The next stage came when he taught a course at Cat during the winter term of 1970. It had the somewhat ponderous title of Intercollegiate Athletics and Higher Education: A Socio-Psychological Evaluation, and administrators looked for an enrollment of between 50 and 100. Close to 400 students, including about 100 varsity athletes, signed on. Scott appeared at the first lecture wearing a sweat shirt, blew a whistle and ordered everyone to line up for seat assignments. It was his way of demonstrating the sort of authoritarianism students tolerate from coaches but not their professors.
Scott invited a number of guest lecturers-, radical and Establishment. Most of the radicals—Edwards, Meggyesy and Olga Connolly—showed up. Most of the conservatives, like Max Rafferty, then California superintendent of education, and Payton Jordan, Stanford's track coach, did not. This may have been because one Establishmentarian who did speak, Dr. Paul Brechler, then Cal's athletic director, was hooted.
Opinions on the course were mixed. Some extremists felt it was a copout, some conservatives claimed it was prejudiced against the Establishment. Either way it was a great success, and today, according to Scott, more than 50 colleges have initiated similar courses.
One institution that wished to was the University of Washington. When it offered Scott a one-year contract at $10,500, the news set off shock waves throughout the athletic department, most notably in the office of Jim Owens, the head football coach. Scott's presence on the campus would interfere with the smooth functioning of the athletic department, he informed his superiors, and a number of wealthy alumni and a conservative regent started to apply pressure. A month later the offer was withdrawn. "Your proposed appointment...would seriously jeopardize our efforts for an orderly integration" of the men's and women's phys ed departments, wrote Dean Philip Cartwright. Scott sued and recently settled out of court for $10,500—his year's pay.
Scott decided what he needed was an independent organization to push for the reform he sought. In June 1970 he and Micki formed the nonprofit Institute for the Study of Sport and Society, a kind of free-form research center designed to aid persons involved in what Scott calls "the humanization of sport." The first important customer was Meggyesy, who wrote Out of Their League under its auspices. The book was published in the fall of 1970 by Ramparts Press and has since sold 25,000 hard-cover copies, plus 650,000 in paperback. Scott helped with the writing, and the Institute gets 50% of all royalties. Critics immediately assumed the book was less Meggyesy than Scott, a charge both Scott and Meggyesy deny heatedly.
"Establishment sportswriters continue to perpetrate the myth about dumb jocks," Meggyesy says. "They're always amazed when an athlete is quote, articulate, unquote."
The Institute began building up files on such things as drug taking by athletes, women in sport, politics and violence, antitrust developments, sports in trouble, sports not in trouble, etc. It also began to scout around for coaching openings in less high-pressured institutions and to make the information available to coaches.
Frequently the Institute is called on for odd jobs. A typical example is provided by a wealthy Oklahoman who called Scott to complain that his son, a diver at a high school with no pool, had been barred by an NCAA ruling from using the facilities at a nearby college. Scott advised the indignant parent, to threaten the NCAA with a suit and see if they would not give in. He did and they did. The father was so grateful he promised Scott a large contribution for the Institute. When he heard of Scott's activities with Harry Edwards and black athletes, he promptly withdrew his offer.
Scott also receives letters from coaches disillusioned with organized sport for one reason or another. "My answer is that they should absolutely not quit," says Scott. "Unless people who object to the system stay in it and work for change, it never will. Quitting is no solution at all."
Now that he has taken over at Oberlin, Scott himself gets his first real, chance to see if he can work within the system. The school has a young and progressive new president, 35-year-old Robert Fuller, who decided a year and a half ago that the physical education department was ripe for an overhaul. Jeff Strassenberg had been put off the baseball team by Coach Bill Grice because he refused to shave off his beard. Appalled, Fuller had Strassenberg reinstated (a good move even for Coach Grice. This spring Strassenberg led the team in hitting with an average of .500). He and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Donald Reich, also conducted an investigation of the phys ed department.