The blame for this state of things—and blame is a word not everybody would use—is placed on study. "Students are better than they used to be," says John Bonner, dean of student relations. "In my day there were three distinct groups on this campus. First, there were the scholars, the eggheads. Then there were the activities boys, going from one meeting to another. And finally there were the athletes. Today there is only one group. Today's student puts academic proficiency squarely in the center of his collegiate universe."
It is an expanding universe. "This is the education revolution," says Robert Holland of the State Board of Education, "and Ohio State is right in the middle of it." Holland has charge of physical education in Ohio secondary schools, which is the talent mine that has provided Ohio State with its athletes in the past and which is now, increasingly, schooling players for teams in other states.
"Until recently," says Holland, "boys who took an active part in sports in high school often looked forward to college as a means of continuing participation in the sports they enjoyed. The revolution in education has changed that. The athletic program has become quite secondary to the general college experience." And the general college experience is a lot bigger than it ever used to be. Some examples:
?The nationwide increase in college enrollment, from two million undergraduates in 1947 to six million in 1967.
The increase in graduate students—from 237,208 in 1950 to 647,000 in 1966—that has tempered the old undergraduate enthusiasm for sport.
?The growth of new colleges and branch colleges whose athletic character is still unshaped. There have been nearly 500 new campuses created in two decades.
?The tremendous development of community colleges and junior colleges, many with minimal athletic programs. These new and popular institutions now account for nearly a fifth of all undergraduates.
The people who still think of college life in terms of football are unaware of such changes, especially in so singleminded a community as victory-demanding Columbus. But Ohio State's athletes of today seem to reflect the new era.
Including all 16 Ohio State intercollegiate sports, one of every eight varsity athletes is an honor student. Five men on last year's football team had a 3-plus accumulated-hour ratio—roughly a B-plus average—known as an accum. An accum is essentially an average, but in decimals on a four-point scale. Arnie Chonko, Ohio State's 1964 All-America, made Phi Beta Kappa with a 3.6 accum. Last year's quarterback, Don Unverferth, has an accum of 3.4. Ray Pryor, last year's All-America center, was a premed honor student. Steve Arlin, who pitched Ohio State to two Big Ten baseball championships and was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies for more than 5100,000, was an honor student. Bill Hosket, the starting center on the basketball team, has a 3.6 accum. Gary McDavid, a guard on the basketball team and a walk-on—that is, he was not recruited—arrived at Ohio State unknown, made the varsity and happens to have the highest college entrance board test ever recorded by an Ohio State athlete: 30 of a possible 36 on the American College Test measure.
Bolenciecwcz would be terrified by these guys. They are worse than the professors were when he went to college. They are also part of the change in Ohio State athletics, for their presence means that an intellectual climate is coming into existence which not only discourages the Bolenciecwczes in advance, but promotes their movement to conferences where the surroundings are less likely to be inhibiting.