

Obviously, travel will be a problem for the UAA. The league is working toward regular-season competition in football, soccer and basketball and will hold annual end-of-season tournaments in eight men's and eight women's sports. The five UAA schools with baseball teams will coordinate their spring trips so that they can play each other in league games throughout the South. The 1986-87 school year has been designated a "transitional period," as the UAA works some of the bugs out of the system.

While the increased travel will mean added expense for each school's athletic budget, the league hopes its new concept will lead to higher visibility, better athletes and larger crowds down the road. Whether this happens or not, UAA officials stress that all member schools are committed to sticking with the plan. "We share the belief that academic excellence and athletic excellence are not mutually exclusive," says NYU chancellor L. Jay Oliva. "The members are making known their concept of what college athletics can be."

Quick, fill in the blank: GE—RGE BRETT. The other day three Wheel of Fortune contestants forced the tireless Vanna White to unveil all those letters before one guessed the two-time batting champ's name.

There seems to be a trend toward fragrances for the sportsperson on the go. Adidas has introduced a line of colognes, which presumably will keep Ivan Lendl smelling good off—if not on—the court. And a new company, Hemingway Ltd., which is run by several of Papa's heirs, will reportedly market perfumes and after-shave as well as shotguns, hunting knives and fishing rods. No official word yet on Chanel's latest line—baseball mitts, perhaps?


Tex Schramm, president of the Dallas Cowboys, is not given to Western adornments like Stetsons and string ties. But nobody knew this at the Hyatt Islandia Hotel in San Diego, Calif., where the Cowboys were due to check in before an exhibition game against the Chargers. So when a great big feller decked out in Wild West gear strutted into the lobby and announced, "I'm Mr. Schramm," everyone jumped. "He had the belt buckle, the hat, the boots," remembers Jessica Rogers, who was on duty at the time. "In our minds, that said Tex."

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