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MEN IN MOTION
On the Pacific Coast, the professors continued to rip for huge yardage through the varsity football teams. Developments of the week after the University of Washington and UCLA had been set down for unnecessary plushness in their recruitment programs (SI, May 28) included:
Item: the conference rather illogically ruled all UCLA gridders ineligible for a year unless they could prove they had not received illegal salary, a contravention of a good deal of progressive legal doctrine since Magna Carta which may be hard to explain away in History 1 & 2 classes.
Item: every team in the conference except (next-to-last place in football) Washington State was fined for extraordinary athletic procedures ranging from excessive basketball practice (more than 10 hours a week) to excessive distribution of complimentary tickets.
The conference fathers had barely disbanded before the reaction (violent) set in. In Los Angeles, a deputy district attorney, J. Miller Leavy, former UCLA athlete, grabbed the ball and charged, head down. He called a press conference, replete with delighted newsreel and TV cameramen, to announce that rival USC, through a proselyting organization known grandly as the Southern California Educational Foundation, including some of California's leading jurists, financiers and businessmen, had ponied up a not-so-secret fund of $71,235 to distribute to deserving students, particularly those majoring in football. He was promptly hanged in effigy on the USC campus.
There was little doubt, however, that his revelations would galvanize Vic Schmidt, the conference commissioner. By week's end the word was pretty well bruited about in the football slave marts of southern California that the jig was really up and that the auction-block value of football beef-on-the-hoof had been disastrously devalued.
By an inexplicable psychological twist it became the business of aggrieved alumni, whose schools had been penalized, to see to it that rival schools did not escape unscathed, and the probability loomed finally that the Coast Conference's recruitment program would be toned down to something more closely resembling the Ivy League's—which may not be as bad as it seems right now to the 50-yard-line season-ticket holders. It may in fact, put an even more spirited team in the Rose Bowl than ever. Maybe a winner.
ADELE OF TROY
If the University of Southern California gets clipped for behind-the-scenes football payoffs (see above), Trojan officials should comfort themselves by reflecting that they were up against something just too big to buck. A woman—a pert Los Angeles housewife, Mrs. Adele Erenberg—was the cause of it all. Mrs. Erenberg never went to college, had no interest in college football and wasn't trying to torpedo the Trojans but nevertheless unearthed evidence of secret SC football funds as early as 1953—three long years before the Pacific Coast Conference began its horrendous job of house cleaning. How? Well—Mrs. Erenberg is a member of the PTA.
In the spring of 1953, as she recalled the thing this week for the Los Angeles Mirror-News, one Joseph C. Shell was running for the California Assembly in her district. In so doing, he described himself as a former SC football captain and a trustee of something called the Southern California Educational Foundation. PTA Member Erenberg hadn't heard of such a foundation and telephoned the candidate to find out what it was. "He told me," she said, "that it was an organization founded on the campus to help students who could not go to school without assistance." If Candidate Shell had signed off then that would undoubtedly have been the end of the whole thing. But instead he "talked for almost an hour"—evasively, Mrs. Erenberg decided.