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"At Oberlin we've felt that the physical education program should offer a diversified and valuable experience," explains Dean Reich. "We questioned a great many people about this, and concluded that the program was not reaching the students."
Their solution was Jack Scott. Immediately after his appointment last spring he put his new employer's faith to the acid test. As his assistant athletic director and track, coach, he announced that he wanted to hire Tommie Smith, less known for the 200-meter gold medal he won at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 than for the black-gloved salute he gave on the victory stand. Smith would be an assistant professor of phys ed along with his other duties. Far from being frightened at the idea, Fuller was delighted, personally urging Smith to take the job.
"What we offer is a chance to do something valuable and imaginative with the program here," Fuller told Smith at their first meeting. "Change is bound to happen. It's going to start popping up here and there. We'd like it to pop up here first."
If President Fuller was delighted by the arrival of Scott and Smith, the physical education faculty was not. A poll of the 14-member department, taken before Scott's appointment, showed only one member totally favorable. As one coach told Everett Glenn, a black basketball player, "This guy is against sport. Did you read his book with Meggyesy? All lies."
Over the summer the nonbelievers began their exodus, partly out of administrative urging, partly, no doubt, out of sheer panic. The former athletic director and basketball coach, Julian Smith, went off to St. Andrews College in North Carolina. Don Hunsinger, an assistant football coach and the sport's most vigorous recruiter at Oberlin, moved on to Capital ( Ohio) University. Robert Grueninger, an assistant professor in the P.E. department and coach of fencing, is now at the University of Wisconsin (Parkside). Two other members of the P.E. faculty, including Grice, who had been at Oberlin 19 years, received letters from the college faculty council reportedly suggesting that in the interests of their own careers they seek employment elsewhere. Grice will go to Campbell ( N.C.) College at the end of this semester.
Given this sudden bonus of open positions to fill, Scott has begun to surround himself with a m�lange of aides who would make such bulwarks of the university sporting Establishment as Bear Bryant or Woody Hayes positively shudder. In addition to Smith on the P.E. staff are Jane Mann, a University of Wisconsin graduate who will serve as director of intramural athletics, and Leslie Rudolph, whose background includes national ranking as an age-group swimmer as well as employment in the sugarcane fields of Cuba. Leslie has taken a $70-a-week job in the equipment room of the Oberlin gym so that she can serve as coach of the women's swimming team. "Having these two around helps break down the heavy machismo atmosphere," says Scott.
Two staffers who have received one-year appointments to fill in for those who have left on sabbatical are Del Martin, a former Stanford sprinter, Phi Beta Kappa and Rhodes scholar, who teaches a course entitled Sport and Literature, and Paul Hoch, a graduate of City College in New York and the London School of Economics, author of a forthcoming book called Rip-off the Big Game. Hoch conducts classes in tennis and teaches one course called Sport and the Mass Media, another entitled Sport and Sociology. As head trainer at a salary of zero, Scott has appointed 19-year-old Alan Alper, a sports medicine buff who has just finished his freshman year at the University of Maryland and who called Scott to volunteer his services after reading The Athletic Revolution.
Probably the only full professional among Scott's recent appointees is Dan Millman, who was a three-time All-America gymnast at the University of California. To join Scott at Oberlin, Mill-man, 26, left a solid position on the faculty at Stanford, where in four years he coached the gymnastics team up from the depths of the PAC-8 conference to respect as a national power. Millman will teach courses called Mind-Body Unity Through Gymnastics and Mind-Body Unity Through Trampoline and, if there is demand, create a gymnastics team.
"It was certainly a difficult choice," Millman says of his decision to switch jobs, "but I was obviously not fleeing Stanford. Instead, I was seeking what is going to happen at Oberlin."
Even Scott can appear slightly embarrassed at the amateurish look of his staff and the far-out cultural aspect of some of the P.E. courses that must be inspiring tears and laughter among athletic administrators around the country. "I'll admit many of my critics might laugh at the way things are beginning to look around here," he says. "Except for one thing: they know how dedicated we are, how hard we'll work to make the program really succeed."