REBELS WITH A CAUSE
Officials of the Amateur Athletic Union spent a good deal of their time at last week's convention in Washington decrying the NCAA's "grab for power." That was their way of describing NCAA charges that the AAU, governing body for 16 different amateur sports in this country, is a bungling, dictatorial administrator that stubbornly refuses to grant the colleges fair representation on its policy-making councils. Behind their bluster, however, the AAU began a housecleaning that may clear the way for an equitable compromise.
Set to retire are two old-line AAU men who have faced constant criticism from the dissidents. They are 72-year-old Daniel J. Ferris, who has been the administrative head of the AAU for 30 years, and Pincus Sober, the chairman of the men's track and field committee. Replacing Ferris as top administrator is Colonel Donald Hull, who will assume the office of executive director as soon as he effects his retirement from the U.S. Army. Captain Stephen Archer of the U.S. Navy, the new secretary, will aid Hull. Louis Fisher of High Point, N.C., the AAU's new president (he succeeds Nick J. Barack, more or less automatically), and Hull say they intend to investigate the AAU- NCAA dispute from top to bottom and secure "satisfactory adjustment of representation." Hull adds, "Perhaps a change in personalities will alleviate the present difficulties."
Perhaps. But the new leaders of the AAU should recognize that the rebellion they are trying to end is more than a dissatisfaction with Dan Ferris and Pinky Sober. The cause of the opposition—greater democracy within the AAU—is a just one, and until it is achieved the rebellion will continue. If the AAU does not act quickly and sensibly, it may find itself a vast organization with nothing left to rule over but baton twirling and horseshoe pitching.
THE INSIDE TRACK
At this time of the year the people who run football start making behind-the-scenes plans for playoff games, conference changes and the firing of coaches. Herewith some things to watch for in football during the next few weeks.
?The American Football League's championship game may outdraw the National Football League's title game this year. With the San Diego Chargers assured of winning the AFL's Western Division, 7,000 seats will be added to San Diego's Balboa Stadium, hiking its capacity to 41,500. City Stadium of the Green Bay Packers, winners of the NFL's Western Conference race and host team for the NFL championship game, can hold only 38,669.
?The Football Rules Committee will attempt to reduce the amount of quarterbacking being done from the bench by college coaches. The committee is expected to reinstitute the rule that prohibits substitutes from talking until one play has transpired.
?Scouts suggest that Jimmy Brown, outstanding ground gainer for the Cleveland Browns, is tipping off his plays. Apparently Brown indicates that he is going to receive the ball and run with it when he leans forward in a sprinter's stance on lining up. When he is not going to run with the ball, scouts say, he tends to lean back a little.
?East Carolina College of Greenville, N.C. will make a strong pitch to get into the nine-team Southern Conference later this week. East Carolina, with an enrollment of 5,000 students, is building a 16,000-seat stadium, which will have a larger capacity than stadiums of conference members Davidson, Virginia Military and Furman.