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June 01, 1959
Precedent in California
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June 01, 1959

Events & Discoveries

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Precedent in California

Dr. David Groshong of San Francisco likes to bark at dogs. One evening not long ago he was sauntering down Grant Street in the heart of the beatnik district when he was confronted with two forlorn poodles in a pet shop window. Dr. Groshong forthrightly dropped to all fours and barked engagingly. The poodles responded. And so did the cops, who arrested Dr. Groshong for disturbing the peace. This got Dr. Groshong's hackles up. He decided to fight the case as a matter of principle: free speech, free barking; that sort of thing. The other day the case came up in court. Several friends testified in his behalf, as did Mrs. David Groshong, a charming and loyal wife, who says proudly, "He's very good at barking at dogs and always has been."

Lovers of freedom and sport will be glad to know that Judge Andrew Jackson Eyman found Groshong not guilty. But the judge went on to restrict Groshong's hobby by admonition: don't do it again unless you're in your own backyard. Sighed loyal Mrs. Groshong: "It's hard to have fun any more."

Rosy Deadlock

The lowering disapproval of Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins has long since ceased to exercise a direct effect on intercollegiate football in the U.S. Midwest. There are even some signs on what used to be Dr. Hutchins' own campus that the distracting monster which he banished in the early 1940s may be inching its way back. The present dean of the University of Chicago's newly revamped undergraduate college is far less enamored of pure intellectualism than was Hutchins and has invited a return of "beauty and brawn" to accompany the "brains" at U. of C., and there is some hope that within the next decade it might even field a varsity football team once more.

Meanwhile, the intellectual assault on intercollegiate football throughout the rest of the Middle West has grown apace, most notably in the faculty camps of the Big Ten Conference.

For those who care about football on either the pro or the con side in the Big Ten, its outstanding symbol has long been the Rose Bowl—the celebrated New Year's Day game for which the pick of the prairies journey annually to Pasadena, Calif. to play the best of the West.

Big Ten athletic directors and coaches, almost to a man, favor the annual bowl game because of the inevitable prestige that accrues from its enormous publicity. Many from the academic side of the Big Ten believe, as well, like Iowa's Dr. Robert Ray, that the prestige of the bowl "is not athletic alone in nature."

Other Midwest faculty men, however, argue with commensurate fervor that the very prestige afforded by participation in the bowl gives football an importance at home that it in no way deserves. To many of these the Rose Bowl is practically a synonym for overemphasis. Year by year this group has made its influence more apparent in the councils of the Big Ten. By last week, when representatives of the 10 colleges met in Ann Arbor, Mich. to vote once again on renewal of the Rose Bowl contract with the reorganized western colleges, the conflict of sentiment between those who oppose and those who favor big football had combined to produce an exact dead center.

Casting their votes as units, under the instructions of the majority at their home campuses, the 10 representatives (often voting contrary to their own convictions) reached a five-five deadlock on each of two vital bowl questions, making positive action in either case impossible. The first question was whether to renew the conference contract with the West by which the conference as a whole sent a team to the bowl. The deadlock vote automatically barred renewal. The second question, which by all logic was integrally involved with the first, was whether to strike out the clause in the conference rules which permitted Rose Bowl competition. As before, the deadlock vote automatically barred action, so that the Big Ten found itself in the untenable position of refusing to send a team to the Rose Bowl and at the same time refusing to forbid any team that wished to from going. In place of a contract by which each member of the conference shared more or less equally in the visitor's $500,000 Rose Bowl cut, the vote had produced a chaos by which any one team could go out and grab all the boodle for itself.

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