1.6 AND ALL THAT
For years the Ivy League colleges and other members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association battled against the 1.6 rule, which required that a student have established that he could do a minimum of 1.6 academic work (equal to a C-minus—4.0 is A) before getting an athletic scholarship. Furthermore, he had to maintain it. At last week's NCAA convention the colleges voted to eliminate the latter requirement. That still left Rutgers University, which normally requires a B-minus grade, in a dilemma.
On last year's Rutgers freshman football team was a student who had been admitted on a "need" scholarship with indications that he could do only 1.542 work, though educators believed he would improve. A Negro, his background was culturally disadvantaged, his mother was widowed and a college education was out of the question without financial help. Suspension followed.
Now Rutgers must choose whether to stand by its policy—and thus be barred indefinitely from NCAA championships—or abandon it. Walter Byers, executive director of the NCAA, who takes his orders from the colleges, says, " Rutgers has its fate in its own hands."
The 1.6 rule was a step, though an inadequate one, to ensure that athletes representing NCAA schools are really bona fide students. In fact 1.6 does not bar a college from admitting a dubious student and feeding him courses in dancing and knitting for four years, while he plays football. Rutgers feels that some students from poor secondary schools should have a chance at college "with full rights and privileges to participate in all undergraduate activities," as Dr. Mason W. Gross, president, put it. Otherwise, he said in a letter to the NCAA convention, "it would be an act of cruelty that "I can never condone."
Indications are that dear old Rutgers, willing to die for a principle, will stick by its guns. We sympathize with the college and with the student. Perhaps, next time around, some flexibility could be written into the 1.6 rule so that colleges of high standards, like Rutgers and the Ivy schools, could give aid to the deserving disadvantaged and allow for improvement without running into a wall of legalisms.
BAD SERVE FOR WIMBLEDON
It might be a very good Wimbledon at that, despite the announcement by Giorgio de Stefani, president of the International Lawn Tennis Federation, that Great Britain is suspended, as of April 22, because of its decision to make tennis as "open" in competition between amateurs and professionals as golf has been for years.
For one thing, not a few amateurs have said they are going to ignore the ILTF ruling and compete at Wimbledon—among them Roy Emerson, Arthur Ashe, Charles Pasarell and Pierre Darmon, who is France's top-ranked player—and, for another, professionals like John Newcombe, Rod Laver, Lew Hoad and Pancho Gonzalez have signified their intention of competing. Amateur ladies who are thinking it over, with a favorable leaning toward the British position, are Billie Jean King, holder of the Wimbledon title for the past two years, Francoise Durr of France internationally rated No. 3, Mrs. Margaret Court of Australia (two-time winner as Margaret Smith) and Maria Bueno of Brazil, three-time champion.
The ILTF announcement seemed designed to put pressure on the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association, which meets February 3 to consider what its stand will be, and the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, which has scheduled a conference for January 30. Unfortunately, no one expects either to give wholehearted support to the British, but out of it all there may come a compromise along the lines of the "authorized player" proposal: some players would be permitted to accept payment openly while retaining "amateur" status.