Like a proliferating bureaucracy, amateur athletics has brewed its own bewildering soup of alphabetical titles. Below are the main organizations concerned in the dispute over control of track and field, with capsule descriptions of what each says and does.
AMATEUR ATHLETIC UNION
For 74 years the AAU has been the major power for U.S. amateur athletics nationally and internationally. It:
Governs and administers all amateur athletics in the U.S., has special agreements and alliances with, among others, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the YMCA, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (small colleges), the CYO, the armed forces and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Sets and maintains tests for amateur standing and rules for the government of sports within its jurisdiction.
Claims jurisdiction over 16 sports, including track and field, basketball, gymnastics, wrestling and swimming.
Supervises those sports over which it has control and protects their participants from professional interference.
Supervises and conducts district and national championships (and occasionally disqualifies athletes who compete in other than AAU meets).
Recently the AAU elected new officers, with emphasis on the armed forces (the services generally cast their Olympic vote with the AAU), created the new post of executive director and split the duties of the former secretary-treasurer, Dan Ferris, who has been retired.
THE ARGUMENT: The AAU denies NCAA charges that it is dictatorial. It also claims that the NCAA is lax in maintaining amateur standards for college athletes (especially in its wrestling and gymnastics programs) and is lax in adopting international rules, to the detriment of our international participation.